10 Tips for Beginner Triathletes

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If you’re new to triathlon or are thinking of giving triathlon a try, don’t be intimidated by what’s ahead of you. Triathlon is a very doable sport and so much fun to be a part of.

Follow these 10 tips for beginner triathletes and start your journey to becoming a triathlete today!

10 Tips for Beginner Triathletes

1. There’s More To Triathlon Than The Ironman

Sure Ironman gets all the publicity, but there’s so much more to triathlon than the ultra distance race. Local sprint races are a ton of fun and very doable as a first race.

Confused about the different distances? Here’s a breakdown:

Sprint Tri
750 m (0.46 mile) swim / 12 mile bike / 5 km (3.1 mile) run

Olympic distance
1500 m (0.93 mile) swim / 24 mile bike / 10 km (6.2 mile) run

Half Ironman (70.3)
1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / half marathon (13.1 mile) run

Ironman (140.6)
2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / marathon (26.2 mile) run

2. You Don’t Have To Spend All Your Savings On Triathlon

There are plenty of options when it comes to getting equipped as a triathlete. So if you want to buy all new equipment and clothing, go for it! But there’s also plenty you can do with what you have. You may actually already have everything you need!

The necessities to get started are:

– Bathing suit, cap & goggles
– Bike & helmet
– Sunglasses (especially while cycling to protect your eyes from debris & bugs)
– Running shoes
– Water bottle
– Clothes to exercise in

3. Train For A Triathlon, Not For Swimming, Cycling & Running

You don’t need to train swimming, cycling, and running as individual sports. You’ll probably be doing less of each than you would expect. Don’t worry, there is a carry-over effect when it comes to your fitness. So find a plan to follow and follow it.

4. Not All Workouts Have To Be Hard Workouts

Some of your workouts may be hard, but there are also moderate and easy workouts. Variety is key so that your body can adapt.

5. Not All Workouts Should Be Long Slow Workouts

If you train slow, you’ll race slow. While easy workouts have their place, it’s important to train at a variety of paces so that you can adjust on race day.
Want to kick it in when nearing the finish line? You’ll need to prepare for that in training.

6. Triathlon Doesn’t Have To Take Over Your Life

Sure, it can take over your life if you want it to. But let’s face it, most of us are doing this as a hobby and aren’t pros. So enjoy life by finding ways to fit training into a busy schedule and making sure you balance out your life with triathlon, family, friends, and work so that you’re not stressed out.

7. Take One Rest Day Every Week

Recovery is just as important as your workouts, and ignoring rest and recovery will lead to overtraining. Having one day off completely each week will help you recover from the week’s workouts and prepare you for your upcoming workouts.

8. Take Care Of Your Gear

Make sure your equipment and gear fits and is in good working order. It doesn’t matter if you train with a hand-me-down bike and old sweatshirt or the newest bike and tri kit, if you don’t take care of what you have, it won’t last. Or worse, it will break down when you least expect it. Take care of what you have and make sure what you do use fits properly.

Check out this simple pre-ride checklist before your next bike ride.

9. Warm-Up Before Every Workout

Performing a warm-up before your workouts prevents injury and prepares your body for exercise. A good warm-up increases your heart rate, increases your core body temperature, increases your breathing rate, and loosens up your muscles and joints. The type of workout you have planned will dictate the length of the warm-up needed. Just remember to perform a dynamic warm-up BEFORE your workouts and save the static stretching for AFTER your workouts.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask Questions

We’ve all started as beginners and we’ve all had the same questions. So don’t be afraid to ask your fellow triathletes or your favorite coach.

Got a question? Ask me in the comments!

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