Triathlon Beginner's GuidePresented by: WannaTri Coaching
Racing is your reward for training. After weeks of training, you get to test your fitness gains against yourself and others. Even people who label themselves as “not serious” get a little competitive on race day. Race advice varies as greatly as does training and gear advice. The emphasis should be on enjoying the race experience without being obsessed with a fast finish time.
Nerves abound prior to the swim start. For safety reasons, most races typically start athletes in groups according to age-groups. Once the starting gun sounds, it’s go time! First timers often get rattled in the water because there is a lot of contact with other swimmers. For those athletes, it’s advisable to start near the back of the group to minimize contact. Also, pay attention to your pacing and avoid going out too fast. It is better to swim smooth, straight, and slower than to beat up the water and swim all over the course.
Most first timers see finishing the swim leg as a victory itself. For the remainder of the race, pacing is paramount; go too fast on the bike, and the run is misery. Remember to stay hydrated and fueled; drink plenty of electrolytes and water on the bike. The nutrition aspect of racing takes a lot of time to dial in. Experiment on your training rides and runs to be prepared for race day. Here is a race day checklist from Wannatri so you don’t leave anything at home.
Finally, smile! There are usually photographers out on the course. You’ll want to look good for your finishing photo!