TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST TRIATHLON
Watching a triathlon is so inspiring; to see people tackle swimming, riding and running can often make us think about trying it for ourselves. As triathlon season begins, many people will be taking on their own challenge having been inspired by others. But what do you need to know for your first triathlon? We’ve put together 6 top tips to help you through your first triathlon with ease:
- Leave 3 hours between eating and starting the race.
Ideally you should start fuelling for a race of this length 24 hours before, paying particular attention to your diet to ensure you get plenty of protein. On the morning of the race, your breakfast should be around 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat – and you need to have finished it around two and a half to three hours before the race starts to give your body a chance to digest it before you begin your race.
- Organise your kit
Use something like Kitbrix to keep your kit organised so that you can find things easily. With swimming kit, trainers, bike helmet as well as clothing for before and after, toiletries and everything else, just shoving it all into one bag will just bring added stress on race morning.
- Think ahead to transitions
Transition areas are often where people get tripped or lose their stride. Map out the transition area and make sure you know how you’ll move from the swim to the bike, where the bike out and in areas are, and where the run out will be. Use things like lamp posts to help you spot where your position will be. You can even take a little time to walk through these sections once or twice so that you know what to expect when it comes to the real thing. Mentally rehearse what you’ll do at each transition point; know the exact order you’ll put on your bike and run gear; rehearse it all in your head.
- Stay warm
There’s a lot of waiting around before the race begins, and it can be tempting to just stand about chatting, drinking your water and feeling nervous. None of those are great things to do before a race. For twenty minutes before the race, you should try to get your heart rate up and keep it there. Ride your bike for a few miles if you’re able to take it out of transition; otherwise you can swim or do some dynamic moves and stretches. The key is to be warm and limber when the time comes to begin your swim.
- Prepare for the finish
We spend so long preparing for the actual race, it’s easy to overlook what will happen when we actually get to the end! After a swim, bike and a run you will be very tired; and you will get very cold, very quickly. A dryrobe is an excellent piece of kit that will help you to stay warm when you finish, but also allow you privacy to change into clean, dry clothes without having to queue for a changing room or toilet.
- Prepare for the aftermath
You will be sore after a triathlon; there are no two ways about it. But there are simple things you can do to try and mitigate the pain. Our Turn Up The Heat roller gel is great for tired, aching muscles, and it’s a great idea to book in for a sports massage the following day if you can.
There are lots of other things you will pick up over time, but a lot of it is down to personal preference. These are the things you’ll decide on for your second, third and tenth triathlons. Very few people ever stop at one of these races!
We’ve given you a few tips here to get you started on your first triathlon; good luck and don’t forget to have fun along the way!