There are tons of triathlon events all over the world every year that provide exhilarating experiences, challenging athletes to perform their very best.
If you’re thinking of becoming a triathlete or at least giving a triathlon a whirl, you’ve come to the right day and age. Triathlon events are extremely popular – and plentiful.
The trick to a successful triathlon or simply the enjoyment of participating in one, is of course, being well prepared.
Since triathlons consist of three main activities, this preparation can take some time. That being said, triathlon distances vary, as do levels of difficulty, so no matter what your level of fitness is, there are ways for you to succeed.
To accomplish this, we’ve put together a successful and easy plan on how to get you started on your first triathlon event so that you can make it as memorable and enjoyable as possible.
Triathlon Parts and How to Prepare for Each
If you’re looking to sign up for your first triathlon, or if you’re looking to brush up on your training skills to do even better in your next race, this list will help you understand what it is you should be working on in order to be safe, succeed and have the best time possible.
This element of a triathlon is most participants’ least favorite of the three activities.
This part of the triathlon is typically done in open water like a lake or the sea, where you can’t touch the ground or find an organized course to follow.
That’s why swimming is the first on our list of how to prepare for triathlon events. Tackle this element first and the other two will seem like a breeze.
There’s no actual technique to swim in a triathlon, besides the fact that you may need to lift your arms a bit higher than usual if the water is choppier than normal.
The best tip of advice is to look where you’re going. To do this without stopping, lift your head after every few strokes to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. Also, make sure to practice breathing from both sides. This will help avoid elbows in the face. If you start to become anxious, as some swimmers and first-timers do, wade off to the side for a breather, then head back in when you’re ready.
Tip: Practice swimming with friends or a group of people in a pool, or even better, open water before diving into a triathlon. It will help you get used to swimming with many people in deep water areas.
This is the longest section of the triathlon which is why you should take more time practicing for this part than the others.
First tip is to set your bike up correctly so that you feel as comfortable on it as possible. Check out this article for advice on how to set it up properly.
Also, make sure to get clipless pedals as it will give you more power and speed.
The more often you get out to ride, the more confident you’ll become. Set up some goals for yourself. Depending on the distance of your triathlon, you can work your way up towards the length of the cycle section in your specific triathlon.
While you’re practicing on the road, make sure to count your bike cadence or pedaling rate. The ideal cadence is 90 revolutions per minute. To calculate this, count the amount of times a foot gets to the bottom of the stroke in 30 seconds. You can do this while practicing different speeds and gear settings as well.
The running section of the triathlon determines the winner.
The distance isn’t the issue here, it’s the fact that at this point, your body is exhausted from the swim and cycle and trying to find the strength to push through.
Here, training is key. To maximize speed and minimize pain, you should plan to train multiple times a week. If you’re a beginner runner, no worries – take it slow.
You should simply become comfortable running the distance of the foot race first. Then, build up speed and switch up your technique. Check out this article for more training technique ideas for the running section of a triathlon.
Preparing for Triathlon Events: Final Step
Once you have trained your body and mind to feel comfortable in each section of a triathlon, try partnering with others. The challenge and natural competition associated with partner or group training will help you improve even more.
After that, it’s time to find yourself a triathlon event! Trifind is a popular site for tracking down lots of different triathlons in different areas.