First Timer’s Guide: Triathlon

Tri 2They say all good things come in threes, right?  This weekend I set out to do something I had never done before. The triathlon. I competed in the J-Hawks Triathalon in Whitewater, and it was a fantastic experience. Despite the cold, rain, and 30 mph winds, we managed to complete the event in 2 hours and with smiles on our faces.

Reflecting back on the experience, here are a few tips for triathlon newbies:

Love the bike you’re with – your bike will probably be the biggest expense associated with a triathlon. I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s no need to buy a new bike, the one you already have will suit you just fine. Mountain bike or road bike, it doesn’t matter. Ride whatever you are most comfortable using for the race’s distance. Or borrow one if you have to. Just make sure it’s in good working order before you head out.

Stay close to home – find an event in your hometown, or in a neighboring city. You’ll be less worried and stressed. You will enjoy the event so much more because you are not thinking about missing a flight connection, or losing sleep in an uncomfortable hotel. Stay close to home at first, and expand further and further as you become more comfortable with the event.

Practice transitions – the time between the three parts of the race are called transitions. You’ll be rushing to switch your gear during the transitions, and the faster you can do it the better. It may seem silly, but do a dry run before the race. This way you will be sure what you need, and at what point. This will help you plan how you pack your gear, and what pieces are ‘need to have’ and what gear is ‘nice to have’.

Leave your new gear at home – do not use brand new gear on race day. Why? There’s always that chance that it will rub a certain way, or jostles just enough to irritate you for the entire race. Additionally, with pre race, race, and post race gear – you’ll have several articles of clothing to keep track of.  You might leave something behind, which was my experience (RIP favorite running tights and socks). It’d be a shame to ‘donate’ something brand new to the lost and found pile.

Ready to try the tri? Search ‘Triathlon’ in GoStrive app to find the events happening in your community!