So you’ve signed up for your first Tri and you find you have more in common with the Biggest Loser contestants than how to swim, bike, run your way to the finish line. It’s not as hard as you think and this is why Triathlon is becoming one of Australia’s fastest growing sports. Go short before you go long. Enter an Enticer or a sprint and build from there. This will ensure you can have longevity in the sport. Triathlon is a lifestyle sport and you will find yourself telling your friends that you have to be home at 9pm so you can get up at 5am the next morning to train. However balance is also a big part of any new hobby so make sure your goals are realistic and you don’t lose sight of why you first signed up. Here are some key points to make your first tri a memorable day and to have you back online Monday morning searching for the next event:
- Bike, Helmet, Run shoes, Goggle, Tri suit, Number belt
This is the bare minimum and if you find that you loved your first race and are ‘hooked’, drop into your local bike or tri store and swap those heels for some race flats or your golf clubs for a new carbon bike.
Join a group of like minded people. You will soon meet many other people exactly like you and it is also a great way to socialise. Training loads vary depending on your level of fitness, but for a Sprint or Olympic distance Tri you should look at 8 – 12 weeks of training with 6 sessions per week. The amount of volume depends on your level of fitness so start at a level you can maintain and increase by 10% each week. Recovery is king whether you are a beginner or elite so schedule a day off per week and have an easy week each month.
This is the most enjoyable part of the experience. Arrive to the race early and familiarise yourself with the course. Walk through transition as if you were in the race to familiarise yourself with the swim/bike/run entry and exit points as this will help you find your bike during the race. Read the race day rules and course maps prior as this will often cover most of your questions.
But most importantly remember to have fun, smile and acknowledge your support crew!
Written for Why Fitness Magazine by Jason and Lisa Crowther