If you a runner, can swim fast and love to cycle outdoor, the idea of participating in your first triathlon must have crossed your mind a few times. Triathlon as a sport has come a long way and more and more athletes are taking part in triathlon events worldwide. One of the main reasons people participate because they want to take it up as a personal challenge to test their endurance levels.
For all aspiring participants here are some basic facts about triathlon you should know:
- Find someone who knows about the sport
Talk to a friend, a colleague or a neighbour or anyone in your acquaintance who knows about the sports and has participated in a race. Pick their brain about how to train for a race, how to participate in a race or any tips you think they can provide that will be useful for you.
- Start with a sprint first
Don’t participate in a full fledged triathlon as your first race. That will be too tiresome and stressful on your body. Start small with a sprint race and get more experienced before you consider longer distances.
- Be prepared to spend some cash
Triathlon is an expensive sport and requires a lot of equipment. You will need a good pair of running shoes, swimsuit, swimming goggles, swim cap, a good road bicycle, a helmet, bike gloves, bike shoes , bike shorts, a tri suit (upper and lower for running, swimming and cycling) and a water resistant watch to name a few. There are a few other gadgets and gears you can use according to your need but there are the basic equipment.
- Buy your Bike wisely
Think long and hard before spending on an expensive bike for your first race. Go to your local bike shop, talk to the sales consultant there and invest in a mid level bike. Don’t go for a high end bike readily unless you are sure that you want to participate in triathlons long term. After you participate in a few races, you will be in a better position to know if it’s the right time to upgrade to a better bike.
- Finish your first race
It’s the first time you are participating in a triathlon. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy yourself and have fun. Your goal should be to finish the race. Decide for yourself if you enjoyed the 3 races and you want to continue it long term. Don’t worry about the timing, you will have plenty more races to do that.
- Train harder on you weaker sport
Triathlon is composed of 3 sports. Its understandable if you are weak on any one of the discipline. Normally our strongest forte is the running part. Swimming and cycling requires more stamina and strength as it test our endurance at a much higher level. Think and decide for yourself which sport you are a little weak. Train harder. Spend more time on your bike if you think it is your weakest part on take admission in a swimming club if you think you are a average swimmer.
- Try to limit the uncertainty
It is your first triathlon, understandably you will be nervous about your first race. The hardest part about your first triathlon that will be participating for the first time and there will be lot of uncertainties in your mind. Talk to someone who has participated in a race, ask for inputs that will help you prepare mentally for the race. You will always be jittery before your first race, with experience you get over it. Minimise the uncertainty o that you can be calm and composed on the race day.
I hope these are a few useful tips for those of you who are considering participating in your first triathlon. Triathlon is a hard competition but nothing that your will power can overcome. Be confident and go for your first race. All The Best !