The summer is just getting started, and it is a great time to revamp your fitness program and TRI! Here are some tips if you are embarking on this new journey:
1. Go Short! There are several different distance triathlons; I recommend a sprint distance if this is your first. This distance is usually a 400-500 yard swim, 10-15 miles bike, and a 5k (3.1 mile) run.
2. Stay local! Here in Florida, you can find an event every month throughout the summer. Familiarity is your friend in your first triathlon. Choose a race that allows you to train on the actual course and sleep in your own bed the night prior. This alleviates a lot of the stress and anxiety of the unknown.
3. Any bike works! No need to invest in an expensive bike at this point, remember the bike is just the vehicle, you are the power. You can even borrow a bike for your first race, I did.
4. Proper shoes! The correct running shoes are critical; make sure you are fitted by a professional to avoid injuries.
5. Practice in Open Water! Pool swimming is great for technique, but open water is very different. The current, waves, other people, all play a factor on race day. Don’t practice alone; find a group to train with .
6. Adjust your training! You can train for a sprint triathlon in about 5-7 hours a week. You probably already train that much if you are considering this. It is just a shift in the structure and timing of your workouts.
7. Have FUN! Remember that race day is the celebration of all your hard work and training. You have achieved your goal. Enjoy the experience of crossing the finish line and FIND YOUR NEXT RACE!
If you are thinking of competing in your first triathlon, a coach can help you.