Tri Tips

Five ways to make the most of your first race

Jan 5, 2012
Outside Magazine
Bonking at the Ironman World Championships

Don't let this happen to you—bonking at the Ironman World Championships. Start with a sprint-distance event.    Photo: Andrew Hetherington

1. You don’t need to mix all three disciplines into every training day, but periodic “bricks”—biking and then running—are ­essential. (Do it and you’ll understand the name.)

2. Get a triathlon suit, like Sugoi’s Turbo tri shorts and tank ($55 each). You can wear it during the swim, bike, and run, giving you less to worry about in transition areas.

3. Don’t line up at the front of a mass swim start—you’ll get clobbered by veterans. Save your energy for the bike and run.

4. On the bike leg, ride on the right and pass on the left. And this is your time to refuel, so pocket a few gel packets before setting off.

5. It’s race day—don’t hold back. Ignore heart-rate guidelines (expect to be 5–20 beats above your training rate anyway from adrenaline) and have fun.