Lock your bike up in transition.1 of 32
You have enough to do in T1—from stripping off your wetsuit to remembering your helmet and shoes—that you definitely don't want to fiddle with remembering your lock combination and unwinding the lock from your bike, as well. Plus, are you going to relock it when you get back for T2? Talk about a time suck.
Get a white tri suit.2 of 32
Unless the suit in question has a very, very good liner—or you are as fit as Gwen Jorgensen—those around you are going to see a lot more than they signed up for. Save yourself the embarrassment and just say no to white.
It's OK to try new things on race day.3 of 32
Unless you want to make frequent stops at the porta potty or finish your race with more raw skin than healthy, test new gear and nutrition at least a couple of times before you toe the line. And that fancy new wetsuit you just bought? Yeah, you're gonna want to swim in it a few times before you jump into the water on race day.
Great job on your first sprint! You should do a full in a few months.4 of 32
There are a couple issues with this advice. Unless you're Superman—or at least Jan Frodeno—making the jump from less than 16 miles to over 140 in a single race is a tough task, especially in a measly few months. While it may be feasible one day, with a massive amount of training and dedication, you really should build up to that full IRONMAN equivalent, moving first to a standard-distance race and then a half IRONMAN.
Aid stations slow you down.5 of 32
While it may take you a few extra seconds to stop at an aid station during your race, the energy you'll have from properly fueling will make up for the time spent. Bonking later because you skipped fueling up will cost you minutes over those seconds you thought you saved.
Cover yourself in Vaseline to get more aero.6 of 32
The effects of this strategy would be miniscule and not worth the feeling of having Vaseline all over your body for an entire race. Talk about uncomfortable.
It's easy.7 of 32
This may be true for the person giving the advice, but they likely have more training and experience than you do. But, with some time, you just might be able to call it easy—or at least less difficult—too.
Eat all you want.8 of 32
It's true that triathletes eat a lot while in the middle of a training plan. But, that doesn't mean we're grabbing every edible substance in sight. A healthy, balanced diet allows us to stay on top of our game.
You're almost there!9 of 32
These three dreaded words are often heard while out on the course. Chances are, we're not almost there, and saying that to us, even with good intentions, probably isn't going to get us to the finish any faster.
Tie a balloon to your transition area so you can easily find your bike.10 of 32
While this would help you pinpoint your transition area in a snap, you'll also look like a huge dork. Instead, try placing a colorful towel in your area or some other unique identifier on your bike that's a little more inconspicuous.
You don't need socks.11 of 32
While this is great advice for many when it comes to speeding up transition, it doesn't work for everyone. Those of us with more sensitive feet need that extra layer to feel comfortable. However, whether you go with socks or without, make sure you try it out ahead of your race to ensure no blisters or other pesky ailments crop up.
It's not that expensive.12 of 32
Let's face it: Triathlon is an expensive sport. While it's possible to compete on a budget, the fact is that bikes, helmets, kits and every other piece of gear you need (read: want) really add up.
The course has gently rolling hills.13 of 32
If you've ever signed up for a race because your friend or the course description said there were "gently rolling hills," you know the struggle. In reality, "gently" should have never been used to describe those mountains you just climbed.
Be sure to pump your tires up right before the race.14 of 32
While you do want properly inflated tires, you don't want them full to bursting. If you're in a location that will get warmer throughout the race, simple chemistry shows that those air particles will expand with heat, potentially causing your tube to blow and your race to be ruined. Instead, stick to the standard psi for your wheels and weight, and air them up the night before or a few hours in advance of the start.
Start at the back of the pack so you have more people to pass.15 of 32
While this seems fine in theory, and is certainly a great way to boost your confidence, it's actually quite inefficient. Why spend time and energy maneuvering around people who are moving slower than you are, when you can set yourself up in a position to have plenty of space to do your thing from the start?
Just follow the signs—it's clearly marked.16 of 32
While this might be true, you should at least drive the course if the option is available so that you can see any tricky turns or other potential snags. You'll be thankful you did, come race day.
Don't worry about the swim, it's the shortest discipline.17 of 32
It might be true that the swim is the shortest distance, but it can also be the most intimidating. While most people know how to ride a bike and run, swimming takes time to learn—in fact, even a 350-meter sprint swim in a pool can be a daunting task when you're just starting out.
You don't need a coach—just look it up on the internet.18 of 32
While there is plenty of good information online, it would take more time than it's worth finding everything you need to be successful at your race—not to mention, tailoring that advice to your specific needs. If you spend money on one thing for triathlon, let it be a coach.
Service your own bike to save money.19 of 32
Every triathlete should learn to change a flat and lube their chain, but unless you're a trained bike mechanic or have lots of experience, it's better to take your bike to a professional when substantial maintenance is necessary. You don't want to accidentally mess something up, only to realize it on race day.
Running is the easiest part20 of 32
Maybe this holds true when it isn't paired with the other two disciplines, but running any distance, even a 5K, after both swimming and biking, is no easy task.
You'll be fine doing breast stroke.21 of 32
You may be able to get through a sprint triathlon with this method, but anything longer and you'll be hurting for the shore. There's a reason the Olympics, which has some of the best swimmers in the world, doesn't have an 800-meter breast stroke event.
Give it everything for the first 10 minutes and hang in there until the end.22 of 32
This is a recipe for bonking. When doing a triathlon, pacing is key. You don't want to wear yourself out before you even get a chance to start.
You don't need to train for it.23 of 32
Even if you consider yourself a proficient swimmer, cyclist and runner, not training for a triathlon is kind of like only walking to prepare for running a marathon. You may be fine doing each discipline separately, but putting them all together is a whole different story.
The pain is all in your head.24 of 32
Mental strength and pushing through a hard training session is one thing, but pain is how your body tells you something's wrong. Listen to it so you don't create even bigger problems in the future.
You don't need any more bikes.25 of 32
Ha! While we may only need one bike, that shouldn't stop us from buying more, right? RIGHT?!
The better you get, the less you'll have to breathe on the swim, so just try to hold it now.26 of 32
We're just guessing, but you should probably breathe as much as you need to during any type of exercise—especially in the water. Passing out and going under isn't exactly something you want to be close to doing.
Drafting doesn't really help on the swim.27 of 32
This one's spoken like someone who isn't doing it right. Drafting on the swim, while a technical skill that requires practice, can save you loads of time and exertion on that all-important first leg. There are a few different methods for perfecting it, but devote some time leading up to your next long course race and watch it pay dividends on race day.
Use a bucket for your transition gear.28 of 32
And where, exactly, do you plan to put that thing? Using a bucket—the sort you'd use in baseball practice, for example—as a "handy" way to carry your gear into transition is the exact opposite of convenient. For one, it is unwieldy to carry, and for two, there's very little space around the bike racks. If you do go this route, at least leave the bucket somewhere on the sidelines and out of the way once you have your gear set up.
You can't win the race on the swim.29 of 32
As the popular triathlon adage goes, you can't win the race on the swim, but you sure can lose it. If you have someone telling you the first part as a way of skipping swim workouts or completely overlooking swimming during their training prep, just smile and nod—then grab your cap and goggles and get out there.
Don't train so much. You're never going to win anyway.30 of 32
The thing is, we are fully aware that we probably won't win or even place in the top 10 of our age group. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't race. There are plenty of other victories to be had that don't involve standing on the podium.
Don't do it.31 of 32
Anyone who's done a triathlon before knows this is the worst advice. Where would we be today if we never swam, biked and ran that first time?