TOP 10 TIPS FOR FIRST TIME TRIATHLETES

Shaun George BOTS Guides, Triathlon

Congratulations on plunging into your first Triathlon! Triathlons are a great platform to test your physical and mental strength, to diversify your fitness routine or to simply challenge your self in new ways.

Triathlons have gained a lot of popularity over the years with multiple good Triathlon events across India. Indian triathletes have managed to make a mark not only in local events but have started gaining visibility on the global platform too.

Check out our list of Top Triathlon Events in India thru 2020. We will be keeping this list updated thru 2020. Do keep visiting it and signing up for events you think you could challenge yourself with!

While this is a fantastic sport it also requires a lot of discipline and a tremendous amount of training and practice. Training for a single sport is tough – imagine a multi-sport event!

Our Top 10 Tips for First Time Triathletes

1. SET GOALS

Set a clear goal as to why you want to take part in a triathlon. Are you looking at being competitive or simply completing the triathlon in time. It’s important to know this because you can then set aside how much time, money and effort you’re going to invest in the event.

“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail” – If you don’t set a goal you aren’t going to be able to achieve it. Come up with a simple, achievable training plan or a routine that you can follow.

2. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR NUTRITION

Nutrition and Hydration are critical for any athlete. This is even more critical for a triathlon where you’re most likely going to be training harder than usual. Nutritious, and a well-balanced diet ensures your body is properly fueled up and ready for all the training that you’ll put it through.

Avoid changing your diet just before event days and simply stick to what has worked for you. Focus on eating healthy and avoid eating outside before event days.

3. GET GOOD ADVICE

Training for a triathlon isn’t as easy as watching a few YouTube videos and then trying to implement that in real life.

Not to say that these sources won’t help but it’s always a good idea to get some first-hand information from someone who’s completed a triathlon previously. Someone who can help you identify issues and someone who can help you successfully complete the event.

4. RECOVERY IS ESSENTIAL

Working hard and not giving yourself enough rest time can hurt and damage your body. Avoid over-training and ensure every intense workout has a good recovery session too.

Supplements aid recovery but aren’t a necessity. When you initially start to train, you will experience some soreness and fatigue but It’s just the first few times that will take some getting used to.

5. GEAR UP

Triathlons involve 3 different sports and equipment plays an important role. If you’re new to this then the sheer variety and expense of gear will leave you dazzled.

Don’t worry – you can stick to the essentials and upgrade your equipment over time.

The MUST haves

  • A good road bike
  • Good running shoes
  • Triathlon Swimwear

Check out our post – ESSENTIAL TRIATHLON GEAR AND CLOTHING GUIDE – to deep dive into Triathlon Gear.

Running gear

6. WORK ON YOUR WEAKNESSES

In an event with 3 different sports, you’re naturally bound to be better at one over the others. It’s important to work on the disciplines that you aren’t too familiar or good at and ensure you clock your best possible time.

Put in some extra effort in the initial swim leg as a strong start will ensure you stay up in front and can hold your position better. Swimming in open water with 100 plus people can be intimidating – maintain as much distance as possible and regulate your breathing.

7. TRANSITION TRAINING

Your transition technique, changing strategy, and speed are all areas that you can improve upon with practice. A focus on stronger transitions can whittle down a three-minute changeover down to just 60 seconds — which is much simpler than making up that time on the bike or running. Organizing your transition area will also pay off as a cluttered transition area will only lead to confusion and stress which can slow you down.

Transition area
T1 – Bike Transition Area!

Practice a few mock, brick-runs. These will help you get the best possible timing out of your run.

8. START STRONG

Try to avoid any fumbling in the first leg and keep it as hassle-free as possible. Most beginner athletes push too hard initially and end up struggling later into the race. Instead, keep a steady pace initially, and conserve energy for the end when most people will be completely gassed out.

Swimming leg in a triathlon

9. ELASTIC LACES ARE IN

Consider elastic laces for your first race instead of the conventional laces. These will save you a lot of time in transitions. You will also be saved the hassle of worrying about your laces coming undone midway. Once you go elastic you can’t go back!

Elastic laced tri running shoes

10. EMBRACE IT

Probably the most important thing to keep in mind – have fun!

It’s your first triathlon and you should enjoy it. Don’t get intimidated by the fancy looking helmets and bikes – everyone is out to have a good time so just smile and enjoy the view.


Triathlons are always a great experience – If this is your first triathlon, make sure you follow our tips and focus on having a great time. There is a lot to learn from your first race and you can use this experience to prepare better and race harder at your next Triathlon.

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