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Beginner Triathlon

The beginner triathlon is a great way for someone interested in triathlons to get their first experience with these challenging events. A full-scale international sanctioned triathlon can vary in distance, but most include a 750 meter swimming distance, a 20 kilometer bike race, and a 5 kilometer run. Most beginner triathlons are considerably scaled back from the these more formal events and allow those newer to this type of a race to get a better feel for what a triathlon is all about without overwhelming them. There are some basic factors for people to consider before they set out on their first triathlon.

Assess Your Motivations

The first thing you should do if you are contemplating participating in a triathlon is to examine your motivations. Some people might see a triathlon on television think it would be a fun challenge. Others might have a life experience that spurs them to attempt a triathlon. Taking on a triathlon is a significant commitment, as a great deal of time needs to be dedicated to training.

Assess Your Fitness

If you are contemplating participating in a beginner triathlon, you should make a serious assessment of your physical fitness. It's a tall challenge to go from couch potato to triathlete. If you have any limiting medical conditions, you should consult your physician.

Most expert trainers strongly encourage people considering participating in a triathlon to first build a fitness base. This means building an exercise regimen that increases stamina and strength prior to starting to train for specific sections of a triathlon like swimming and biking. You can achieve this through basic conditioning and weight lifting exercises.

Assess Your Time

Before taking the plunge head first into taking on a triathlon, you need to be prepared to commit a great deal of time in training. Most expert trainers suggest that those about to take on a triathlon set aside anywhere from seven to fourteen weeks to prepare for their first triathlon. Of course, this is dependent on how physically fit they are prior to starting training.

Most experts recommend that you spend dedicated time training for each aspect of a triathlon. Time should be set aside for running, for swimming, and for biking, as well as for basic strength training, body rest and recovery periods.

Assess Your Finances

Another consideration for the beginner triathlete is cost. Many people jump into triathlon training without considering the cost of equipment, food expenses, and entrance costs.

Probably the most expensive component of participating in triathlons is the bicycle. While participants don't need a new, expensive road bike, broken-down old bikes aren't a good idea either. You can use a bike that is in good working order, but of course, a new helmet is mandatory.

High tech swimsuits aren't required, but someone wishing to do well in a triathlon might want to purchase a tri-suit for swimming. Serious competitors in triathlons usually wear wetsuits.

Training for a triathlon greatly increases the energy demands on your body. Meaning that when you're training for a triathlon you will need to increase your food intake a great deal; this also costs money.

Essential Equipment

There are basic essentials for every triathlete even if they are participating in a triathlon. A bicycle in good working order is needed. Participants need to make sure that their bike's tires are properly inflated and the gear shifting mechanism is in good working order. Since the participant will be spending a lot of time on a bike seat, most experienced triathletes suggest wearing padded shorts to ease any potential discomfort. While participating in the swimming portion of the event, swimming goggles are essential.

So before running outside to start training for an upcoming beginner triathlon, you need to take a realistic look at both yourself, your motivations and the cost.

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