Triathlons have an enticing allure for athletes who like taking on challenges. Three different sports thrown into one event virtually guarantees to take you out of your comfort zone.
As with many new ventures, preparation is key and figuring out how you plan to tackle the different elements of the race can make a big difference to your enjoyment and performance on the big day.
So here are five key tips to consider before your first triathlon.
Do Brick Sessions
Getting an idea of what it feels like to be hit by dizziness when you exit the water and step on the bike, or to start a run with your legs feeling like jelly, is an important element of tri training. Even just one or two brick sessions, which involve combining a swim session with a bike or a bike session with a run, are worth doing so you know what to expect.
Get Your Swimming Equipment Right
You might be cautious of splashing out masses of money on a high-tech tri-suit before you’ve even attempted the sport, but spending wisely can affect your experience on the swim. A decent wet suit can aid buoyancy and eliminate drag, making your life a lot easier in the water. Investing in a slightly more expensive pair of goggles can also go a long way.
Try To Draft On The Swim
Drafting on the bike is illegal at most triathlons, but it’s allowed in the swim. If you position yourself about two feet behind another swimmers toes you should be able to save some energy for the later stages.
Increase Cadence Towards The End Of The Bike
It might be tempting to put in a big finish towards the end of the bike leg, but it could slow you down for the run. Spinning your legs at a higher cadence as you approach the second transition to loosen up the muscles and help them adjust to a very different activity.
Take Your Time In Transitions
You might have heard about how important it is to avoid wasting time in transitions. The best way to do this, as a beginner in particular, is to have patience and slow things down. You don’t want to forget something and end up having to turn round - this will break all your momentum.