Try a Tri

You don’t need the latest or most expensive equipment & gadgets to do a Tri. Determination, the right advice, & a willingness to give it a go & keep trying will take you very far in even the shortest of lead up times.

Go on – try it – you’ll have fun too!!

Paddo Physio is with you every stroke, cycle & step of the way.

Thinking about trying a tri – how to get started

It seems that just about everyone has a triathlon on their bucket lists. But where do you start?

The fastest way to a good time is to start in the best place.

It’s a good idea to get your body ready for the training demand that comes with triathlon. Training for three disciplines (swimming, bike & run) as well as transitions & putting it all together takes a lot out of you – physically, emotionally & financially. You don’t want an injury to sideline you before you even start! Don’t waste your time & effort by starting behind the pack initially.

To assist you & ensure you get the most out of competing, visiting a physio for a musculo-skeletal assessment & if needed, an individualized exercise program aimed at strengthening any weak muscles, correcting biomechanics & preventing any tightness in others. The training load of a triathlon – even for the smaller distance tris – is physically & mentally demanding.

At Paddo Physio we know triathlons & can help you get the most out of your body & effort safely. We can also advise you on the correct running shoes if you need. Make an appointment here.

This will mean that you can enjoy your first tri of many & you’ll be better ready for whatever is around the corner. A tri is not only physically challenging but it should also be about having fun & enjoying the moment!

Five key things to know about triathlons

  1. Know the course so you can optimize your training. Talk with locals & other triathletes who have done the event in the past. If there are hills in the bike course, build some into your training. There are also differences to be aware of between swimming in a lake & having to master a surf swim. Running courses can also offer challenges – whether they’re around a track, winding through a national park or up & down the main road.
  2. Train as you will race.  If it’s a wetsuit swim make sure you’ve been swimming with it on & also know how to take it off quickly – there’s a knack to doing that without having to dislocate your shoulder or precariously balancing on one leg. Swimming with a full sleeve wetsuit gives you a buoyancy advantage but can also tire your shoulders more quickly. On the bike, make sure that you practice running while pushing your bike. Being fatigued after the swim & then negotiating pushing your bike takes more out of you than you think.
  3. Know when & how to take nutrition to suit you. There are plenty of opportunities to take nutrition & fluid in every triathlon, but knowing when to take it & how to take it is the trick. Take it while you’re moving rather than st&ing still – on the bike & on the run.  Practise, practise, practise.  This will save you precious time & energy over all. Practise running with a paper cup half filled with water. As simple as this sounds, it gets even harder when you try & drink from it but it is manageable with a little bit of practice.
  4. Have the right equipment for you & your body.  The latest whiz bang equipment might be shiny & have all the bells & whistles, but if it isn’t matched to your body & individual biomechanics, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good. A musculoskeletal assessment before you start investing time & energy into shoes, bikes, helmets, wheels, swimming tools etc will save you heaps.  At Paddo Physio we can point you in the right direction so that you don’t waste time or money!
  5. Practise all FOUR legs of a triathlon. The transitions – from swim to bike & from bike to run legs – make up the other leg of a triathlon. These are often forgotten when putting together a training schedule, but can make the difference between finishing the triathlon well or not at all! As you’re moving through the triathlon you’re using different muscle groups in different postures & body positions. The short distance from the edge of the swim combined with the fact you’ve been horizontal for some time can be quite tough even if it’s only a short distance physically. The blood rushing through your shoulders has to move down to your legs quickly without you thinking about it.  Doing a short run after a swim session during training will make a world of difference. Don’t forget that jelly legs after powering through the bike course won’t respond to running the same as fresh legs. Many triathletes stumble & even fall when they hop off their bike at T2 while they try & push the bike because they forgot to flush out the lactic acid & wake up the running muscles that have been idling in the bike course.

Most of all, the important thing about triathlons is having fun. If you’re not having fun – in training & at the event – there’s something wrong. We don’t all compete for sheep stations & numbers go up & down. At the end of the day, the only constant is that we all should be enjoying the moment & rewards for our investment & achievement. Keep it real!

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