Thursday, May 5, 2011

Six Tips for Beginner Triathletes

Today I had three friends randomly message me with questions about triathlons- not through my website, not current clients, just a couple old friends who had burning questions.  That tells me that things are starting to heat up in the Midwest and people are getting bitten by the tri-bug.  Here are my "Six Tips for Beginner Triathletes."

1. Do it!  You won't regret it!  Every year I train a group of women for the Trek Triathlon.  Every year I get a couple of ladies who join the group "just to get fit, not to race."  Every year I talk those women into racing and NEVER has anyone regretted it.  There is no better feeling than crossing a finish line.  If you are thinking about doing a Tri, register now and get your training on track tomorrow. 
2. Don't do too much, too fast. I have heard that overuse injuries are on the rise.  I also know that thousands of people are jumping on to the triathlon and marathon bandwagon, which is fabulous!  Just don’t go all out your first week of training.  Train smart- hire a coach!
3. Ask around for first race recommendations.  There are hundreds of triathlons out there to choose from. Some are perfect for beginners, others not so great.  Before you register know what to expect- Hills? Thousands of people?  A race so small you are not sure which way to turn on the run?  It is better if you know what you are getting into. 
4. Go bare bones on your first race.  Triathlon is three sports in one, which makes it about three times more expensive than the average sport.   You don’t need all the fancy gear for your first sprint.  Goggles, tri shorts/top, bike w/water bottle, and running shoes are truly sufficient.  Once you are hooked (which you will be) you can make small investments each year. 
5.  Sit down with an experienced triathlete to talk about race day.  Besides being able to finish the three disciplines, there is a lot to know on race day.  Transitions and what to wear can make up an hour conversation just by themselves.  Go over the game plan before you get there. 
6.  Get someone on board to see you through to the end.  Triathlons are intimidating.  To the newbie, triathletes are scary, fit, type A people.  If I had not recruited my husband to come with me to my first race 11 years ago I would have certainly turned around and not done the race.  Have someone there to support you through the training and race whether it be a friend, coach or training group.

I have a lot more info to share…Let’s talk!
-Coach A

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