There are few races more rewarding, or more challenging, than the triathlon. The combination of biking, running and swimming is tough but absolutely doable. Millions of athletes of all stripes have done it and you can too. These tips will help you get ready to toe the line and get to the finish on race day.
Start brick training early
One of the challenges of triathlons is the transitions, especially from bike to feet. Add training sessions pairing events so the muscles used for biking and running have time to adapt. For example, build up to race distance plus one mile and then practice your run after that. By the time you reach race day you will be ready to run and roll without missing a beat.
A high-quality nutrition program will help you deliver your best performance. Just don’t overdo it. It is common with training to overestimate calories burned and underestimate calories consumed. Triathlon training should not be an excuse to overindulge. Instead eat sensibly and include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits, veggies and even some fats. The balance of nutrients will give you the energy you need to endure during hard training days. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can reduce performance and cause dizziness, headache or injury.
Get the right gear
When it comes to triathlon races comfort is the real winner. Spring for swim goggles, a bike that has been sized for you and appropriate attire for each event. Train in the clothes you will wear on event day. New gear on race day could lead to blisters or the distraction of chafing.
Know your limits
It may be wise to sign up for a sprint rather than a full triathlon if you are pretty new to endurance events. With a shorter, or sprint triathlon, you gain the experience with a little less pain. Ready for more? Go for the full!
Join a group
Training is fun when there’s more than one. Your local running store or club can help you find a tri-training that is right for you. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie and competition when you train with a crew.
Train your thoughts
Your attitude shapes your experience. That is particularly true when you are facing a challenge. Don’t just train your body to prepare for the triathlon, train your mind. You need to build mental stamina that helps you stay on track when others might give up. If you want to make it to the finish line you have to make up your mind that you will do what it takes to make it happen.
If training for a triathlon is on your bucket list – go for it. Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare so you are physically and emotionally ready. Join a group or follow a training plan and eat to fuel your success along the way. That finisher’s medal will be on your neck before you know it.