Swimming, cycling, running - anyone can do it. Just going for it can be enjoyable in the beginning, but targeted training is the key to success in the long run. Whether you are doing your first triathlon or have been triathlon for many years, our triathlon tips are valuable for beginners as well as a good reminder for experienced triathletes that learning never stops. Because if you go into your race with confidence, you have a better chance of making your race day the best it can be and enjoying it.
Have your health checked: Before you start training, see a doctor and have him or her assess your health. We recommend regular check-ups. This includes a physical examination and an assessment of your family history and personal heart health.
Prepare for race day conditions: Race day should not be your first open water swim. Make sure that part of your training mimics real race conditions, including water temperature, proximity to other swimmers, orientation (water clarity, depth and distance perception). Train with and without a wetsuit.
Gain race experience: Proper training is the best way to reduce anxiety and increase confidence. But nothing can prepare you for race day conditions like a real race. Find a shorter distance triathlon or take part in an open water swim competition, as well as training and club activities to prepare you for open water conditions.
Learn about the on-site procedures: It is important to prepare not only physically but also mentally for race day. Check out our website for information about the course, have a thorough look at our athlete guide, available on our website about a month before the event, and pre-race communications to plan your arrival and preparation on race day.
Take a good look at the course: Familiarise yourself with the course by looking at the water conditions, swim entry and exit layouts, and turn buoy colours and positions before the start. Take part in our official test swim, which gives you the opportunity to test the water and identify landmarks such as buildings or landscape features to help you during the race.
Don't use new equipment on race day: Make sure you control as many factors as possible on race day. Never use equipment that you have not trained with. Make sure your wetsuit fits properly and that your goggles, swim cap and other accessories are working properly. We also recommend that you have all your equipment with you as a back-up in case something unexpected happens. Near our swim start is our Info Point where we keep spare swim caps.
Race day warm-up: Arrive early enough on race day to warm up properly before the start. Spend a few minutes loosening up your muscles with arm circles and other gentle movements. A light jog or brisk walk can also help stimulate circulation and prepare your body for the race.
Time the race well: Don't start with maximum effort from the beginning, take the swim slowly. Relax and focus on your breathing as you adjust to your pace. Switch from crawl to breaststroke or backstroke if necessary.
Be alert and ask for help: In a race, always stop at the first sign of a medical problem. You can take a break at any time during the swim to rest. If you or someone else needs help, raise your hand to alert a lifeguard or safety boat.
It starts with your bike: A road bike or triathlon bike is not a must. However, it is important that the seat and handlebars are adjusted to the right height and reach for you. Work with a fitter to find your optimal bike fit. Make sure all bolts are tight and that your brakes and gears are working properly. Keep your bike clean and the chain lubricated and make sure the tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure.
Learn the basics: If you use clipless pedals, practice engaging and disengaging the pedals, starting, stopping and emergency braking. Make sure you are familiar with the gears. Practice riding in a low-traffic area, riding in a straight line and cornering (right, left, U-turns).
Suit Up: Always wear an approved helmet during training and racing. Make sure it fits properly and does not move around on your head while riding. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather to maintain core body temperature when riding in colder or wetter conditions, including during a race. Choose clothing that is visible in low light conditions.
Prepare for your rides: Take an adequate amount of water and food with you on your rides, as well as some money to buy extra food if needed. Familiarise yourself with a tyre repair kit and appropriate tools and make sure you carry them with you.
Plan ahead: Choose a route for your rides that limits the number of interactions with vehicles, depending on the time and day of the week. Always pay attention to traffic signals and signs and, if possible, always ride on designated cycle paths.
Inform others: In case of an incident, someone should know where you are driving. Always carry an ID card and emergency contact information and take a mobile phone with you in case of emergencies.
It starts with the shoes: Try out several shoes to find the right one for you that will prevent you from serious injury. If you want to buy a new pair for your race, do so a few weeks before race day to break in the shoes. The laces should fit snugly and socks or no socks should be tested on longer runs before race day.
Train healthy and listen to your body: Talk to a coach or training partner to plan your weeks in advance and ensure to get early advice on possible injuries. Recognize signs of dehydration or overheating so you can address them right away on race day to keep your pace.
Bring variety into your training: To progress, you need to train all energy systems. This means adding variety to your workouts and including intervals or tempo changes. Make your hard training hard and your easy training easy. A change of scenery in different terrain can sometimes work wonders and give you a new lease of life.
Know your pace: Work towards a desired race pace and recognise the signs when you are off the pace, such as a higher than average heart rate or too much muscle strain. Train in different weather conditions so you can feel how temperatures and different weather conditions affect your body when running.
Find out about race details: Know the terrain of the race - hilly, flat, dirt, paved. Make sure you know where the aid stations are and what kind of food is available. What is the weather forecast for race day?
During the race / race day: Don't change your routine just because it's race day. However, prepare to be flexible and adjust your plan if something unpredictable happens. Switching from cycling to running will be challenging because of the change in movement. You may feel like your legs are going to fall off. Therefore, consciously start running at a slower pace. Be respectful of other runners, for example when overtaking.
After the race: Keep moving. Keep walking for a few minutes after crossing the finish line and let your body come down slowly after the race. Eat and drink well after the race to restore your energy levels. Have something warm to wear if necessary, this can also help your body recover from the exertion on warm days.
The day after: Make sure you are moving the day after your race. This can be a run, a bike ride, a swim or just a walk around town. It's all about moving your body to get blood flowing to the muscles you worked the previous day.
Night before your race:
- Check/Change the batteries of all your electronics
- Check bike tyres and pedals
- Put race number-stickers on bike and helmet
- Prepare food
- Prepare your starter bag with after race clothing
- Prepare your race number, swim suit, googles and swim cap
When checking into transition zone:
- Park bike in a low gear
- Inflate tyres and check for damage
- Attach bike computer (if available)
- Place water bottles and food
- Remove unnecessary equipment
- Helmet must be closed before touching the bike!
- Sunglasses (depending on preference)
- Prepare cycling shoes, socks and running shoes for afterwards
- Start number band
- Bring your starter bag with after race clothes to the starter bag drop off
On the way to the swim start don't forget timing chip and and chip band!