The season is coming, you grab your agenda and you plant your first triathlon, for example at the Hellevoet Heroes† So you are really starting!
In our store and through customer service we get a lot of questions about starting a first triathlon. What do I need? Do I have to buy a wetsuit? Can I participate on my normal racing bike? What do you recommend for sports nutrition?
In this blog I (Peter van ASW) give you insight into how you are well prepared at the start. I am now an experienced triathlete and have been participating in the Netherlands for a few years now. But hey, I also just started without any idea what my first triathlon would be like ...
Training and condition
During your triathlon you will go swimming, cycling and walking. And how far you should do that depends on the different competitions from which you can choose. This way you can start with a sprint triathlon or others choose to start immediately with half or a distance.
In all cases it is important that your condition is good enough. Start training on time and make sure you can look forward to the chosen triathlon and the distances with confidence.
How good should your condition be? That answer also depends on the performance that you want to put down and especially the distances that you have to take. Are you an athlete? Do not hesitate, register immediately for a sprint triathlon (a "short distance match") and just start! However, if you opt for a half or whole triathlon (a "long distance match"), then it is not surprising to prepare for at least one year with a thorough training schedule.
The most frequently asked question at ASW is "what do I need for my first triathlon". That is also a good question at ASW, because we have all the necessities for you in our store. Below per part you need at least, which is good to have and full equipment. Note: Do you start half or a whole distance? Then look at what is good to have or even the complete equipment, because the distances you have to take takes a good to very good equipment.
If you start your first triathlon and you participate in a short distance competition, then a good thing will suffice goggles And a swimsuit or bathing suit. A bathing cap is mandatory for competitions, which you usually get from the organization in your starter package.
Good swimming goggles does not leak, gives you sufficient visibility when swimming in open water (you also have to navigate) and also offers protection against UV light on sunny days. Good glasses are not expensive and therefore also a must-have.
The disadvantage of swimming in your swimsuit or bathing suit is that you still have to put on your swimwear in the exchange zone. You not only lose time with that, but it cycles and do not run well. A trisuit So is actually also a must have.
Depending on where and when you start is a wetsuit Also necessary. Especially in the spring and autumn, the water can be too cold to start without a wetsuit. Moreover, a wetsuit offers buoyancy, making it easier to float, your right lies in the water and therefore swim faster. That is why many triathletes prefer swimming with a wetsuit.
A wetsuit is a somewhat more expensive purchase, in particular because you also want a well -fitting wetsuit of good quality, so that you swim in it and it will last a long time. Do you start your first triathlon to see if it is for you? Then first rent a wetsuit at ASW.
Do you want to measure your performance during the triathlon? Then one is sports watch recommended. This way you see your time, speed, heart rate and much more per part. And afterwards you can view the data, that is always interesting. Choose a special watch that can measure swimming, cycling and walking. Don't forget to put your race on Strava afterwards!
After swimming you get on the bike. So you need a bike. Preferably you drive on a racing bike or if you really tackle it well, on a triathlon bike with a ligger steer. In any case, make sure that your bike is in good condition. The brakes must work well, you bicycle tires must be good and pumped up and your bike must be clean Being, because a clean bike is a fast bike.
In your first race, however, the bike does not matter that much. You can simply do a first short distance on your own bike. Nice and firm kicking! Do you already have a racing bike? Then you already look very good with that. You can then still consider a ligger To put on your racing bike, that is certainly nice if you start a longer distance and you have to cycle far. A ligarge offers comfort and extra speed.
You also have to put on shoes on the bike. If you drive on a racing bike or triathlon bike, then that is of course shoes with click pedals† For a super fast change you can still invest in special triathlon cycling shoes. You can put it on easier and therefore faster, whether or not while jumping on your bike. Do you start your first game on a bike with normal pedals? Then you can also put on your running shoes and cycle with it.
If you sock Doing when cycling is a choice. That makes your change a little less quickly, but if you like that, you just have to do that.
Don't forget onehelmet to set up. It is mandatory at all competitions. Very safe. A good bicycle helmet is sufficient, the better choice is a helmet that is Aero.
It is highly recommended to cycle with a bicycle glasses or sunglasses† Glasses stop dirt and insects and on sunny days you protect your eyes against bright and harmful light. Choose good glasses that are sturdy.
Finally, you wear one from cycling start number tape† Your starting number is attached to that. With a starting number band you can quickly put on the star number in the exchange zone. When cycling you wear your number on your back, when you walk you wear it on your front.
If you are going to do a longer distance, then it is also advisable to get one when cycling READY SET or MULTITOOL to bring along. Don't forget one inner tire And tire lighters for when you are leaking.
The last part has arrived. Your helmet can finish and you change your cycling shoes for running shoes. You keep your sunglasses and start number band. No socks yet? Then you can walk a short distance barefoot so that your change is super fast again. For a longer distance you now put on socks, preferably Special running socks.
In general, all running shoes for a first triathlon are satisfactory. Ultimately, you can opt for ever faster shoes, but they have to match your running style. Watch out for injuries.
Provide your running shoes with Quick laces or elastic laces† That way you don't have to tie your shoelaces, that saves valuable time in the substitution. And those laces are not expensive, so really a must have, also for your first triathlon.
Is it super hot when walking? Then choose to one cap or sun visor to carry. That not only stops the sun, but a built -in sweat also keeps sweat out of your eyes. Very nice.
To take all your things with you, you can transition bag to buy. That is a special backpack with many compartments specially made for your triathlon equipment.
During the competition you have to drink and eat. And the longer the competition, the more you have to eat and drink. Especially with a long distance match, it is advisable to make a nutrition plan and to try it out in advance.
Only drinking water is not enough during your competition. At least you do a tablet with electrolytes, so that what you drink is also absorbed by your body. With longer distances you can also have a energy drinksuse with carbohydrates. Then you can drink by bike and you will immediately get new energy.
In the exchange zone or while walking you can energy to take. This way you get energy and you can continue to race. Choose your favorite flavors or types of gels, that is a matter of trying out. And make a thorough plan, so that you don't get too little or too much.
That's a lot of info! As a starting triathlete you can have many questions about your participation in your first competition.
Do you have any questions? Then don't hesitate to just call me (Peter van ASW) on 020-261 02 70. I am happy to answer your questions so that you can start your first triathlon with confidence. Are you already an experienced triathlete and do you still have questions? Then call. Within the ASW team we have a lot of experience, so that we know for sure to have an answer to your question!
I wish you every success with the preparations.
This is a first blog post in a series for Hellevoet Heroes, a triathlon for inexperienced and experienced triathletes. ASW is a proud sponsor of the competition.