Put the stickers on your bike, helmet andSwimming, cycling, running - everyone can do that. Just going for it can be quite pleasant at the beginning, but systematic training is the key to success in the long run. Whether you're doing your first triathlon or have been doing triathlon for years, our triathlon tips are valuable for beginners and a good reminder for experienced triathletes that learning never ends. Because when you go into your race with confidence, you have a better chance of making the most of your race day and enjoying it.
Have your health checked: Before you start training, consult a doctor and have your health assessed. We recommend regular check-ups, which include a physical exam and an assessment of your family history and personal heart health.
Prepare for race day conditions: Race day shouldn't be your first open water swim. Make sure some of your training replicates real race conditions, including water temperature, proximity to other swimmers, orientation (water clarity, depth and distance perception), and train with and without a wetsuit.
Gain racing experience: Proper training is the best way to reduce anxiety and increase self-confidence. But nothing prepares you for race day conditions like a real race. Find a shorter-distance triathlon or participate in an open-water swim event, as well as training and club activities to prepare for open-water conditions.
Find out about the processes on site: It is important to prepare not only physically but also mentally for race day. Research the course on our website, review our Athlete Guide which is available on our website about a month before the event and the pre-race communications to plan proper arrival and preparation on race day.
Learn about course details: Familiarize yourself with the course by reviewing the water conditions, swim entry and exit layouts, and turn buoy colours and locations prior to the start. Take part in our official test swim, which gives you the opportunity to test the water and identify navigation landmarks such as buildings or landscape features to make orientation easier for you during the race.
Do not 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 to prepare for the unexpected with backups of all your gear. Our Info Point is located near to the swim start, where we have replacement swim caps ready for you.
Warm up on race day: Arrive early enough on race day to warm up properly before the start. Spend a few minutes loosening up your muscles with arm swings and other gentle movements. A light jog or brisk walk can also help increase circulation and prepare your body for the race.
Start Easy – Relax and Breathe: Don’t race at maximum effort from the start - ease into your swim. Relax and focus on your breathing as you settle into a sustainable pace. Switch from crawl to breaststroke or backstroke if needed.
Be alert and ask for help: When racing, always stop at the first sign of a medical problem. You can pause and rest at any time during the swim. If you or a fellow athlete needs assistance, raise your hand to alert a lifeguard or safety boat.
It starts with your bike: Road bikes or triathlon bikes are 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. Ensure all bolts are tightened properly to avoid coming loose during the ride, and that your brakes and gears are working properly. Keep your bike clean and the chain lubed, and make sure the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure.
Learn the basics: Practice clipping in and out of your pedals, as well as starting, stopping, and emergency braking. If you're unfamiliar with shifting gears, practice doing this in a low-traffic area and practice riding a straight line, and cornering (right, left, U-turns).
Suit Up: Always wear an approved helmet when training and racing. Make sure it fits properly and doesn't move on your head while riding. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather to maintain core body temperature when riding in colder or wetter conditions, even during a race. Choose clothing that is visible in low light conditions.
Prepare for your rides: Carry an appropriate amount of water and food with you on your rides, along with some money to purchase additional supplies if needed. Know how to use a tire repair kit and appropriate tools, and be sure to carry them with you.
Plan ahead: Select a route that limits the number of interactions with vehicles. If possible, factor in the time of day and day of the week. Always obey all traffic signals and signs and always ride in dedicated bike lanes whereever available.
Inform others: In the event of an incident, someone should know where you are riding. Always carry personal identification and emergency contact information with you, as well as a cell phone in case of emergencies.
It starts with the shoes: Test several pairs so that you can find the right shoe for you which protects you from serious injuries. If you want to get a new pair for your race, do so a few weeks prior to race day to break them in. The laces should be comfortably snug, and make sure to test socks or no socks and shoe combo 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: In order to make progress, you have to train all energy systems, which means bringing variety into your training and also incorporating intervals or tempo changes. Make your hard training hard and your easy training easy. Put some wanderlust in your workout: A change of scenery can do wonders to freshen up the same old.
Know your pace: Work towards a desired race pace and recognize the signs when you're going off pace, like a higher-than-average heart rate or excessive muscle strain. Train in different weather conditions so you can learn how temperatures and different weather affect your body while running.
Find out about race details: Find out about the terrain of the race - hilly, flat, dirt, paved. Make sure you know where the aid stations are and what type of nutrition and drinks are provided. 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 should something unexpected happen. The transition from cycling to running will be challenging due to the change in movement and you may feel like your legs are sagging, so deliberately start at a slower pace. Be respectful of other runners when overtaking.
After the race: Keep moving. Keep walking for a few minutes after crossing the finish line and slowly let your body come down after the race. Eat and drink well after your race to restore your energy levels. If necessary, have something warm to wear ready, this can help your body to recover from the efforts even on warm days.
The day after: Make sure you're moving the day after your race. This can be a run, bike ride, swim or just a walk around town. It's all about moving your body to get blood flow to the muscles that carried you all day yesterday.
Night before your race:
- Check/Change batteries on all your electronics
- Check bike tires and pedals
- Put the bib number-stickers on your bike and helmet
- Prepare your nutrition
- Prepare your race bag with after race cloths
- Prepare your bib number, swim suit, googles and swim cap
When racking your bike at the Hapag-Lloyd transition zone:
- Leave bike in comfortable gear
- Pump air into your tires and check them for damage
- Place bike computer bike (if you have them)
- Place water bottles and nutrition
- Remove unnecessary gear
- Helmet - strap needs to be closed before you touch your bike!
- Sunglasses (depends on your preference)
- Cycling shoes, Socks (if you want to!) and Running shoes ready
- Bib-strap (for bike and run)
- Bring your starter bag with after race cloth to the starter bag drop off
Remember to bring your timing chip and Hapag-Lloyd chip band to the swim start!