Or, maybe you're thinking "what did I just get myself in to?"
Before you back out or don't show up to the start, consider a few tips and pointers to get you going in the right direction. With the right information and tools, you can make this maiden voyage a great experience and maybe even start drinking the multisport kool-aid and SIGN UP FOR ANOTHER ONE!
That's the goal of any good triathlete... get your friends involved so they stop making fun of you are think you're crazy.
Plan it out.
- Are you going self taught, or coached?
- New to swimming? Consider a coach, team program or masters swim to have a professional on hand to get your fundamentals down before you hit open water. No one wants to be pulled from the swim on their first race.
- Practice in open water before hitting the real thing.
- Consider an indoor triathlon to get your feet wet, literally.
Get the gear.
- When's the race? If the water will be cold, consider a wetsuit. www.XterraWetsuits.com is a great start and use code "C-STPM" for a discount for my readers.
- Invest in a bike trainer. The cold months may mean no outdoor biking, but riding a trainer in the cold months indoors will put you light years ahead of those without in your training and bike readiness.
- Consider a triathlon specific racing kit. They are much different than bike shorts and bike jerseys. You could have a swimsuit for the swim, bike clothes for the bike and run clothes for the run, but you will spend a lot of time and energy changing clothes in a race.
- Swim training gear is essential. Check out SWIM OUTLET for a list of recommended items from flippers to paddles. Learn to love the pool and have the right gear.
- Get a bike. Road bike preferably. Shop deals at your bike shops and ask for older models in the back they are looking to off load. Deals deals deals.
- Bike helmet - well duh, right?
- Consider clipless bike shoes. So much energy can be saved with this system.
- Run shoes (I like ASICS, personally), duh again.
- Consider good socks and a visor for ventilation and shade along with sunglasses.
- Race gear may be different than training gear. Don't want to wear out your tri kit in the pool for race day!
- Consider a quality GPS and heart rate tracking device for training and racing. Racing smarter, not harder in today's time crunched world can pay dividends. I recommend the Garmin 920XT or the FENIX 3. Both great options.
Nutrition + Hydration
- Better figure out now how to fuel and hydrate yourself. Whether you're doing a sprint or full Ironman race, if you don't know what you can and cannot eat during a race and training, then you're in for some problems.
- Figure out morning meals before workouts.
- Figure out best meal planning before races.
- Figure out what you can digest during a race.
- Sugary sports drinks and gels may not be the best option, even though they have tons of marketing dollars behind them.
- I use UCAN personally and love the superstarch and hydrate sticks. Check it out.
- Don't go gung ho and sign up for ton of races before you get the feel for it.
- Don't race every weekend and wonder why you don't get better. Train, race, recover.
- Practice races. Practice transitions. More practice!
- Include the family. Nothing alienates a person from their significant others like jumping into a time crunching and costly adventure without talking it out.
- Develop a solid workable training plan and stick with it. Get a coach involved if you're feeling lost. Don't download a plan and make a square peg fit a round hole.
Those are just a few of my tips I've picked up over time. Each one could be a post on its own.
Leave a message on the post of you have questions and I can always follow up with a more detailed post!
Thanks for reading!