You’ve just started and you are determined to finish you’re first ever triathlon. Perhaps you’ve trained in the right gym, and you are looking to prove to yourself that all those hours of cycling was not just for show. You’ve jogged many miles, you’ve swam many laps and you’ve cycled for many hours, you are ready but you know that you’re still green and that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes.
Here are some newbie mistakes that you should avoid during your first triathlon race.
1) Not following the rules
Many newbies get disqualified or get hurt simply because they don’t even know the rules! It is common knowledge to study the rules beforehand but some people simply join out of impulse.
Some rules that most newbies break are:
- Drafting on the bike
- Not staying on the right side of the lane
- Wearing headphones
- Not wearing your helmet properly
2) Improper pacing
Most newbies start at a very intense pace. They usually end up with tired legs at the transition area. Slow and steady does not win the race in triathlons but keeping a steady pace will give you a better performance than people who sprint in the first few seconds.
3) Not learning proper bike maintenance
If you’re bike malfunctions during the race, then you only have yourself to blame. Check the bike that you are using beforehand to avoid this. Learn the basics on how to properly maintain and fix a bike. Learn how to fix a flat tire and learn how to realign the chains.
4) Not doing any form of strength training
Strength training may not seem important to a newbie, but what newbies don’t know is that that it can help prevent injuries. People who lift weights and do HIIT have stronger tendons and ligaments which greatly reduces the chances of getting injured.
5) Taking their time in transition areas
Transition areas are not break rooms. You don’t need to spend 10-20 minutes in there. This may be your first triathlon but there’s no need to spend that much time just to get ready. It’s a bad habit and you’ll easily get tired in the long run if you take long breaks in each transition area.
6) Not using any sunscreen
You’re literally running under the blistering sun for hours. This may be obvious but a lot of first timers forget doing this and they end up getting sunburns all over their body. Do you think you can finish the race when your arms, legs and face are all burned up?