Tips for your first Triathlon
As I embark on the last two months until my first Olympic triathlon, I’d like to share 5 things I’ve learned so far.
#1 Surround yourself with supportive people
One of the most important things I’ve learned on my fitness journey is that you must surround yourself with supportive peeps. There will be day’s when you feel like you are not good enough. Your run will be too slow, your swim too challenging and your biking ridiculously tiring. But it’s the people around you who will keep you going. I’ve called friends crying my eyes out and complained to my trainer and gym mates that I just couldn’t do it. But they NEVER let me leave them without pumping me full of confidence and assurance.
#2 You’re going to drop mad cash.
Ok maybe not MAD cash, but you’re going to have to dig in your pockets, especially if you’re starting from scratch. I myself had no idea all the things I would need. Swim coaching, a bike, TWO gym memberships, swim gear, running gear, cycling shoes…the list continues. With all new fitness endeavors a little green will be spent. I recommend being frugal, but not cheap. It’s best not to cut corners when training. If you need it BUY it. I was using a friends old cycling shoes for the first half of my training, but my new shoes (that fit me properly) made my ride so much smoother and easier.
#3 Get proper training in your weaker areas
I had absolutely no swimming skills at the start of my training as other areas of fitnesss, so I found a swim coach who I now see Mondays and Wednesdays, and thank GOD for her. I can now swim laps and come race day I will be able to keep up and finish. A good Tri friend of mine was having difficulties running (knee pain, form, enjoyment) so she sought out a coach. She recently PR’ed at a 9 minute mile and is improving every week. Whatever your weakness, seek help.
#4 Research Research Research
If there is something you don’t know RESEARCH. Google..YouTube…your local library..Tri friends. I’ve watched countless videos on Swim and biking form, and read several triathlon training books. I’ve pestered Triathlete friends and coaches with NO shame. The information is out there waiting for you.
#5 Be Patient with yourself
I must admit, I’m pretty hard on myself. However, when training you MUST be patient and most of all KIND. Nothing great happens over night. Triathlons are all about endurance and it takes time to build that endurance. So don’t sweat it, you’ll get there.
At the end of the day, this is your first Triathlon. Don’t be concerned with time…FOCUS on finishing. Well, at least that’s where I’m placing all my energy and focus. I know as soon as my foot hits the finish line every struggle and dollar spent will be worth it and I hope it’s the same for you.
Laters, Loni H.