5 Tips For Your First Triathlon! | Things You Need To Know

5 Tips For Your First Triathlon! | Things You Need To Know


– Racing your first triathlon
can be both an exciting and daunting experience. There can appear to be a
never ending list of things that you need to know about simply to tour the start line
and get yourself going. And whether that is the case or not you need to be so phased that you aren’t able to get yourself ready to start your first triathlon. So with that in mind, today I’m going to be giving you five tips that you might not
necessarily have thought about that can help you with
your first triathlon and tackle it with ease. (upbeat music) Triathlon is a sport of
three disciplines no less. And with that comes a lot of equipment that you can feel pressurized
into while needing to gather up just to be
able to give a race ago. And it can be all too
easy to listen to the chat of groups down at your local track or folk in your local
training group at the pool talking about all the
latest shiny bits of kit that they’ve bought for themselves and then feeling like you need
to be able to do the same, just to be able to race a triathlon. However great the temptation
is don’t fall into this trap just before you’re entering
your first triathlon because with any bit of equipment or kit, the key to being comfortable with it is to use it regularly. Now, I know this might sound
very simple, but it is true. So the last thing that you
actually want to do to yourself is change things up just
before you’re entering that first triathlon and start using something that is entirely new or alien to you. And there are a few culprits that stand out in my mind and key to those are bits
of equipment and kit. The first of those are trainers. Now, it might sound
like a really good idea to get yourself some brand new trainers for your first foray
into racing a triathlon because well nice new
trainers will be comfy right? Well, maybe but only after you’ve
bedded them in after a few uses. Now, I have seen with first hand
experience many poor souls with very bloody red shoes
at the end of triathlon and you do not want to
end up in that position. Secondly, is making sure that your race kit fits
you nice and adequately. Now, there are a number
of options out there starting with a traditional tri suit. Now this might be one that
comes with full sleeves, we see these quite popular these days or one that just has no sleeves
cut off at the shoulder. You could then also
have a two piece option where you have a pair of shorts and a separate tri top again that could be sleeved or sleeveless. Now with all of these options, there is the potential
for awkward chaffing and rubbing if you’re
not sure of how they fit. So it makes perfect sense to
wear them in the pool first, go out for a run, even maybe try them for a bike too just to the you know that you’re going to get new
nasty surprises on race day. For the vast majority of us taking part in a triathlon means that we are going to be in
the open water environment and by extension to that that will mean that we need to
wear a wetsuit in the water. Unless of course you
are lucky enough to live in tropical conditions and know that you’re going
to be swimming in nice warm and balmy waters. So I’ve got a couple quick tips here for helping with both
putting your wet suit on and taking it off. So this first tip, which is actually an
incredibly simple one, but worth its weight in gold is to pack a plastic bag
along with your wetsuit. Whenever you’re going with it and use that to help put your arms and legs through the wetsuit
when you’re getting into it because it can be really awkward to get in through the tight ankles and through the tight wrist
spaces in the wetsuit. So if you put the plastic
bag over your hands or over your feet too and then step into or push through the wetsuit
with that plastic bag. It just makes things
slide on far, far easier and you’re not going to risk the chances of ruining your wetsuit by putting a hole in the neoprene. Now I learned this the
hard way many years ago by rushing to try and get a wet suit on and just push my arm through and before I knew it
there was a great big hole along one of the seams in the neoprene. So that’s a tip for
helping get the wetsuit on but there’s also a good tip for helping get your wetsuit off and that’s to use some baby oil, maybe some petroleum jelly as well or Vaseline is another name for it too. Stop you getting some
nasty chaffs and rubs in all the places that you’re going to be using
the wet suit in the water. Now, notably the neck is a really good place that I always add some
Vaseline or petroleum jelly. You can use baby oil too that just stops when you’re breathing getting a nasty rub on either side. You’re breathing tube. Other good places to add
some baby or Vaseline on is around your wrist,
around your ankles too because that means when you come to pulling the wet suit off in transition, it helps the wetsuit just
come off that bit easier too. (upbeat music) Now, as I said at the beginning, it is very easy to be daunted
by an awful lot of the kit associated with racing a triathlon. On the top of that list is
most certainly the bikes that we can ride. Walk through any transition area and quite frankly the
array of shiny carbon bling on display can be well
nothing short of overwhelming. However, I am here to assure you that you really don’t need
something like this simply to build to take part
in your first triathlon. Now, we have said this countless
times here on the channel and although we are extremely lucky to get access to really
top end bikes ourselves. If of course you’ve got one that’s great, but you definitely don’t need one. Essentially, all you
need is a good safe bike in working order with brakes
that are fine, tires are fine. And of course a bike that fits you. And if that might be a mountain bike or whether it be a commuter bike, essentially, whatever you
have at home in the garbage or outside is going to be perfectly fine. Essentially, nothing is off limits. (upbeat music) Regardless of the length of triathlon that you’re embarking upon, be that sprint distance travel or a full distance Ironman. One of the things that
you mustn’t overlook or worse even forget is to
keep yourself well fueled and hydrated with a constant trickle of calories coming in all the time. For many doing their first triathlon the thought of having to open and negotiate using energy gels, then of course eating the things can seem well pretty
awkward and cumbersome. Then of course, you’ve got to coincide
that with the thought of concentrating on racing itself too. So many years ago, I was given a really good
useful nugget of information from a racing buddy which was to take those gels and then empty them into a water bottle. Because then you can dilute
that down with some water and all you have to do to worry about getting
your much needed calories is sip regularly from your water bottle as you would usually do anyway. I would of course suggest
having this water bottle with your gel mix coinciding with another water bottle, say a regular water bottle just with water or maybe some energy mix in there too. And a final point to help
with your nutrition on course is to think about using some sort of timer maybe on your watch, you can set these to wherever you want, I would suggest something
like a 15 minute bleep because that means that with all the excitement of
getting caught up with racing, you’re hopefully never going to to forget to regularly take
on board some hydration, or of course eat as well and that way you’re
going to regularly keep that trickle of calories coming in. Given you probably
watched cycling on the TV and seeing groups of
big packs riding along in close proximity to one another, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is what you’re allowed
to do in a triathlon too. However, this isn’t allowed and this is referred to as drafting where in effect you can get slipstream effect from riding close behind
the rider in front. Now, in almost all forms of
triathlon this is not allowed. The only exception being
in ITU racing where athletes race over the Olympic distance and they are all trying to get themselves to the Olympic Games every four years. Essentially, you have to
think about every rider out on a triathlon course
as being in an imaginary box and that box will be
approximately two meters wide and 10 meters in length and no other rider is allowed
to enter into that box. So should you want to
pass a triathlete who’s in front of you, you need to be mindful not
to get to close behind them because that will be construed as drafting and you’ll be getting a penalty, very frustrating one
from the race referee. And those penalties are usually in the region
of five minutes long. And you have to stop on course, at the next available
penalty tent to take it. Needless to say, there are all sorts of things that taking part in
your first triathlon can well flag up as being
potentially unnerving and a little bit worrisome. But hopefully these tips that I’ve just chatted
through with you now can help some way towards making that first time racing
process much simpler. Now hopefully you’ve enjoyed this video. So please hit that thumbs up like button and do find the globe somewhere on screen to make sure you don’t miss
out on any other videos that we make here at GTN. And talking about those other videos, if you want to see one that is tips for new triathletes. Well you can find that here and another on how many
hours a week should I train for a triathlon. Well, that one is here.