Triathlon Tutorial: A Beginners Guide To Your First Long Course Triathlon

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Picture yourself crossing the finish line at a triathlon, feeling proud and accomplished after putting in the miles. You can see the finish arch and timing gantry counting down those final seconds, your hard work paying off. Whether it’s a 70.3 or 140.6 mile race, you did it! And now, as you catch your breath, you can reflect on what’s next for you on this journey:

“Could I have done it better?”
“What if…?”

Probably for days or weeks afterward. This guide should help you to negate most of the ‘What if?’ scenarios and giving you the best possible chance of fulfilling your potential as a beginner long course triathlete without giving up your job and family life and paying for a professional coach.

How to Start Triathlon

How to Go About Preparing For a Triathlon

The Beginner Triathlete’s Guide to Long Course Triathlon‘s objective is to give you an insight in to what it takes to complete a long course triathlon as a novice and enjoy it.
It’s not an exhaustive reference of training sessions and prescribed heart rates but it should let you, if you wish to do so, build your own plan that you can use and adapt as you progress. Training doesn’t have to be rocket science.

It’s nice to have spangling new gear but don’t get over fussed with technology, some reviews and training apps can help but its basically something we do for fun and should remain so by keeping things simple. A good reliable time trial (TT) or triathlon bike will help, but punctures can be repaired and running shoes are relatively inexpensive, you need to focus on your engine. Try to make your body and your equipment as efficient and reliable as aerospace technology.

The reason I use the term long course is because there isn’t a lot of difference between Half Ironman races and the full Ironman. That sounds crazy, as its twice the distance but trust me every time we step up the distance you just have to increase the volume of training and lower your intensity levels. It’s a balance between these two things; the frequency of the sessions should be the same.

You’ll need to be committed, flexible and mentally strong to get you through some tough experiences throughout your training. It’s not easy, but like most things in life the best things are worth the hard work. Talk to your family about your goals, ask for their support and make time to support them when you can. Your time will be at a premium.

The training is not to be taken lightly, as a beginner you’ll get round any short course triathlon or even a stand alone marathon, but you’ll never blag it through an Ironman, you will be found out if you haven’t trained sufficiently or correctly. It will hurt, even if you succeed but you may not succeed at all without proper preparation.

What is Good Build-Up for a Triathlon

Mental strength is everything in Ironman you will with no doubt question your physical ability, which is controlled by your body’s own safety valves. You will need to push through these boundaries and recognize when to hold back. We all have limitations of our physical ability dependant on age, gender and past sporting experience but we all have the potential mental strength in equal quantities. My opinion is that we can only improve our sporting performances by 15% physical adaptation but 85% through mental strength.

You’ve probably done some Sprint and Olympic distance races already. So you’re aware of the basics of triathlon. Before you start specific long course training you do need to have a good base fitness otherwise your body will hold you back and the probability of injury will increase. Six months of preparation is plenty for your first Half Ironman race, but you can do longer builds but the chance of burning out mentally and physically also increase. Ironman can be done with the same build period but I’d recommend a half distance first, it’s a great way to learn and hone in on your race skills, without risking a very long and painful day out if you’ve got it wrong.

There are many different opinions on long course triathlon training and this is mine, it may not be right for everyone but it works for me and you have to start somewhere, so give it a go. But this article comes with a guarantee, that you will make your first (or next) long-distance triathlon a momentous success, if you plan correctly, trust your training and believe in your own ability.

1. Goal Setting

You need to have an objective for your race, even if it’s just to complete the event. Be honest about your goals and use shorter distance races to gauge your ability to achieve your goal. Times aren’t everything and courses will have different profiles and obstacles that will affect your times.

Decide upon the race you want to do and adapt your training and goals to that course. For example, if it hilly ride plan some hilly rides, if it’s a sea swim plan a trip to the seaside and try it out (it’s a completely different experience to lake swimming) etc. Don’t expect to achieve a personal best on a tough course, adjust your goal finishing times. There are no ‘easy’ courses, but there are tough ones, so find out about how tough the course is, you can normally tell from the winning time if it’s a toughie or not.

2. Preparation

Sit down and prepare your training in advance rather than of just going into it on a random basis.

Work out the maximum amount of hours that you can commit to. This is going to be your maximum volume week of which there will probably be only three. You can then work backwards from about 3-4 weeks from your race date (this will allow for a taper period) and steadily reduce the volume to the beginning of your training. Again be realistic about these figures. Consistency is the key to progressive training, over estimate the hours and you’ll be 2 steps back 1 step forward throughout your training build and will seriously cut down the amount of quality training you do. Going into a race a few % under prepared is much better than going in overtrained.

Plan how you’re going to log and assess your training. Find an online training log or software package that you can understand. Simplicity is the key here; too complex and you’ll fry your brains trying to work it out. Stick to this log all the way through your training and assessment will be easily readable. Simple bar graphs of time and mileage in each discipline can tell you a lot about your training.

The science and technology in triathlon is mesmerizing, don’t get bogged down by it, it can lead to technical frustration. Enjoy your training. Gadgets will be everywhere, some may have a use such as aero helmets and some will be just massaging your wallets! I concentrate on the simplicity of HR (heart rates) and perceived effort. Having a ‘feel’ for how hard you’re working is priceless.

You need to read about the race you have entered. Find out as much as you can and ask triathlete friends who may have already done it for tips. Get a plan, stick to it, get fit, get efficient and above all enjoy the training.

3. The Basic Training Week

The first month is the time to trial and work out your routine. Keep the sessions light, use it for conditioning your body ready for the harder work that will follow. You want three sessions for each discipline and you can add a strength session in once a week in the early weeks of your plan to help general conditioning. Gym sessions or core stability sessions such as Yoga or Pilates are excellent conditioners. So that adds up to 10 sessions a week. This is the optimum requirement but missing the odd session due to time restraints will not undo your fitness, you’ll just progress a little slower. Never try to catch up on a missed session, leave it and move on. Of the 3 sessions in a discipline focus should be on different aspects of fitness i.e. 1 easy/recovery, 1 steady/tempo or form skills and 1 endurance workout. Try and work out a timetable that leaves an easy/recovery session the day after a hard work out.

Where you have easy sessions you can always take this as a rest day as the training progresses if you feel fatigued. Also as the training progresses, add the easy run on to the end of the bike endurance session as a ‘brick session’. Keep the easy sessions the same volume for the duration of your plan add a little diversity and a touch of intensity to your tempo and turbo sessions on your bike trainer. Gradually build up your endurance sessions by small increments each week, be in no hurry to get the full distances. You may want to add some short course races in the later months of the plan, it isn’t essential but it can help remind you race-specific rituals, just don’t go too hard.

4. Progression

Your training should progress from a base level that you are completely comfortable with after your trial month of the plan. The basic principles of training are simple. We overload our systems and our bodies repair and come back stronger. The rate that we can progress our bodies improvements varies greatly dependant on gender, age and sporting back ground. But the general rule is that we can progressively overload our training by no more than 10% in volume OR 10% in intensity per week without risking breakdown and injury, even then we need to allow a recovery period to allow the body to overcompensate for the overloading we put our bodies through.

On a day to day basis we need to allow a short recovery between each session unless it’s a specific brick session. This may be just a good night’s sleep and an easy day to follow. On a monthly basis we need to allow an easy week where we drop volume and a little intensity to allow for full overcompensation to the loading. So 3 weeks on and 1 week easy is the general rule. As we get older we may need to allow a 2 to 1week recovery ratio. This will slow the progression down, but avoid injury and allow us to train consistently.

Keep a training log, this will help you plan and scrutinize your progress. Use a heart rate monitor if you like but learn how to use it properly.

5. Swim Training

Unless you’re already an accomplished swimmer I recommend that you get swim coaching to get your basic stroke assessed and appropriate drill work to help correct any errors.

The pace you need to be racing at is going to feel comfortable hopefully, so to get a feel of what your goal pace should be , swim 400m at what feels comfortable and multiply it by 4.75 this should give your goal pace at that current time i.e. 400m in 7mins would give you a goal 1.9km (1.2mi) of 33.15s. As you progress this may get slightly quicker so I would reassess this on a monthly basis, but remember its not a 400m time trial its what is ‘comfortable‘.

Early in the training I would limit your swim session to 30mins so that you focus on the technique and don’t swim with bad form because you’re tired. For the endurance session, once you can hold good form for the whole session you can build it up slowly to 60 minutes. For full Ironman endurance swims, you will need to stretch the session up to 90 minutes. The easy swim can be what ever you like, just use it as a recovery after the bike or run endurance session. A club session is ideal to use as your skill/form session.

6. Bike Training

Cycling fitness is the basis of your race, but the idea is to use your bike fitness to allow you to go slightly slower than your threshold pace which in turn allows you to run better off the bike. Many triathletes hit the bike hard and then really struggle on the run, this is the biggest and most repeated error made by long course triathletes. A slightly below par bike leg will NOT overly effect your overall race time by much, but if you walk too much in the run leg you WILL hemorrhage time. You may get away with it in short course racing but due to the fatigue you will experience on the run leg of long course it will slow you down to a walk if you overcook the bike leg.

Speed isn’t really the key to long course racing, to be blunt long course racing is actually quite slow for most age group (AG) triathletes and if you average above 20mph for the bike leg as a novice I would be surprised unless of course, you are an exceptional time trial rider. My fastest 112mi bike split of 5:19 equates to 21mph which is way below a specialist time trial riders average speed, but that has allowed me to run 3:40 marathons off the bike. So forget about going fast, but concentrate on being efficient. This comes from aerodynamics and endurance rides at your goal pace. If you ride a triathlon or TT setup you need to ride this once a week, to get used to it, maybe on the turbo sessions on the smart trainer if the weather is poor, but as often as possible.

The easy /recovery rides are just leg looseners and can be social or club rides. Just be careful of club sessions as they often end up as being far too fast due to the chest-beating males of the species! Training in a pair with similar goals or at least the same race date is ideal for keeping things sensible.

Turbo sessions are great for building up your threshold pace and getting used to aero positions before you go out for the longer endurance rides and when time is at a premium. As I stated earlier I don’t want to get bogged down in prescribing specific sets. You can use almost any type of session which you’ll find in books and training apps. They all will give you better efficiency in your pedaling techniques. I’m not convinced about spin classes due to the unspecific riding position but they’re probably better than no training.

The duration of the longer endurance rides should start from a point at which you can manage without coming home on your knees! You’ll probably be training the following day. Remember this is a long term training plan. Don’t rush to get to 56mi or 112mi in your first session. For Half Ironman races its fine to go over distance in training may be up to 80miles or maybe more for experienced cyclists. You will still gain fitness you can use in your race. But for Ironman I recommend you limit your rides to 112mi as a novice and you may only get to this distance once but that’s enough. It’s just a confidence booster to have achieved the distance.

7. Run Training

The run leg of long course triathlon is where races are won and lost. It’s the same for AG athletes. Completing the run leg with the minimum or no walking has to be the key to a good time and an enjoyable race. Get it wrong, and it is seriously going to hurt.

Running is also where you stand the highest risk of getting injured. Always err on the side of caution in your run training. Again the run isn’t going to be fast so don’t train fast. A 3:40 marathon/1:50 half marathon is still only 8:20 minute per mile. That’s SLOW by marathoners’ standards. As a novice sub 4 hr marathons off the bike are unlikely and that’s over 9 minutes per mile. Concentrating on steady efficient running will greatly reduce your risk of injury. Build the endurance run up from your longest run in your current fitness regime. Progress to 13mi for a half Ironman but only 18mi or 2hr 30 for full Ironman whichever comes soonest.

I have included threshold runs during the training week. These are runs that are slightly uncomfortable in intensity but not fast all-out runs, be careful with these sessions. They will increase your run efficiency only if you can handle them without getting injured. Only do them if you have the mileage in your legs from previous seasons, just run them steady if you’re unsure. You could use a walk/ run strategy, this can be very efficient but you may end up doing run /walk in your race anyway on run only training when the going gets tough, if you train on a run/walk strategy and things get tough you’ve only got walk left! Your easy/recovery runs can be a slow jog.

Triathletes often ask the question ‘should I run a marathon before Ironman?’ The general consensus says no, due to the risk of injury. Personally I have run a half marathon and a full marathon and a half Ironman in the spring build up before all 3 Ironman races I’ve done, admittedly the first one did cause me an injury, but once cleared up I ran my fastest Ironman run leg in 3:38. Maybe I was just lucky, and the consensus is right unless you again have good mileage in your legs. It’s the risk to reward ratio. I’d advise not to go to full marathon distance but a half marathon around goal pace is fine for most long course race build ups for beginners.

8. Nutrition

Nutrition is known as the 4th discipline in Ironman.

You need to eat well during the whole of the training plan. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lots of slow-release energy carbohydrates, some quality protein and the weekly treat of course. A few beers or glass of wine and the odd donut won’t hurt, but don’t make it your staple diet. As far as supplements go I personally only use energy gels and drinks everything else come out of the fridge or cooker. I believe that too much processed food and supplements restrict your body’s ability to process the natural rate of nutritional absorption. I also don’t use caffeine other than in a cup or at the end of the race, that way it’s more of a boost than a craving.

Race nutrition is very specific. This is where you need to get it right, you will burn up more calories than your body can store, so you’ll need to take onboard around 250 calories an hour. Even this amount will leave you in a calorie deficit at some point during a full Ironman race. I’m 66kg and 250 calories an hour suits me, find out what you can take on board by trial and error in training.

Everyone is different and you’ll need to try everything in training first. Find a brand of nutrition that you find palatable and make sure you take your own supply to the race unless you happen to be using the official branded nutrition of the event. You need to try it out at your race pace, this is very important, to get your body used to absorbing the calories at race pace. Otherwise, you’ll be shocking your system come race day which will lead to a lot of intestinal discomfort.

I’ll give you an example of the race nutrition that works for me and is pretty much textbook. This should work for both half and full Ironman races; it’s just the hourly consumption of calories that count.

Race Week Diet

In the week leading to the race you’ll want to eat well, cut back a little on the protein as this will fill you up and stop you from consuming enough carbohydrates. Don’t go mad but don’t go hungry. Eat some salty snacks to make sure your sodium levels are topped up and hydrate with water or electrolyte drink. Don’t overdo the hydration; I’m sure we’re all aware about the dangers of hypernatraemia. If not read up on it, it can have dire consequences.

I like to eat a BIG meal on the Saturday lunchtime and a snack on the evening before the race, if it’s on a Sunday; this allows time for the stomach to empty sufficiently for the early start on Sunday.

Triathlon Race Day Nutrition

Pre Race Breakfast: This should be filling but not too stodgy. Porridge, toast, tea, coffee and orange juice. 2 energy gels.

Pre swim: I sip away at water then take another gel 10 minutes before race start.

Bike Nutrition: Soon after starting the bike leg I’ll sip away at around 400ml of water only that’s in my aero bottle between the tri bars. This is to allow your heart rate and stomach to settle after the swim leg. Now it’s time to start feeding up, ready for the bike and run leg to come.

I prefer energy gels (whatever you use you need something with electrolytes in it) so I’ll mix up a 500ml bottle (marked in 100ml graduations) at 5 x the recommended strength (10 scoops) which would have been placed in my bottle cage before the swim start and I top up 100ml an hour into my aero bottle and take water from the feed stations to make it up to 500ml (normal strength). This method reduces the weight of fluids you carry on the bike, it always seems crazy to purchase the latest all-carbon racing machine and then go and put up to 2kg of water on it when 1kg will do, feed stations come thick and fast so you’re never far from a feed.

All this can be done on the move with practice. Try and sip away every 10 minutes and at least 500ml an hour depending on temperature. At half way in an Ironman bike leg I expect to need a pee, if I don’t pee I know I’m not drinking enough. Your choice whether you stop to pee or not. Me, I stop, honest! It is an automatic disqualification if you get caught peeing on course by the roaming referees.

They do provide portaloos which are dotted around the course near the penalty boxes of which you will read about in your race manual. Also at halfway, I like to treat my self to a Mars bar which is in my bento box (the small pouch attached to the top tube). I also keep a few gels in there to make sure I don’t run out of energy, avoid ‘the bonk’ at all costs. If you take solid foods on the bike you’ll need to stop taking them around an hour before the run, to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort. Take fluids only for the last hour.

Run Nutrition: This is where it gets difficult. You may struggle to feed properly on the run. Most stomach issues come from racing at too high an intensity which stops your body from being able to absorb your calories properly and you begin to bloat (hence the importance of training and feeding at race pace).

I usually alternate water and energy drink at each feed station for the first half, then I’ll start pecking away at an energy gel if I can stomach it, I may use 2 or 3 gels for the second half. In the very late stages of the run I’ll switch to Coke at every feed station (the simple sugars are easy to digest at this stage and it has a caffeine boost). Walking through the feed stations is a good idea as it resets your neuromuscular system and allows you to feed properly.

9. Race Specificity

It’s important to be specific in your training. Swim as much as you can in open water. Ride your triathlon bike as much as you can and run at race pace for the majority of your training. Test out your nutrition at race pace.

Add some brick sessions during the later stage of your training plan, swim to bike, and bike to run sessions. Maybe do a long weekend of completing the distance in all 3 disciplines with a good few hours between swim and bike and a night’s sleep before the run, all at an easy pace. Doing some long solo sessions will also help you mentally prepare for the race. There may be around 2,500 competitors in the race but you’ll all be in your own little world at some point in the race.

10. Tapering

Tapering is when we reduce our training and allow our bodies to suck up the fitness, rest and recover.

The process allows us to go into the race with optimal conditioning, fully recovered from the six months of hard labour.

There aren’t any set rules to tapering; again it’s a very personal thing. Try and remember how you’ve tapered for short course racing and try and adapt this.

I prefer a 3 week taper. I’ll look at my previous weeks training which will have been my maximum volume and cut back volume each week by 60%, 40% and 20% respectively. I do this by cutting bag the length of the sessions and cut a few sessions out all together. I will keep the intensity at race pace or below. Race week will have 3 or 4 days of no training at all to allow for travel and race preparation.

Getting a short swim at the race venue 1 or 2 days before is a bit of a ritual for most Ironman triathletes, a very easy, short bike ride to check the bikes ok and a brief jog at some point. All done by mid morning and then total rest.

11. Perfect Race Day: Triathlon Race Strategy

You need to have a race strategy. You’ve planned and trained hard, don’t go into the race blindly. Be careful of ‘goal creep’ as you near the race. Stick to achievable targets.

You put hours of consistent workouts into your training week, yet race day is over quickly with no room for error. With all the time you put into your training you want race day to go smoothly, reflecting training time well-spent. With proper preparation, planning, and predictable sequence of events on race day, you can control the outcome.

Make sure your race goes as planned with a set sequence of events to follow during the last several days, and on race day morning. You can follow the same pattern every time you participate in an event, thus reducing potential problems.

Select an event that matches your level of experience and preparation
Choose a suitable race, train well, and set an attainable goal to make race day a positive experience. There are several factors to consider while selecting races: Am I ready for/do I have time to prepare for the distance? Am I/can I prepare effectively for the terrain/conditions (waves, climbs on ride and run, heat). Is the level of competition suitable (local race, or national level competition)? Triathlon is a great sport because there’s a place for everyone regardless of experience or age, but it’s more fun to be ‘in the race’ rather than finishing while everyone else is at the post-race feast.

Finish your first race; race your second
Many first-time Ironman competitors come to me with their race day times for swim, bike, and run carefully mapped out, only a few finish in their goal time, but everyone finishes. My point is if you’re a first time triathlete or first time competitor at a new distance, focus on finishing the race and don’t worry about time.

Set realistic goals
What are your goals for this race? Realistic goal-setting is pivotal to make your race day a positive experience. Compare the competition to those of similar distance and terrain that you’ve done. If the goal is to go faster than in previous events, set a satisfying margin of improvement that’s realistic for the day.

Mentally prepare
Are you psychologically ready for the event? Are you aware of specific challenges for the day like waves, heat, or hills? Has your training gone well? Are you ready for a max effort over the distance, or is this race just a step toward a more important goal?

Consider race day logistics
Research what the logistics are like on race-day if known. How many people are participating; what’s the parking situation; where’s transition area and registration relative to parking; will the crowds be large or small? The larger the race, the more time that’s needed for race-morning prep. In most cases it’s safe to arrive at race location 1½ hours prior to the event.

Know the course
Upload a course to your triathlon watch. If possible, see and train on the course. If your first time at the race site is race-day morning, do your best to research course details beforehand. Study any course maps that are available; see any key portions of the course that you can.

Pay attention to details
Where is the swim start and how far is it from the transition area? How much time do I need to allot to get to the start? Can I get there barefoot, or do I need sandals? Check out the footing between the swim exit in T1, also check out the footing in the transition area itself. From the swim exit to transition area try to pick out rocks and obstructions to avoid. Assess whether you can go barefoot through the transition area or if you’re better-off running in your bike shoes.

Know the transition area
Check all your gear. As you place your gear in the transition area, be sure to memorize your rack position; look for landmarks — trees, poles — and if the racks aren’t clearly numbered, memorize your row and count the number of racks from transition entry. As you’re in the transition area, make sure you have the in’s and out’s memorized. If it’s not clear, ask a race official.

Claim your transition space and make it easy to find
Think of a way to make your transition spot distinctive so when you’re racing at redline it will be easy to find. Use bright colors — an unusual towel, or a bright seat cover on your bike — whatever separates your stuff from the sea of bikes and gear. Don’t let others invade your space on the rack. Making sure you have ample space and that no surrounding competitors will knock your gear around.

Get to the start and warm up
Wear a triathlon wetsuit or swimskin if necessary. Get to the swim start area at least 15 minutes before your wave is scheduled to go off. Always do some sort of a warm-up before the start. If the water is not too cold, you’re I recommend a swim of 10 minutes out to the first buoy on the course and back. If the water is very cold and you’re afraid of getting chilled prior to the start, try a dry-land alternative like a jog, jumping in place with arm swings, or a quick stretch-cord workout.

Control your swim
Know the course. Locate the swim entrance and exit as-well-as all the buoys. If it’s a mass start, position yourself realistically based on your pace. If you line up with faster swimmers they’ll swim right over you and that’s no fun. If you line up too far back, you’ll spend much of the swim wasting time and losing momentum passing slower swimmers. If you’re new to the sport and nervous with other swimmers around you, line-up on the side, taking a slightly longer diagonal line to the first buoy.

Move your way into the pack once the group thins out. Once you get in with a steady-paced group of swimmers, move tight in behind another swimmer and draft. If the water is clear, you’ll be able to follow the group both with your head down, and head up sighting. If the water is murky, follow the bubbles coming off their feet and follow the caps as you sight. It’s been said: “You can’t win a triathlon on the swim, but you can lose it.” A few seconds gained on the swim, doesn’t mean much once you begin the bike leg. Therefore, in most cases you’re better off drafting behind a fast group rather than putting out a huge solo effort that only gains you a few seconds. Just a little energy saved during the swim can make a big difference on the bike.

Be steady on the bike
Briefly check you’ve got everything you need before you leave transition.
You’ll be on the bike for a while and coping with some lactic acid left over from the swim, so start at a comfortably fast pace and build as you go.

Then remember to ride within yourself for the first quarter of the bike leg, the effort level should feel easy, then as you progress into the bike leg get into the race pace you’ve trained at and stick to it. This is where most long course athletes get it wrong and go out way too fast. People may fly by you, don’t bite. You will see them later in the day, either walking the marathon or on the podium because they really are that good!

In Ironman distance races the race ‘begins’ at about 80-miles into the bike. If you’ve paced well to that point the rest of your ride, and the run that follows well go well. The same rule holds for sprint, Olympic, and even 1/2 Ironman distances.

While there’s less need to hold back for these distances, if your 56-mile 1/2 Ironman ride is at sprint distance pace, you’ll be in trouble for the run. Be aware of drafting rules and keep your focus. There’s no one out there protecting you but you! Ease-up with your pacing for the last mile of the ride and start getting psyched for the run. Yes, I said get psyched!

Be tough on the run
You’ve gotten through the swim and bike in control, now comes the toughest part for most of us. Is running fast ever comfortable? Not for me, but I take solace in the fact that the race is almost over and if I can hold a good pace I’ll have no regrets.

Just as you did on the bike, start at a speed you know you can maintain throughout and build as you go. On the run you will need to be aware of your fatigue, run steady. If at any point in the first half of the run you feel good then save it for the second half.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SECOND HALF OF THE RUN. If you can’t build your effort, just hold it where it is…if you can’t hold it—just hold on! It will get very tough at some point, but keep moving forward, the finish will come eventually.

13. Top Triathlon Tips

  1. Talk to your family about your goals. Get their support. If all goes well proceed to Tip No2!
  2. Set some rules of life balance with family and work commitments.
  3. Set your goal, be realistic.
  4. Enter the race on the day registration opens. Some races are very difficult to get in to.
  5. Plan, plan and plan some more.
  6. Get kitted out with reliable gear; don’t worry if it’s not the latest bit of ‘plastic’.
  7. Start training.
  8. Reassess regularly. Is it going to plan? Be flexible
  9. Be as consistent as you can.
  10. Eat quality nutrition.
  11. Be specific in your training, anything else is junk miles.
  12. Focus on developing weak areas, but don’t neglect your strengths.
  13. Listen to your body.
  14. Have a race strategy and stick to it as best you can, but be ready for a plan B if necessary.
  15. Enjoy the whole experience; you will learn something new about yourself. Guaranteed.

So there you have it everything you need to know whether Long Course Triathlon is for you and how to go about it, without losing your house and family along the way!

Enjoy the experience like thousands of others do.

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Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 3 Certified Coach. Since graduating college, Ryan has coached over sixty triathletes, runners, cyclists, and swimmers. He focuses on helping them select appropriate goals and guiding them towards achieving them.

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