It's a Saturday morning and while you're walking the dog, child or the walk of shame, a squad of men and women in skin suits passes you by. Yes, those are triathletes, and no, they are not insane, they're passionate about this sport, enough so that they've paid loads for that race. You may be envious of their stamina and athletic ability, and even intrigued. This is the moment the world of triathlon is upon you. It can be a daunting discovery and your wish to join this sub-culture can seem overwhelming, where do you start? how do you get involved? Your local triathlon club is your source of information, there to inspire you and teach you everything you need to know. Just remember, its the age of the internet and there's lots of information about gear, beginner training, and local events all over the place, you just haven't noticed yet.
I know what you're thinking, "I can't swim". Don't worry, every tri-newbie has one or more sports within the trifecta that pose a threat to their win. The only way to get over that is train, train, train!! Many swim centers have adult swim coaching. Here's some beginner tips:
1. Don't worry about expensive nutrition: Don't get swept up in the expensive nutrition, most of the sources of electrolytes and protein can come from regular food. Yes, races do require quicker refueling, so gels and bars can come in handy because you can tape small packets to your bike or stuff them in the back of your skin suit for th run. For now, cool recipes online and maybe invest in a good all-rounded vegan protein powder for post work-out smoothies. Other than that, leave the expensive powders, bars and gels at the store.
2. Start small, build your confidence: IRONMAN is a brand, and its not going anywhere anytime soon. The first thing is to start with a local super-sprint or sprint distance to get your feet wet, then move up the ladder when you feel comfortable. It's all about your PB, not anyone elses.
3. Beginner training, it takes time: You may be very fit, and even running marathons. Or you may have just removed your lump of a body from the couch. Either way, triathlon training requires time for improvement. Not only is your body going to be adjusting to the endurance of the sport, building the stamina and fitness, but you also need time to understand the technique
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions: It looks like all the triathletes around you were born into it and you feel super silly for asking what a rolling swim start is. Actually, everyone started in the same place and most triathletes will be so happy to espouse their wisdom, so ask away.
Most importantly, have fun, and congratulate yourself for this new passion in your life.