Triathlon is a challenging sport, and it’s easy to make mistakes, especially for beginners. In fact, it’s easy to make mistakes on race day (and in training) no matter how experienced or fast you are. Here are some of the top mistakes made in triathlon and how to avoid them:
- Underestimating the importance of training: One common mistake is underestimating the amount of training that is required for a triathlon. Triathlon involves three different sports, and it’s important to build up your endurance and strength in each of them. Make sure to incorporate swim, bike, and run workouts into your training plan, and aim to train consistently to prepare your body for the demands of the race.
- Neglecting nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial for triathlon, as it helps to fuel your body and support recovery. Make sure to focus on a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, and pay attention to your hydration needs. During the race, make sure to fuel regularly to maintain your energy levels.
- Skimping on gear: While it’s not necessary to have the latest and greatest gear to succeed in triathlon, it’s important to have the right equipment. Make sure to invest in a good pair of swim goggles, a road bike, and a pair of running shoes. As you progress in the sport, you may want to consider investing in additional gear, such as a wetsuit or aero helmet, but these are not necessary for beginners.
- Neglecting to practice transitions: Transitions, or the switch from one sport to another, are an important part of triathlon. Make sure to practice your transitions in training so that you are comfortable and efficient on race day. This might involve setting up a mock transition area and practicing the process of changing clothes and shoes, as well as mounting and dismounting your bike.
- Not paying attention to race-day logistics: It’s important to carefully plan and prepare for race day to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the race venue, including the location of the transition area, the swim start, and the bike and run courses. Also, make sure to arrive at the race with plenty of time to set up your transition area and warm up.
- Pacing yourself improperly: Pacing is a crucial aspect of triathlon, and it’s easy to make the mistake of starting out too fast. Make sure to establish a pacing plan for the race and stick to it. This might involve using a watch or other pacing device to help you stay on track.
- Neglecting to warm up: Warming up is an important aspect of any race, and it’s especially important in triathlon, where you will be starting with an all out swim, most likely super early in the morning. Make sure to include some type of a warm-up in your race-day routine, such as a light jog and, of course, five to 10 minutes of easy swimming if you have the option. If not, simply doing some pushups and jumping jacks, or doing some band work, can suffice.
We’ve all made errors in training and race day. We can help you avoid the worst mistakes. Be the Beast triathlon coaches Adelaide and Kennett have both raced at the top level of the sport, and have helped dozens of athletes reach their goals in triathlon and other endurance sports. Working with a coach can be life-changing, as they will essentially have a say in every day of your life (for better or worse). As such, choosing a tri coach you trust and can relate with, and someone who has made many of the above mistakes and learned from them, goes a long way in achieving your goals in the sport.