Recently I contacted a few of my tri friends to see if they could contribute some hints and tips on training and racing for my next blog post. I haven’t finished compiling that list yet but let me tell you, it’s going to be great!
Anyway, one of the things that struck me when I was receiving their replies was just how awesome the people in this sport are. To put it into context a lot of these people I have never met, or have just met briefly at races, I ‘know’ them through Instagram and social media. I don’t want to ruin the next post by giving away the exact topic, but basically I asked if they would like to contribute any advice for newbies in the sport. The responses I got were phenomenal, well thought out, educational, entertaining and very inspiring.
Most of the replies I received started with ‘I’m no expert but here’s my tips…’ Or something along those lines. Which brings me to the point of this post. There are experts in every field, whether it be qualified swimming, cycling, running or triathlon coaches, dieticians, nutritionists, physios, doctors or professional triathletes. Don’t get me wrong, these people know their stuff, and have their place, but sometimes you just need real advice, from a ‘real’ person, someone who has been there (and even the very best was a beginner once). You might go 4km/hr faster on a TT bike than roadie, but if you don’t make it to the bike leg because you had a panic attack in the swim, being super aero won’t help at all. If someone had explained the importance of a warm up swim, or practising in open water, things might have been different.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything in this sport. Lots of girls try on 5 outfits just to decide on what to wear to Sunday afternoon drinks at the local pub… How are you meant to decide what to wear to your first triathlon? Togs? Sports Bra and shorts? Singlet and tights? You don’t want to buy a whole new outfit, what if you don’t even like triathlons? Totally understand where you’re coming from, and you’re not alone. (FOHER is the best in the trisuit business by the way, incase you’re wondering).
Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, (ok I have no idea, I just made that up) I tried to find statistics on the number of newbies entering the sport but it was pretty much impossible, so lets just say there are a whole lot of first timers out there and you are not alone! And if you’re not a newbie then chances are you were one not so long ago (or you’re only reading this blog because you’re my friend/family and are not actually into tri’s- but maybe secretly want to become a triathlete). Either way you know how daunting it can be, there’s 3 sports that need to be trained for separately then performed in succession. So much to consider, and some questions you don’t even know to ask until you’re put in a situation where you have no idea what you’re doing.
If you’re social media savvy jump on board Instagram and join the triathlon community, we are a pretty fun bunch, although you will need to get used to seeing lots of lycra, bikes and Garmin photos. We take heaps of selfies, but mainly restrict them to on the bike or underwater, and it’s a fine art. If we have a really great workout we will share it, sometimes that may mean every day, #sorrynotsorry. Motivational quotes are not hard to come by, neither are hashtags… But both of them end up coming in handy. Search some triathlon hashtags #trilife #swimbikerun #foher #likeagirl #committotri you won’t be short of inspiration or motivation to get moving.
Or look up some hashtags for a race you’re interested in, you can learn things about the course, be inspired and even meet great people. I was tagging #ironmancozumel before I went to Mexico last year and ended up meeting some fellow Aussies before the race, they were great support on race day. I also had the same thing happen with Ironman Malaysia recently and Ironman Cairns. In fact I stayed with some in Instagram friends in Cairns also racing, that I hadn’t even met before! (They are in the top photo, we had so much fun together at Kim’s first ever fun run).
Anyway my point is there’s plenty of places and people willing to answer questions, so don’t be afraid to ask. Whether you want to know how to get into the sport, progress to the next level, learn to change a tyre or what to bring to transition. Chances are the people around you are more than willing to help. The guy at the bike shop LOVES bikes and will happily teach you to change a flat. That girl you’re following on your group ride LOVES her comfy cycling kit and will be able to recommend where to buy one from. The scary looking coach conducting swim squad at your local pool probably isn’t that scary, and could help improve your stroke and speed. Or you can always ask me… I am no expert but can give my opinion and nudge you in the right direction.
I look forward to sharing the tips and tricks list with you, I promise it wont disappoint, oh and it’s not too late to add to it. If you want to contribute just shoot me an email email@example.com
Until next time, remember “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”