Combining swim, bike and run into one event, a triathlon, is becoming more and more popular. With so many choices on offer, here is how to choose your first event!
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When working out what distance to enter as your first triathlon, it is important to consider your current fitness, and the time scale you have to train for this event. A shorter distance triathlon is easier to complete as your first. However, if you are more suited to endurance, there is nothing to say you can't complete a longer distance event straight away.
It is easy to get drawn into the big, well known events for your first race and that is fine if its what gets you motivated but there are many smaller events out there. These events are just as fun, and often cheaper. Many newcomers will opt for the small local races to test the water and therefore doesn't put the same amount of pressure on the day. Either way, it's important to choose a triathlon that excites you!
If you are someone who finds the thought of open water swimming daunting then don’t worry, you can give yourself a more pleasant introduction to the sport and search for a pool based triathlon for your first event. There are plenty of triathlons that start in the comfort of a heated pool. You’ll have the added security of a lane rope to grab if you need to and a wall to push off at the end of each length. Plus all you need is a swim or tri suit which will help make the transition easier too.
Do a little research on the race profile before signing up. If you know you struggle on the hills, perhaps avoid a super hilly course for your very first race. The same goes for a technical twisty turny type course, try to find something smooth and flowing if you’re not so confident with your bike handling skills.
The terrain is not limited to just the bike, check out the run course for the same reasons with regards to the hills but also the surface. The bike course has to be on asphalt unless a cross triathlon where as the running can be cross country, track, road or a mix of all. It is worth checking this out so you can tailor your training a little and have appropriate footwear.
Doing your first race or any race is made that bit more enjoyable if you have friends there to support or to compete alongside. Maybe ask what event people in your club are doing, seeing a familiar face will automatically help with pre race nerves and the post race celebrations.
If you found this video helpful, make sure to share it with someone who is thinking about their first event.
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