Less than 4 weeks until my first triathlon of the year! This will be my 5th so I’m no veteran but I’d consider myself above novice status (for the most part). After a great open water swim Saturday morning with ETA Coach and then a preview of the bike course on Sunday, I’m feeling pretty good. The main thing I need to work now is brick workouts- I haven’t done any yet, gasp! But with a month left to train I should be able to build up in time for race day!
Anyways… today’s post.. if you’re doing your first tri you may have Googled “first triathlon tips” or “triathlon tips.” I’m guessing the typical variety will come up- check out the course before the race, practice transitions, wear your race clothes for training, practice fueling, learn how to sight, etc. These are the more obvious things… here is a list of things that helped me that some people may not think of…. Some I thought of in advance, some I learned the hard way, and some are things I’ve picked up along the way.
1. Bring an extra pair of goggles (and hair tie!)- just imagine losing your goggles or breaking them before the start, the swim would be awful, just have an extra pair, they don’t even need to be new!
2. Take your wetsuit off inside out to save time- unzip, pull sleeves off inside out and push down, step on to get all the way off.
3. Practice swimming in open water before race day- ok this is a pretty obvious tip but I have an amendment to it- practice swimming in the pool with your eyes closed to simulate not being able to see anything in the open water (not the whole time, but try a few laps).
8. Use electric tape to make fuel accessible on the bike- hopefully I don’t need explain the necessity of taking in fuel for a triathlon or remind you not to litter!
9. Train and complain with friends- I honestly don’t think I would’ve ever dared to enter the intimidating sport of triathlon if not for my friends, they served as awesome support systems and it was so much fun having that experience together (much love to LB and MG)!
10. Remind yourself that you’re not being paid to race- it’s okay to take your time and just enjoy the experience- it’s awesome!!!
If you have any tips for first timers (or in general) please share in the comments! Ever done a triathlon?! Any interest in trying one!?
4. Know some very basic bike mechanics- putting your chain back on properly would’ve helped me in my first tri ever (Tri Rock Philly Sprint) and in the NJ State Tri the following year.
5. Double knot your shoes- seems obvious but when you’re rushing out of transition you sometimes forget
6. Wear your ankle timing chip on your left foot- this keeps it from tangling with the equipment on the right
7. Stay to the far side of the markers and towards the back if you’re anxious of crowds during the swim- aka avoid the crowds… people swimming over you and on top of you sucks bad and is super scary if you are not a strong swimmer, just take the time to go a little bit further uninterrupted.