Are you a beginner or have you just started training for a triathlon? Maybe you are looking to tweak your preparation a bit? I know many individuals that participate in triathlons regularly. Personally, the breathing during the swimming portion is a challenge that I need to overcome.  Some tips from the regulars on how to prepare smart for a triathlon or any event:

1. Test the distance – Do a “practice run” at your own pace about two weeks before the event. You will learn plenty that should help you during your race. Pay attention to:
– Pacing (for example, what pace do I need to do the swim in so the bike and run are doable?)
– Practice your transition strategy.
– How will you feel after riding and then transitioning to the run?
– Can you do the entire swim without resting? (most pool swims will let you rest at the wall but get out of the way of other competitors)

2. Do some “brick” workouts – Practice switching from the bike to the run by following up a long bike with a short run every once in a while. Yes it’s uncomfortable. But you can teach the body to adjust and it can get more comfortable (well, at least everything hurts the same.)

3. Do minimal the week prior to the event. A rested body performs better. Don’t push through a tough workout the week of your first race. If you feel you need more workouts before your first event then skip this one and sign up for one next month.

4. Don’t let an odd challenging course be a surprise (hills, rough roads etc.). Train on similar terrain.

5. Know your course. How do you enter and exit the transition area (swim to bike and bike to swim – sometimes they happen in different places)? Where are the turn-areas? If you know what to expect the day of the race it will be much smoother. KNOW the rules – the USAT website has them posted.

6. Don’t try anything new on race day. Avoid new foods or new clothes. Use your race suit in your training – especially during your practice event. Use nutrition choices that you know you can eat and equipment you are used to.

7. Check the bike carefully before the race. Especially look for the following:
– Tire pressure
– Check brakes for rubbing
– Make sure the handle bars, profile bars and seat are all on tight
– Check that the bike is shifting correctly – put the bike in the gear you will want to start out in (do you start by climbing a hill – if so you need the bike in an easy gear). That way you’ll be ready when you grab the bike.

Just some extra preparation tips from regular participants. Is a Triathlon or a competitive event in your sites along your journey?
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. -  Michael Jordan