Triathlons have surged in popularity in recent years among athletes of all ages and levels of fitness. From the young athlete looking for a new challenge to the older adult out to they still got it, triathlons can be a great opportunity to increase health, fitness, and personal confidence. If you have decided to take on the challenge, here are five tips to maximize your performance.
1- Get the right gear
While you don’t need to go out and buy a whole set of top-of-the-line triathlon gear for your first event, you definitely need to begin well equipped. At the minimum, you will need either a swimsuit or wetsuit and goggles, a quality bicycle, and a good pair of triathlon running shoes. As you become more serious about the sport you can always buy additional gear. Start with the best quality basics you can afford and then upgrade when possible.Give yourself a taste of success by following these few simple tips. Regardless of who you are and your reasons for tackling a triathlon, with proper preparation you are bound to make your first triathlon a victorious experience.
2- Don’t get discouraged
Believe it or not, training for a triathlon doesn’t have to take over your life. For a shorter distance triathlon, you can often prepare by training less than 5 hours per week. In addition, one of the most important aspects of proper training is allowing yourself to rest occasionally. By scaling back your training at least every few weeks you will be more likely to feel energized and excited when you get back into your regular schedule.
3- Practice transitions
Some beginners to triathlons are surprised to learn that the entire time from when the race starts until they cross the finish line is counted into their time. This means that the clock will be running while you transition from one sport to the next. To help yourself run the best race possible, don’t neglect to practice transitioning from swimming to cycling and then changing from bicycling to running.
4- Conserve your energy
Finish your first triathlon on a high note by reserving energy for the second half. One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is that they start out too fast and then find themselves dragging and falling behind in the end. Instead, force yourself to start out slower than you know you can go and then determine what you have left to give halfway through. Once you have reached the halfway point, you can go full throttle and finish strong. This can make you feel stronger and more confident as you celebrate finishing your first event.
5- Start small
You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you choose to sign up for a long-distance triathlon like the Ironman Triathlon as your first event. These incredibly intense events that stretch for a whopping 140.6 miles should be something to build towards not bite off the first time. Instead, start with a shorter sprint or Olympic distance event that will give you a bit of a challenge while letting you enjoy some success.