Training for and competing in a triathlon is the perfect way to not only challenge yourself, but to stay in shape and give yourself an adrenaline boost. It’s also fun to be competitive and actually win a race of ANY kind.
A triathlon usually consists of a cylcing, swimming or boating, and then running. Participants complete each leg of the event, varying in distance, starting with swimming/boating and concluding with running.
Below are five guidelines to follow for participants who are training or competing for the first time:
1. Evaluate Your Health. You need to evaluate your mental and physical condition, assessing your current capabilities. Check with a doctor before you even start training so they can give you the green light to compete.
2. Check The Calendar. You need to know how much time you have to train for the competition. It takes time for your body to adjust to extreme activities, so you need to give it time to do that before you jump right into something.
3. Improvements. Look at what you can improve upon and focus on that. If you have limited time remaining, you may want to focus on improving your techniques and efficiency. For instance, focus on swimming/boating drills to improve your form, instead of just logging endless slow laps to build endurance.
4. Form A Strategy. Most months-long training plans give you a little bit of leeway for sickness and days when you’re feeling a little off. Take the time to heal and don’t push yourself too much during those times.
5. Have Realistic Expectations. If you’re coming back from an injury, make sure you’ve fully recovered before you start working an injured body part, or risk re-injury. Don’t dwell on any fitness activity you think you may have lost or are lacking. Don’t keep pushing ahead even though you are in pain. That could lead to permanent damage, where you might never race again or live life normally.
Triathlon bikes are designed to specifically reduce wind resistance. Riders of these bikes use the wind to help them move faster, and for this reason they are built using flat handlebars that are more aerodynamic. The light frames and handlebars are lower on the bike than on a normal road bike. These special handlebars are called aerobars.
By having a lower height than regular bikes, they are able to prevent the rider from exhausting the muscles they need for the other two stages of the race, and therefore allowing them to perform better.
There are mainly two kinds of kayaks. One is the sit-in cockpit style and the other is the sit-on-top style. Obviously, with the sit-on-top, you are sitting on top of the kayak in an open area. The cockpit models involve sitting with your legs and hips inside the kayak’s hull and sometimes using a spray skirt that will create a water resistant seal around your waist.
The best kayaks for racing are long and thin, like the Seaward Passat G3, which is known for its racing abilities. There are also very lightweight origami kayaks, like the Oru Coast, that can travel at a fast speed as well, but it all comes down to testing them out, if you can. You can read kayak reviews first to decide what would be best.
Triathlons are best suited to those who run on a daily basis and their bodies are used to it. They are able to take the strain on the body of a long run, and they know what to do to maintain that fitness level. Those who are just beginning have to seriously train and build their way up each week or two, to go further and further each time. They will start by competing in smaller races and then move on to longer ones once they have trained enough.
Make sure to get proper running shoes and any other items you may need, like compression socks and comfortable, breathable clothing. The main obvious rule is to always stay hydrated, especially if you sweat a lot.
Have fun, take care of yourself, and good luck!