Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Race Tips!

Here in the Midwest, Tri season is about to get seriously underway.  I know lots of people heading off to do their first races in the next couple of weeks.  Here are my top tips to help you have a fun and successful first race!

1.  Pack early!  I have been to races with newbies who have forgotten helmets, sunglasses, shorts, and even their running shoes!  Triathlons take a lot of gear, have your bag packed and thoroughly checked the night before.  Use a checklist (such as and double check!

2. Bring backup!  This has two meanings to me:

  •       Things that could break- goggles, bikes tubes, swim caps, etc- bring extras.
  •       Bring someone along with you that will not let you turn around and go home when you see all the people and your nerves get the best of you.  You know you are ready and you have trained hard, but  your first race will still be very scary.  Bring along a supporter and remember there are lots of other newbies out there.
3.  Have goals.   Yes, the goal of your first race should be to just finish, but I like to set 3-tiered goals for each race.    The first goal is one that you will be happy with (ie-to finish).  The second one you would be thrilled with (ie-to finish and get my 5K under 25 minutes.  The third one you would be ecstatic, over the moon super excited (ie- to finish and get an award in my age group).  This three tiered system almost never lets me down and gives me more than one thing to focus on should things not go perfectly.

4.  Have a blast!  Only a very small percentage of the population even attempts a triathlon, so you are doing something pretty awesome. Enjoy the day and embrace that feeling of crossing the finish line.  Remember how great you feel so when you find yourself training for you next one you aren't wondering "What the heck am I doing this again for?!?!?!"

Race fast! -Coach A

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