Triathlon. Such an awesome sport. One of the fastest growing sports in the US right now in fact. It’s exploding in popularity and that makes me so happy since I have grown to adore this sport.
Everyone starts somewhere though. When I signed up for my first triathlon I went all out. Bought a tri kit, a new road bike with clipless pedals, the whole nine yards. I didn’t even know if I would like triathlon or continue doing them, but I jumped in completely from the get go and I haven’t looked back since.
I learned a lot from that first race. The first triathlon you run is really a giant learning experience. You might race it sure, trying to do your best, but it’s still a complete curveball and the lessons you take away from the first time can be used to fuel your training and perfect your racing techniques. However, just because the first triathlon is generally a learning experience for most, doesn’t mean you should go into it blind. Triathlon is crazy because it’s three very distinctive and individual sports all smashed together and done in succession, and that creates a lot of questions and confusion that shouldn’t have to be learned during that first race. There are some things you should take away from that race, but there are other things that are just plain old good to know before hand. So I did some asking around and have come up with a concise list of what you should know before your first triathlon!
1. How to shift your bike
2. What the “hoods” are on a road bike and that you don’t have to hang out in the drop downs.
3. Better bike = better race (yes you can finish a tri on any bike, but the fancier they get the more comfortable you’ll be and better you’ll do on that leg of the race)
4. Bikini waxing is essential for long bike rides (Cycling can be rough on your lower bits, be nice to them!)
5. A strong bike leg is the key. Being a good runner means nothing without the ability to get off the bike after 10k/20k/40k/90k/180k and run
6. That the dead leg between bike and run is real but half mental
7. Practice transitions. A lot.
8. Double sports bras for the win
9. Nothing new the day(s) prior for fueling
10. Learn and practice efficient swim technique
11. Don’t go out too fast on the swim
12. Open water swimming can be scary. Tough it out!
13. Find a place to practice open water swims.
14. Register for more than one, because otherwise you have to wait a whole year to do another
15. You’ll love it.
A huge thank you to everyone who offered up a piece of advice. I truly hope this post helps others who may be new to the sport or looking to get into triathlon focus their training and have the best race possible. Happy training!
What else would you add to this list- When you first started triathlon, what’s one thing you wish you knew then that you know now?