9 Training Tips for your First Triathlon

Supported by Orca.


Preparing for your first triathlon can be both exciting and a real challenge. Here are 9 tips to prime optimal performance: 


Start a training plan

Develop a structured training plan that works for you, and your lifestyle that outlines your workouts leading up to the triathlon. A plan will help you stay organised, track progress, and ensure that you're incorporating the necessary swim, bike, and run sessions. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your training as the race approaches. 


Prioritise consistency

Consistency is key. Train regularly, ideally: two swims, two runs, two bikes and two strength sessions per week, to build endurance and improve fitness. Consistent training will also help you adapt to the demands of all three disciplines. Prioritise strength and conditioning training above aerobics. 

Focus on swim technique and confidence in open water

If swimming is not your strongest discipline, consider taking swim lessons or working with a coach to increase speed and reduce drag. Proper swim technique can make a significant difference in your efficiency and overall performance during the swim leg of the triathlon. 


Incorporate Brick workouts

Brick workouts involve combining two disciplines back-to-back, such as a bike session followed immediately by a run. This type of training helps your body adapt to the transition from one discipline to another and prepares you mentally for the race. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your brick workouts as you progress. 


Practice transitions

Transitions can be a time-consuming aspect of triathlon if not done efficiently. Set up a transition area at home or in a local park and practice transitioning from one discipline to another. Work on quickly changing gear, putting on shoes, and mentally preparing for the next leg of the race. 

Consider using elastic laces, talcum powder in the shoes, remember where your bike is in the lineup by referencing environmental aspects, glide gel for transitioning in and out of wetsuits. 


Train race terrain

If possible, try to train on terrain that is similar to the race course. If the triathlon includes hills, incorporate hill training into your bike and run workouts. Familiarising yourself with the terrain will help you prepare mentally and physically for the challenges ahead. 

Consider Cross-Training

Incorporate cross-training activities such as strength training, yoga, or Pilates into your routine. These activities can help improve your overall strength, flexibility, and prevent injuries. Just make sure not to overdo it and allow for proper recovery. 


Mental Preparation

Triathlon is not just a physical challenge but also a mental one. Work on mental preparation techniques such as visualisation, positive self-talk, and goal setting. Prepare yourself mentally for the different stages of the race, visualise yourself crossing the finish line, and stay focused and positive throughout your training and on race day. Find ways to control adrenaline and stay calm. 


Enjoy the Journey

Remember that your first triathlon is a significant accomplishment, regardless of your finishing time. Embrace the journey, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the experience. Triathlon is a unique sport that challenges you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Embrace the opportunity to push your limits and discover what you're capable of. 

Remember to listen to your body, stay consistent, and you'll be well-prepared and confident. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey and have fun during your first triathlon. Trust your training, stay positive, and embrace the experience.


Need some more info about open water swimming?

Check out our other posts in collaboration with Orca…


A Guide to Choosing a Wetsuit for Open Water Swimming

How to Care for your Swim Wetsuit

9 Essentials for Open Water Swimming

What’s the Difference Between a Swim Wetsuit and a Surf Wetsuit?

A Beginner’s Guide to Competitive Open Water Swimming

Should I Buy a Specialist Open Water Swimming Wetsuit?

Orca wetsuit guide


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Shop the full Orca wetsuit range - HERE

Updated on 28th March 2024

Originally published on 5th March 2024 in Swimming

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