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Hey all, am heading very rapidly towards my first novice triathlon, late next month. Have trained hard, read widely on it, and am generally looking forward to it; but the nerves about the great unknown are just starting to set in. Can anyone give me any tips/first time experiences to put a smile on my face??





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    triadtriad Posts: 62
    Welcome to the fold and don't worry about anything. Triathlon is awesome. You'll love it. You've done the hard work in training so you'll be fine.

    Some tips:

    Don't worry about the time, just enjoy and finish in one piece - get one under your belt.

    Get to the site as early as possible so that you are not rushing in setting up and working out where bike and run exits are

    Ensure you eat properly for breakfast before the race (as you see fit) and during the day before. Make sure you are hydrated too.

    Get your kit ready the day before (search on google for race kit check lists, there are loads)

    Other than that, have fun - you'll have a blast!!
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    There is athread here somwhere about rookie mistakes we all made..Bopmofo is the link genius here...other than that as above enjoy. I assume you are aware of jelly legs off the bike, never move your bike without a helmet on & secured, don't lose your bike coming out of the swim& watch for the mount dismount lines. Have laods of fun...oh where & when is this tri?
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    RookieRookie Posts: 11
    Hi Sophie,

    I completed my first triathlon at London a couple of weeks ago and was ridiculously nervous leading up to it. Even to the point where id watch a triathlon on tv 3 weeks before and after 5 mins realise that i was a nervous wreck, and that was just watching it!

    The things that helped me was getting there really early to have a good look round, and to get my bearings with regards to transition. it also helped having a couple of mates there to chat to leading up to the start.

    having said that, as soon as i had my wetsuit on and there was no turning back i was relatively nerve free - and i really enjoyed it once i had started. hope you do too!
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    Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    And remember that someone else in the same race is more nervous than you ( because its there first time too)
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    TeaJayTeaJay Posts: 29
    trouble is..... i think that more nervous person maybe me ?!?!

    i have my first even next month too. South Shropshire Sprint.... i am bricking it !!

    I'm starting to worry if i have done enough prep, will i get my usual amount of 3 hours sleep, which normally happens when i do something new ! my first road bike is comming next week, all training so far has been on my moutain bike, will i be ok on a road bike ?!?! loads to think about.

    ho hum,,,, just going to go for it. the worst that can happen is i walk the last mile :) well, not the last mile but maybe the 1 before that ?!?!

    i think all us Newbies are in the same boat. not sure any of that helps you but it gets it all off my chest at least.... [:)]

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    RookieRookie Posts: 11
    it was quite good at the london tri - just as we were waiting to get into the docks the announcer person asked everyone in the wave to put their hands up if it was their first triathlon... at least 50% (probably more) put their hands up so you're in the same boat as everyone else - everyone else will be just as nervous!
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    FiFi Posts: 31
    Hi Sophie,

    I've just completed my first triathlon and it was great;I think you'll love it. I was quite surprised by the range of people who attended - not all of the competitors were competitive and there were a large number of people doing it for fun so don't worry on that front. I think it wouldn't have been so good if I hadn't got there early - my advice would be to get there early. Set yourself up and make sure you know where your bike is (as I found out it can be hard to spot once all the bikes are on the rack). If you're not sure how to set yourself up just ask someone who looks like they know what they're doing (that's what I also did). But by far the best thing I did though was to just start speaking to people. Triathletes just seem all naturally very friendly (even those with the flash bikes) and they'll offer you some really good advice/tips if you ask. It's also good to make general chit chat before an event as it relaxes you and the other person - have a laugh. The other thing I did, which may not be relevant to your event, was to look at the pool and watch the swimming to see what's what. You may be doing an open water event but it was interesting to watch the different strokes and again to socialise.

    You'll learn a lot. I think you'll enjoy the event but just don't be too hard on yourself during the event after all it is your first. Good luck.

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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Welcome and good luck

    As above, we have all done daft things so DON'T WORRY

    If it is a pool start you will be in waves so you have your own indiviudual race - just enjoy it.

    Keep things nice and simple, practice, lay out your kit at home with your bike next to it - you do not have much room so plan on taking up no more space than a pair of trainers to one side. Get there nice and early, have a chat with those either side of you to sort things out. Have a walk about look to see the route from the pool to T1, the bike exit, the bike in and the run exit, do not be afraid of asking questions from marshalls and volunteers, I do that on every event (except one where I also missed the briefing about a change in route and turned left instead of right at a junction - dork!). Are you wearing a swim suit and then putting on shorts and top or wearing a 1 piece suit? 1 piece is better and a starter one from Orca, 2XU etc can be had for about £40 if you shop around, saves time and less for you to think about.

    Top tip lay your stuff on the most vile gaudy towel you can get, be very difficult not to spot your place then, leave about a foot of the towl free so that when you run up you can stand on it to dry your feet. When you exit from the pool into T1 if someone is in your way shout 'coming through, excuse me' etc. If you are feeling out of breath etc sit down! Do not teeter about trying to put your shoes on. Keep an eye out for other competitors you do not want to get mown by a bike or runner.

    Are you wearing trainers for both bike and run or cycle shoes? The elites have the shoes attached to the pedals etc. do not bother with that as it needs practice, keep it simple.

    REMEMBER do NOT touch bike until helmet on, so practice at home, helmet on bike, number belt in helmet, shades (advise you do wear eye protection from bugs, stones, rain etc), number plate, some people place a gaudy vile coloured hand towel, scarf piece of cloth over this lot to help with bike ID and keep rain off. Number is to the rear. Helmet on, unrack bike, out to bike start, do not mount until you reach mount point - the marshalls invariably will tell you when it is Ok to mount. Top tip already have your bike in a gear that you can set off from so that you are not frantically pedalling away at 1 mph and a 120 cadence.

    Enjoy the bike, ride safely, always assume other road users are blind and stupid at junctions, roundabouts etc. Keep hydrated, if you are not 100% happy about drinking on the move, get a drink bottle, punch a hole in it to feed a long tube/straw through (get tube at B&Q) cut the bottom of the tube at 45 degree angle so it doesn't bottom out, make sure you can dip down and drink safely whilst cycling then tape bottle to your handlebars with gaffer tape, may not be pretty but it works. You will feel much better if you can drink during the bike, water is better than nothing but an energy drink is better - no fizzy stuff.

    For the last 1 km shift down a gear so that you are pedalling faster than you may do normally - this is to help reduce the jelly legs when you dismount. KEEP helmet on UNTIL you have racked your bike. Keep calm, rack bike, helmet off and off you go on the run. Make sure number is to the frontYou will get jelly legs to start but it wears off, keep a nice pace that you are comfortable with, take advantage of hydration stations but only sip, do not throw mouthfulls down.

    SMILE when you see the camera, my pictures rarely get publishes as I'm a miserable looking sod.

    Wear T shirt with pride - you have just done your first tri, whatever happens do your utmost to complete, slow down if you are geeting exhasuted, do not worry about times etc. Completeing is the aim of the game, everything else is a bonus.

    Good luck, enjoy, smile for the camera.
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    In the swim, keep to one side away from the main group....unless your a top swimmer.....

    I didn't do this first time and got bashed, goggles knocked off, climbing over others, and others climbing over me and I found I could not get going.So got out of the swim totally knackered. Next time I stayed away from the main group and it was easier
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    ianmullianmull Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    I too have just signed up for a triathlon in 6 weeks time. I have just started training having done very little exercise for years. My biggest concern is how far behind everyone else I'm likely to finish!

    Does anyone have any target times for me to aim for so i arrive at the finish before everyone goes home?

    Also I read on another post in this forum that I should combine run-bike-swim in a single training session is that right?

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    Thanks for the responses everyone, they've helped alay my nerves somewhat. I think the general feeling it to just enjoy it and get the first one under my belt, then I'll know what to expect (or correct!!) for the next one. Fingers crossed it'll be the first of many!

    Soph x

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