11 Tips for Your First Triathlon

Finally, a lot of people get vertigo when coming out of the water onto solid ground. At the end of your swim, stand up slowly putting your hands on your knees for stability. Pause, keep your eyes down to begin with, then bring eyes up to the horizon and start walking.

Rule #8: Don't eat anything in T1 (transition 1).

Wait eight to 15 minutes before taking in liquid or food.

This is to avoid extra GI stress. Your heart rate should rise and your breathing should reach a steady state. Let your circulation reach that equilibrium again; then take in calories.

Hopefully you've trained with the food you plan to eat. If you haven't trained with something, it's best to take in smaller amounts more frequently—every eight to 12 minutes.

One of the biggest problems triathletes have is that they consume too much, too soon. You should be on a steady drip system. Think smaller quantities, not big gulps. Sip your fluids every eight minutes.

More: How Much Fuel Do You Need During Long Rides?

#9: Be smart on the bike.

Per rule #5, your bike should be in an easy gear when you head out of T1. Start your ride slowly and ease up to your comfortable gear. For beginners, this should be 84 to 92 rpms. It should not feel like you are mashing down on your pedals. Every now and then, check yourself: Count how many times your right foot passes through the bottom of the pedal stroke. It should be between 22 and 24 times for every 15 seconds.

If you're comfortable standing up, and have a flat stretch of road about 30 minutes into the bike, take advantage of the opportunity to stretch your hip flexors by standing up and leaning slightly forward with your hips.

Finally, don't drink anything within the last 10 minutes of the bike.

Don't hurry coming into transition 2 (T2). If it's wet, it can be slippery. Just take your time and walk through transition.

More: Create Faster Bike-to-Run Transitions 

#10: Don't eat anything in T2.

Similar to rule #8, you want to give your body time to adjust to the next activity before you take in food. You can carry for onto course, however.

Wait six to 10 minutes before drinking; then drink according to your thirst. Sip 1 to 4 ounces every eight to 12 minutes. Humid weather or heavy sweat may require more fluid replacement drink and water.

#11: Ease into the run.

Similar to the bike, you want to ramp up for the run. Get your arms moving at the beginning to help bring up your leg speed.

Also, stand tall and avoid the slouch. In other words, tuck your pelvis, draw up your ribs, and run proud. You are, after all, about to finish your first triathlon.

More: Last-Minute Tips for Your First Tri

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