Preparing for Your First Triathlon

preparing for your first triathlon

Training for a triathlon is a long process that tests your strength, speed and endurance. Follow Village Cycle’s Triathlon tips to ensure a successful first race!

Choose a Location

While registering for a triathlon in an exotic far off location sounds exciting, it’s best to keep it close to home for your first tri since many of the destination triathlons are longer and require you to qualify. In short, save Kona for after you have a few triathlons under your belt. The Chicago Triathlon is well known among triathletes for being a great first time tri and since it isn’t taking place for another 6 months there’s plenty of time to train for it. By signing up for the Chicago Tri you’ll be able to check out the race map and train on the actual course prior to race day.

Choose a Distance

Since many people focus more on location than a race’s distance, many first-time triathletes choose races that are simply too long for a first timer. Make sure to choose a distance that isn’t going to be too difficult for you – you don’t want to spend the entire event worrying about missing a cut off. For your first race, simply finishing is a great achievement.

The Chicago Triathlon offers distances ranging from 8 miles all the way up to 58.8 miles – the SuperSprint or the Sprint are great options for first time participants.

Stay Dedicated to Training

It’s important to stick to pick a training program and stick to it. Training for a triathlon you’ll switch up your workouts between different activities so getting bored with the training won’t be a problem. If you like to train with other people the Chicago Tri Club organizes training sessions and get togethers.

Get the Right Gear

The time it takes to change out gear between race segments counts as part of your race time, so you’ll want to get the right gear; however, you shouldn’t go overboard for your first race. At Village Cycle we’ll be able to assist you with all your biking needs to make sure you’re putting your best wheel forward on race day. In addition to your biking gear we carry nutrition and sports watches to help you out in your training and on race day.

You’ll need a tri-suit and goggles for the swimming portion, your bike for the biking portion and running shoes and comfortable running clothes for the running portion. You’ll also want to get used to changing in and out of the gear to minimize the amount of time it takes you.

Keep it Simple

Don’t go overboard on training. Don’t try to finish the race in record time. Don’t buy a bunch of tricked-out equipment that you may never use again. Instead, ease yourself into the world of the triathlons. The idea is that your body should get used to all this extra movement without taking on too much strain. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself before you finish. Buying fancy equipment and trying to meet unreasonable times is a sure-fire way to feel overwhelmed and to tire yourself out too soon.

Allow Yourself Plenty of Rest

When training for a triathlon, most people forget to rest. While training, you need at least one rest day per week. While completing your race, it’s okay to walk or stop from time to time. The important part of your first race is to cross the finish line—not be the first one across.

We’ll be at the Chicago Triathlon cheering everyone on and look forward to helping prepare and gear you up for the bike portion of the event. We’re happy to help you pick out the perfect bike or tune-up your current one. We can even schedule a time for you to visit our Fit Studio to get an advanced professional bike fitting.

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