Tri Tips: Tackling Your First Triathlon (Advice from YoungTri Ambassadors!)

Below is some advice for tackling your first triathlon from YoungTri Ambassadors! We’ll be posting more resources for new triathletes over the next few weeks.

Elise from New York: Try not to let the mental game get to you! There will be people who take themselves incredibly seriously and have all the latest gear. Don’t focus on that, it’s about pushing yourself and competing with yourself.

At the Sodus Point Tri!

At the Sodus Point Tri!

Frida from Sweden: Have fun!! Ones very first triathlon must be something to enjoy and not to take to serious because mistakes happens in transition or wherever when you’re doing a first (or second or 100th). The most important is to learn and love every second and to be proud crossing the finish line.


Even if the result may vary, triathlons are still awesome things to do — to finish the race and from that point on, just keep the good work up and love every opportunity to get new results and new challenges. Triathlons are so much something you do for your own record to be better than you were last time, not to compare with others! Remember that it’s you and your body and mind against the clock – that’s how one should see a triathlon I’d say.

Mary from Maryland: Before the race make sure you have looked at the course maps. If you have a chance to drive the bike course & bike the run course ahead of time I would. It will really help you feel a little more comfortable with the course & keep you from being surprised about the terrain.

At the race don’t be afraid to ask people questions in transition if you need help. Most people are going to be more than willing to help you out because we’ve all been there! If you see the officials roaming around before the race don’t be afraid to ask them questions to clarify any rules. Race your own race. If you push harder than you can sustain it will bite you in the butt later in the race. If you keep your pace you are less likely to blow up in the run & ruin your race. Later in the race you might pass that person that blew by you because they went at a pace they couldn’t sustain.


Also – bring electrical tape! It’s great for taping gels on to the top tube of your bike & to keep your number from sliding around on your bike. Put baby powder in your shoes. It will help them stay dry on the bike & run to prevent you from getting blisters. Most importantly make sure you have fun!

Brittany from NJ: Make sure you practice in open water before your first triathlon! Some tris have practice swims the day before and some take place in water that is open to the public. Swimming in a pool is A LOT different than swimming in a lake, river, or ocean… Don’t underestimate it!!


Jessica from Massachusetts: Definitely do not get intimated by other people and their gear when getting ready for your own race. I remember just before my first race I ended up chatting with two newbies, like myself, and an older man whom had done many triathlons. I did not have clip-in pedals yet at that point and the man said it would make a huge difference in my race if I had had them.

10607_10151444519911669_1210520803_nIn the end, having versus not having them did not effect my first race, because without them I was still able to beat the two boys who I had chatted with who not only started in an earlier wave, but definitely had clip-ins and more biking experience. It goes to show that the training you put in will determine the fate of your first race, not how much amazing triathlon gear you own. 🙂

Christian from Arizona: Believe in your training, do not overthink the simple things.


Perri from New Jersey: Be organized in advance so the race can be all about having fun.


Stay tuned for more Tri Tips soon!