1. Go short before going long.
Begin with a shorter sprint-distance event or Standard-distance event
2. Stay close to home.
For the first race, make it easy on yourself and select an event close to home. If the event is within easy driving distance from your house, it helps reduce race-day stress and hassle. You can also do some of your workouts on the course, increasing your confidence.
3. Just a swim suit and goggles for the swim.
If your event does require a wetsuit, and you don’t own one, some retail stores rent wetsuits. A good pair of goggles and a swim suit made for lap swimming, not sunbathing, is all you need for the swim portion of the event.
4. Your bike is fine.
Any bike you’re currently riding will work just fine. It can be a road bike, mountain bike or hybrid. Many people have completed their first triathlon on a borrowed bicycle. Be sure the bike is correctly fitted to you and is in good working order. (No rotted tires or frayed cables.) It is best that you know how to change a flat tire for training and race day.
5. You need running shoes.
If you do not currently own a pair of running shoes, you need a pair. We recommend going to a good running store near you and let the experts in the store help you select the right pair of running shoes. They should ask you questions about your feet, running history and watch your gait while walking and running.
6. It doesn’t take as much training as you might think.
You are not training for a podium position at an Ironman event for your first race, therefore you do not need to be training 20 to 30 hours per week. You can be ready for a sprint-distance race on less than five hours per week of training. Most weeks are less than five hours.
7. Plan to rest.
For most eager racers, it is easy to plan to swim, bike and run. Be certain you plan to rest as well. You want to do enough training to complete the event and have fun. It is best if you finish the event with a smile and hungry for more races.
8. Transition time counts too.
We have had some beginner triathletes write to tell me they were surprised that the time it takes to change from swimming to cycling and from cycling to running (known as transitions, “T1” and “T2”) counted in overall race time. All of the time between the start of your swim and when you cross the finish line at the end of the run counts. Practice smooth and swift transitions.
9. Plan to do the first half of the race slower.
Most beginners start too fast. Estimate how much time you think it will take you to do the entire event. Plan to do the first half of that total time at a slower pace than you think you’re capable of doing. When you reach the half-way point, you can pick up the pace and finish strong. This is called a negative-split effort.
10. One piece of “trick” equipment.
If you want to pick up one piece of “trick” equipment, purchase elastic shoe laces. Elastic laces allow you to slip your feet into your running shoes and eliminate the need to tie your shoes.
For your first race, try to keep things simple. Once you get hooked on the sport, you can look into ways to get faster or go longer.
If you do your first triathlon this summer, let us know how it goes.
But remember the Golden Rule always ‘Race Safe’
Football fun at Walford College this morning as members practiced their sighting skills.
Sarah Willhoit reigns victorious as SY Open Water Sighting Champion 2015 having won a hard fought swim and retained the magnificent Golden Ball over a distance of 100m. She now keeps the Golden Ball as her trophy and probably her most prized possession.
The Deva Triathlon is an Olympic distance triathlon held in the centre of the historic City of Chester. It is currently in its 16th Year and is run by the City of Chester Triathlon Club members.
I originally entered the Deva Triathlon as a tester for the distance and in preparation for the Salford Olympic Triathlon at the end of July. Little did I know when I entered there were going to be over 1000 competitors and that it was a qualifying event for the World Championships and European Championships (sending me in to panic as it was my first Olympic distance triathlon). However despite the high standard, there were also a good proportion of beginner triathletes.
The course was great and I really enjoyed the route for all three disciplines. The Swim was 850m upstream and then 650m back downstream. Despite being upstream the current wasn’t overly strong and so was suitable for all abilities.
The Bike route was a single loop on a mixture of open and closed roads into Wales via Eccleston, Rossett and Borras and back into Chester via Alford and Boughton. This was a fairly flat course which suited me well as I am not great at hills!
The Run route was by far the hardest discipline for me. It was a little undulating and included running over two bridges, the Old Dee Bridge as well as the suspension bridge – mostly on tarmac but also some gravel on the riverbank paths. The rest of the route continues out on to the Groves and in the Meadows with the finish being at the Bandstand, a truly City Centre race. Despite the run being 3 loops which seems to make things harder, the support that you were getting was amazing and kept you going when you were having those demotivating low points.