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Triathlon Tips voor je eerste Triathlon

Triathlon Tips for your first Triathlon

, by Steff Overmars, 7 min reading time


On your way to your first triathlon race? TriathlonWorld and triathlete Steff Overmars are happy to help you on your way.

On your way to your first triathlon race? TriathlonWorld and triathlete Steff Overmars are happy to help you on your way.

What should you keep in mind for your first triathlon?

Triathlon is a very fast growing sport. Not only in the Netherlands but worldwide. The competitions are expanding very quickly and nowadays everyone knows what a triathlon entails. That used to be different...

But unlike many other sports, there is a lot involved! We would like to tell you more about this. Ignorance and fear should not be a barrier to not trying this wonderful sport. We will help you on your way!

Are Your Ready to Go Tri

Triathlon has several (official) distances and that is sometimes quite confusing...
Z=Swimming F=Cycling L=Walking
The sprint Z 750 - F 20 - L5
Olympic distance (or 5150) Z 1.5 - F 40 - L 10
Half triathlon (middle distance or 70.3) Z 1.9 - F 90 - L 21.1
Classic distance (entire triathlon) Z 3.8 - F 180 - L 42.2

Then you have the 1/8 triathlon and a 1/4 triathlon which is almost the same as the sprint and OD (Olympic distance), except the swimming is 500m and 1km.

There is sometimes some confusion about the name Ironman, because many people think that this is more than an entire triathlon, it is simply just an organization that organizes these distances, but it is “just” an entire triathlon. Ironman used to be one of the few major organizations, but Challenge is currently booming with races over this distance.

Furthermore, there are dozens of beautiful complete triathlons that do not fall under the flag of a large organization. For example, TriathlonWorld is a partner of Triathlon Brouwersdam and is definitely recommended.

What triathlon gear do you need for your first triathlon?
There is a lot involved in a triathlon, especially in terms of equipment, but start with the basics.
What you definitely need during your first triathlon:

- Bicycle
- Helmet
- Running shoes
- Trisuit (or bicycle and running clothes are also possible)
- Starting number tape
- Chip (often via the organization)

Optional things (which many do have and are certainly recommended):
- Wetsuit (sometimes mandatory for water colder than 16 degrees)
- Cycling shoes
- Sunglasses
- Swimming goggles

Materials also wear out and everything is replaced.
You can make it as crazy as you want. Bicycles in particular are popular, where new athletes quickly invest a lot of money and don't blame them... Everyone loves a nice bike, but for the starting triathlete, don't let that stop you!

With a borrowed/rented bicycle, borrowed/rented wetsuit, a pair of running shoes that you also cycle in, a running or cycling clothing set and a healthy dose of commitment, you can go a long way in trying to run a short distance.

If you want to go for longer distances straight away, having your own bike and tri suit is recommended. You can then prepare well during the training sessions.

Sports nutrition | 4th part of Triathlon
A part that is often forgotten by starting triathletes, but certainly also by advanced triathletes. If you get a taste for training, you naturally want to ensure that your body stays fit and can present itself. Don't forget to think about sports nutrition. After all, your body needs fuel to perform. For example, start with an energy gel or energy bar .

What best suits your goal? Association | Community | Coach |
But how can you prepare as best as possible if you have little knowledge of the sport?
We often get this question and of course you are welcome at TriathlonWorld in Meppel and Terneuzen, but you can of course go to one of the many 'start to tri' courses, there is now plenty on offer. Local associations (and even clothing brands with their own community) can also provide these courses or help you start the sport.

Believe me...if you think you shouldn't join a club because everyone there is much better than you, then you are wrong! There are several novice athletes in associations, and some of them have just passed the phase you were in and they can help you get started!
Furthermore, associations and communities often go further than swimming, cycling and running. It's also the social aspect, which is very important!

Serious approach with a trainer/coach
If you want to take it seriously right away, training with a (certified) trainer/coach is a good step! As quickly as triathlons are springing up, this also applies to trainers. There is always one that suits you well. This is certainly recommended for longer distances. This way you build up your training responsibly, towards your race! Of course you don't want injuries.

Remember that these are not 3 separate sports and you should not approach them that way in the run-up to larger competitions. When you start working yourself, in your enthusiasm you can quickly lose sight of the load VS the load capacity, resulting in a worst-case scenario......an injury! A coach can help you with this, especially when building up volume and intensity.

Local sprint competition
If you want to do a local sprint competition, you don't need coaches or courses for that. Almost anyone can cycle and run, if you practice it well and a few times (and build it up slowly) then your first race will certainly go well in terms of these components! Speed ​​is something you don't have to think about at all. Maybe you even come from 1 of those 2 sports.

Swimming
Swimming is a completely different thing and often a major barrier for people to do a triathlon (unless you come from swimming of course). Swimming is a very technical sport and therefore much more difficult to master than cycling or running. Still, I think that swimming 500 meters should not be a problem for most sporty people. Of course, not everyone can do that with front crawl, but with breaststroke you will certainly be fine! During the recreational competitions you are certainly not the only one who swims breaststroke. There are even many recreational athletes who swim breaststroke during an entire triathlon.

If you really can't swim, there are also many swimming courses and front crawl courses that can help you with that. If you absolutely love triathlon, you will naturally invest more time in it and if not, learning to swim is never a bad investment!

Switching during a triathlon!
When you have reasonably mastered all three parts, the next step is; practicing the substitutions. You will learn what is involved in a switch, so you have thought of everything and how a switch works. But also the transitions from swimming (lying horizontally) to running, (switching), to cycling and of course from cycling to walking.

These transitions feel quite strange, but if you practice it often, it will work out just fine, as with many things. Especially from cycling to running, your legs always feel a bit strange, but after a few practices you will certainly notice that it disappears quite quickly!

In short, there are plenty of options to start and whether you do it all yourself, through an association, through a course or with a coach... it will certainly be a great experience that first race!

Good luck and have fun!!!!
Greetings Steff Overmars! #FindYourBest

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Triathlon Tips for your first Triathlon