Ever Considered Racing a Triathlon?
You found your way here which means you have set some pretty awesome goals for yourself. If one of those goals includes completing your first triathlon welcome to the tribe! I want this post to serve as a beginners guide to triathlon. Consider this your one stop to getting started in the sport right! I hope you are ready to have some fun, we will be discussing everything from gear, and transitions, to nutrition and what you need to know on race day. While we have some great things in store for you if you have any burning questions you need answered, or topics you would like covered, please don’t hesitate to send me a message, or leave a comment below. My goal with this series is to get your pumped up for your first triathlon while providing all of the tools you need to cross that finish line.
My First Triathlon
I have been racing triathlon for years now, I even founded a collegiate triathlon team, but there was a time when I was facing my very first race too. Everyone has their own reasons for tackling their first triathlon, for me it was about supporting my mom. For years she had told me that her dream was to one day finish a triathlon, but another year would pass and still no training. Until one year I finally said “let’s just do one then!” It was already late summer and there was only one race left in the season. My mom said she would do one with me, but she needed a chance to train. We set a deadline for the following spring and began training. With little to go on but guts, and youth my training plan consisted of running, biking, or swimming, when I felt like it.
At the time I only had an old mountain bike, which I decided wasn’t what I wanted to race on. I was convinced I would love triathlon, so I decided to invest in a carbon tri bike. I went to a local bike shop excited to get my new bike, I had read about the Cervello P2C and it was love at first sight. I told the salesman I was there to purchase a tri bike and he wasted no time telling me that I could not ride a tri bike, because I was a woman, seriously. You better believe I left that shop as fast as my legs would carry me, and never returned, not even for a co2 cartridge or tire tube. Next stop was Speedy Reedys in Seattle. What a difference, everyone there was awesome to work with. I would have bought my bike there,but they were completely out of stock. It appears everyone in the Seattle area had read the same review I had in Triathlete magazine, Which simply stated the Cervello P2C was the best buy for a new triathlete. After a good deal of searching I finally found an online shop that had the bike of my dreams in, All3sports.com. With out a moments hesitation I purchased my bike online, no tire kicking, no test ride, I was sold. It is important to remember at this point that I had never ridden a triathlon bike in my life. While it all worked out for me and I love my bike, knowing what I do now I would not recommend buying your first bike the way I did. Triathlon bikes are very different from road bikes. They handle differently, they climb differently, and they are challenging to master.
Because I had to wait for my bike to ship I did the majority of my training in a spin class, and only had time for two outdoor rides before my first race. As I had a sever dislike of running at the time, I also ran the bare minimum required to complete the race, about once a week, tops. Looking back at my triathlon journey I’m glad I did my first race at 20, when my body could handle being thrown into a triathlon so unprepared. Ready or not I did make it to the starting line on race day. I was a ball of nerves and excitement all rolled into one. After the start gun went off and I was submerged in cold lake water, I remember thinking, “Why did I sign up for this again?” It’s easy to let a little bit of doubt sneak in as you swim through those murky waters, blind to what is ahead. All you can do is tell yourself, “Just keep swimming.” I made it through the swim and onto the bike, which felt exhilarating! I remember hammering it up a nasty hill that first race. it turns out that killer hill I remember doesn’t even register as a category 5 climb. It’s funny how different courses look through the eyes of experience. I made it through the bike and out on to the run. This is where I began to fall apart. My feet where numb blocks of ice. I couldn’t feel the trail beneath my feet. I tried to keep running but eventually I slowed to a walk. I kept moving forward as I caught my breath and my feet began to thaw. Then two runners came up from behind me. I will always remember these two guys, one of them called out “just keep running! If you stop you die,” something clicked and I began to run again. Without another word these guys kept pace with me until they were sure I would keep running, then they were gone. I didn’t stop again until I crossed that finish line. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, and I was in love! I enjoyed the post-race Barbecue and cheering on the rest of the finishers, including my mom.
Despite a somewhat rocky start I went on to finish 3 more races that year, and have been racing ever since. I love triathlon, and I wouldn’t trade my journey for anything, but looking back I could have been more prepared. That is why I have created this Triathlon Beginners Series, so you can go into your first race with all of the tips and tricks that come from experience. I love this sport, and I want to make your first race a success!
Are you looking for help getting started right? I offer personalized triathlon coaching to athletes all over the United States. If you are looking for a training plan customized to your current fitness level and up coming goals than I am here to help!
Training Programs Include:
- A 100% Customized training program based off your current fitness level & goals
- Tips to improve your form, speed, and overall performance
- Detailed explanations for each workout
- Feed back on training progress
- Periodized training plan with base, build, peak, and taper periods
- Assistance selecting your race(s) and race day strategies
- Regular access to to your coach,me, via email!
To find out more send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what my programs check out my Coaching Page for more information. Let’s make this year the best season yet!
I want to hear from you! What is your number one question about racing triathlons? If you have raced before what do you wish you knew starting out? And what got you started in triathlon?
Can’t wait to get started? Check out this Triathlon mini series I did for Top Fitness Magazine:
Triathlon Beginners Series
- Time To Pick Your First Race: 6 Things To Consider When Signing Up For Your First Triathlon
- How To Create Your Triathlon Race Calendar
- Swim Gear Bag: Whats In Yours?
- Swim Lane Etiquette: 5 Rules To Swim By
- Getting Started In The Swim
- Mentally Tough: How To Train Your Brain For Race Day