If you’ve signed up for your first triathlon (or are considering doing so), good for you! Competing in this type of event is a great way to have fun with fitness. However, since this is your first time going through the three-activity course, there are some things you’re going to want to keep in mind both as you train and while completing the race.
Here are just a few of them:
Train using the same ratios as the race. For instance, swimming is where you’ll spend the smallest amount of time on race day (about 1/5th of the total), so your training should reflect the same. A majority of your race will be spent in the run, so this is where you should spend a majority of your training.
Train using appropriate intensities. Remember that training is simply that – getting your body ready for the event ahead. Therefore, you’re not going to want to spend all of your workout sessions hitting it hard and heavy. You’re better off starting slowly and focusing on form versus intensity.
Stay fueled. Make sure you eat enough carbs and protein during your training regimen, as well as before the race itself. Also, sip on water often, switching over to vitamin and electrolyte formulated sports drinks once you’re on the course to help you sustain your momentum and energy over the long haul.
Don’t forget to stretch. Because you will be working certain muscle groups quite hard during training (as well as on race day), stretching is of utmost importance. It will keep your muscles limber and help prevent overuse type of injuries.
Plan to take a steady pace on race day. A lot of first time participants burn out quickly because they hit it too hard in the beginning of the race. Your goal should be to keep a pace that you can sustain during the entire triathlon, allowing you to kick it up toward the finish line, if you can.
Now get out there and have fun while getting fit. That is the purpose, isn’t it?