Leading The Pack — 8 Tips, Tricks & Tidbits To Help You Tackle A Triathlon
Triathlons are intimidating.
The combination of running, biking, and swimming can be tricky enough, but you’re also likely competing with some serious athletes.
It’s not as simple as most traditional sports, because transitioning between the different events adds a whole new level to the experience.
You may show up to your first triathlon to find competitors that look like they’re getting ready for the Olympics, and it can be seriously intimidating.
If you’re at all like me, you might have shown up to your first event with no special gear or garments, and been absolutely blown away by the professional clothing and gadgets used by so many others.
You don’t need to have all the bells and whistles, or whatever some of those high-tech tools are, but there are one or two that can make a big difference.
A professional quality tri suit is probably the gear that will give you the biggest advantage, but we’ll get to that later.
Here are a few fast tips that can help you on race day.
1.Keep Your Confidence
Before you show up to your first event, hopefully, you’ve had lots of practice in all three activities.
Don’t sell yourself short just because some of the competition looks ready to win a gold medal on an international stage — gadgets aren’t everything.
It’s not unusual to feel a little uncomfortable, even nauseous, on the big day.
You still need to take care of your body though, and that means proper nutrition and hydration.
3. Stick To Your Plan
If some of the competitors are doing something different from you, don’t stress out.
They may know something you don’t — and don’t be afraid to ask, but many people just have their own unique style.
Trying to change your plan at the last possible moment can lead you into a world of trouble, so make sure it’s necessary before you make any big adjustments.
4. Suit Up
A high-quality tri suit is the secret weapon you didn’t know you needed.
They’re designed to help you through all three events, and that’s not something any normal clothing can do.
Staying comfortable and aerodynamic throughout the entire competition will help you to perform at your best, and you’ll look stylish, too.
5. Swim Draft
In most triathlons it’s against the rules to draft during the bike section — but not while you’re swimming.
Don’t get so close that you’re going to touch another competitor, but staying about 2 feet behind them will make your swim a lot easier.
6. Traffic Etiquette
Some people are faster than others when it comes to mounting their bikes.
If you’re not the fastest, practice will help — until you get your speed up though, move your bike to the side while you mount, so you don’t cause a traffic jam.
7. Only Essentials
It can be tempting to pack your pockets and your bike with gear — who knows what you may need out there, right?
All that stuff can weigh you down, though — throw off your balance, and make you less aerodynamic.
Keep it simple. Stick to the things you absolutely need, like your water bottle, and you’ll be fine.
8. Practice, Practice, Practice
When you’re done with the event, don’t get discouraged if you’re not at the front of the pack.
Make notes about where you could have done better and plan to get more practice with those parts of the race.
Competing in a triathlon is an experience you’re not likely to ever forget, so make sure you remember to have fun out there.
Consider getting yourself a top-notch tri suit, and you’ll have a much more comfortable race, as well as being incredibly aerodynamic.
Then just keep on practicing until you master those transitions, and you’ll be a top competitor before you know it.
You’ve got this!