A triathlon is a fantastic competition to take part in if you really want to test your skillset as an athlete. After all, running, swimming, and cycling are all very different and use your muscles and mind in various ways that other sports do not. Here’s what you need to know before you compete in a triathlon.
How Do You Fair With Each Event?
You need to know how you fare with each event so you know how to properly structure your training. There is no point in throwing all your energy into cycling just because you enjoy it if you know that you are not the strongest swimmer. It can often be your weakest leg that will affect your overall score. No one wants to have to use their best event trying to make up time from another – this should be their chance to relax and really get into the swing of the race.
In the run-up to the triathlon you should obviously be training each part of the race well, but you need to make sure that you are paying extra close attention to your weak event. Try to improve your times however you can, and you will hopefully begin to see your overall time creep down too.
If you have one event that you are really not going to be able to manage well, you might want to consider a relay triathlon. This is competed in teams, meaning that you have a chance to say goodbye to the event that is causing you issues.
Do You Have the Right Equipment?
Obviously, you need to have the right equipment for the triathlon. The first thing you need to think about is the clothing that you will be racing in. It is not uncommon for many triathletes to race the entire way in their swimwear or wetsuit. Whether they are in the water, on their bike, or running for the finishing line, they will be in their wet gear.
Others do not like to do this, and so they might have a bag of gear to change into once they get out of the water. Remember that your time will not stop as you do change, so if you do want to put something else on you better do it quickly.
In a triathlon, your equipment also extends far past the gear that you are wearing. You need to make sure that you have a good bike and decent running shoes. Ideally, your bike should be lightweight to help with speed, and your running shoes should be fitted to you specifically.
You might also wish to take out a policy of insurance for triathletes. Not all racers will have insurance for triathletes but it can be a good little safety blanket to have.
Where is the Race?
The local environmental factors could have a massive impact on your performance, so you need to make sure that you do some research into where the triathlon is and what the weather will be like when you are there. After all, a triathlon in the Scottish Highlands will be very different from one in Spain or Greece.
You need to be aware of how things like a change in water temperature are going to affect you. Going suddenly into cold water for the swim can knock the air from your lungs, while getting out on the other side of the swim can equally be a struggle. Having to contend with rain and poor visibility, or equally hot sunshine and climbing temperatures, can all make triathlons difficult to complete. You need to make sure that you are dedicated to your training, but you need to put the research in to ensure that you know what to expect on the day of the race itself.
Are You Prepared?
Too many people go headfirst into a triathlon without properly preparing. Even if you are competing in a team event, this is going to use a lot of your energy and stamina – especially if you want a good result at the end. Therefore, you need to make sure that every aspect of your training is taken care of.
Don’t neglect your diet! You need to make sure that you are getting a diet that is packed with nutrients and energy so you are able to both train and compete properly. This is a key part of your prep, and is as crucial as training to ensure that you are able to swim properly or run efficiently.
If you are thinking about competing in a triathlon, you should definitely go for it! This is a fun event that brings together three different skills that many already enjoy. See if there is an amateur triathlon happening in your area soon and get signed up to compete!