Tomorrow is the first of three Sprint Triathlons in Shelbyville put on by Headfirst Performance.
These races are well suited for first timers as they are short, the swim is in a pool and there are not thousands of other athletes to contend with. I did my first triathlon in 2008 and I had no clue what I was doing…and no one to ask questions to. I made lots of mistakes, but I really wish I had known more going in.
With that in mind, here’s a quick list of tips for those doing a triathlon for the first time:
- Make a checklist – Stick to the basics (only use gear you’ll need) – here’s a good list to start with (not all items will apply to a Sprint Triathlon)
- Plan each discipline (run, bike, swim) – What to wear, how to pace yourself, what if…you get a flat tire, your goggles are leaking, etc.
- Practice transitions – Have a routine and stick to it so you don’t leave anything out
- Visualize your race – Think about the run, bike, swim and transitions. See yourself racing in your mind. Think about transition before you get there. Have a nutrition plan that you’ve practiced
- Get to the race early – Don’t rush setting up transition and learning the course
- Ask Questions – If you are not sure of something, ask a race volunteer or other athlete
- Run your own race – Don’t let people around you make you change your plan
- Expect for something to go wrong – There is no such thing as a perfect race
- Enjoy the experience – Warning! You may get hooked on the sport
- Write a race report or take notes while it’s fresh in your mind. – Write down what you did right and what you want to do different next time.
If you have any questions about this list of anything else regarding the race tomorrow (or any triathlon), please ask. I have lots of experience and have learned a lot racing over the last eight years. If you are racing tomorrow, come find me and introduce yourself. If you haven’t registered, it’s not too late. You can just show up in the morning and race. Good luck out there!
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