Participating in a triathlon can be one of the most exciting yet difficult tasks an amateur athlete can take part in. The combination of long-distance swimming, biking and running can take a toll on your body, especially if you’re not prepared. If you’re gearing up for an upcoming triathlon, there are several important things you should do to make sure you’re ready.
Set Realistic Goals
Keep a realistic goal in mind. If you don’t have something to shoot for, there’s no way to tell how well your training is going. Talk with an experienced triathlete and have her help you determine what a realistic time is for each event you will participate in. Then use those times to help build up and train in preparation for the event. This will help you avoid over- and even under-training. When you have a goal in mind, you can take the steps you need to take in order to be ready when race day is upon you.
Many first-time triathletes, and even some experienced ones, lose precious time when making the transition from one event to the next. Fumbling over your shoes after the swim or struggling to get your bike helmet on can cost you seconds or even minutes if you haven’t practiced your transition routine. As part of your training, take time to practice the actions you’ll need to perform during the triathlon to transition from event to event, until you have them down to a set routine. Practice packing your swimming-to-cycling bag and cycling-to-running bag so everything is accessible in the order you’ll need it. When race time comes, you’ll be prepared to make quick transitions and maybe even pick up some extra time.
Take Care of Your Feet
Healthy, blister-free feet are a triathlete’s best friend. Getting your feet accustomed to the rigors of the triathlon during training will help them endure the big race when it comes around. Not preparing them could mean blisters and sores, which is not what you want when you’re biking and running long distances. Monitor your feet throughout the training process, and take care of any blisters and sores before they become a serious problem. Your cycling and running shoes are the most important piece of equipment you have, so make sure they are the perfect fit, and take note how many miles you put on them as you train so you can get new ones before the race if you need to.
About this Author
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President’s Cancer Panel, and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter, with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports, and writes relevant sports titles.