Top 10 List for Beginner Triathletes
1. Write down your goals. If you don’t write them down, you’ll have a difficult time achieving them.
2. Start where you are. This means be realistic about the level of fitness you’re starting with, and work from there. Anything else is a recipe for injury.
3. Listen to your body. Know the difference between being committed to the program and being stubborn. When your body tells you that it needs a rest, it needs a rest.
4. Pay attention to your nutrition. You’re going to burn a lot of calories under this program and it will be very important that you stay ahead of the curve in terms of fueling. Make sure that you time your meals so that you are well fueled and hydrated when you arrive at each workout, and take the time to refuel within an hour after each workout.
5. Get plenty of sleep. The specific number of sleep needed each night varies with the individual, but during training your body is going to require rest in order to recover from your workouts. In addition to sleeping enough, be sure to allow sufficient recovery time between hard workouts. Talk to your coach if you feel that the program isn’t allowing enough recovery.
6. Give your pre-workout warmup equal importance to the actual workouts. Allow enough time at the beginning of your workouts to warm up thoroughly before you start pushing the pace. Skipping this essential component of your training is one of the leading causes of training related injuries.
7. Be as consistent as possible with attendance to the workouts. A slow and steady progression through the various phases of fitness and volume are key to getting to the finish line without injury. If you have to miss significant portions of the program, don’t try to play ‘catch up’ by doing more workouts in a shorter period of time. Talk to your coach about how to sensibly get back on track by making adjustments in your overall plan.
8. Know your equipment. Throughout your training, become comfortable and familiar with the items you’ll use on race day. This includes your bike, helmet, wetsuit, goggle, tri-suit, timing watch, etc. Avoid making any changes to this list in the last weeks or days before the race.
9. Make the most of the experience of training with a team. You can all help and support each other. The shared experience and the camaraderie are among the key benefits of training as a group. Together we can do this!
10. Keep it in perspective. This is triathlon training for fun and for fitness. We’re in this because we want to be. Although the workouts may at times be challenging, don’t stress about them. We have plenty of other opportunities to bring stress into our lives. Let this be an opportunity to relieve stress. Remember to laugh. Your power in this sport is likely to be found in a place of relaxation and ease. Remember to breathe.