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Beginner Triathlete Sprint Triathlon Hints and Tips

January 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 179

If you are planning your first sprint triathlon it's a great stepping-stone to more challenging triathlon distances.

Many beginner triathletes tend to fall in love with triathlon once they have had the opportunity to try a shorter distance like the Sprint Triathlon. The Sprint distance is perfect for preparing beginner triathletes for what to expect as they take what they learned in the shorter distances into the longer triathlons.

Regardless of the distance of a triathlon, the event format is basically the same. You do the swim then make the transition to the bike. There is a swim-to-bike transition area where you change into whatever clothes you intend to bike in and you get on your bike and head out on the bike course.

When you have finished the bike leg, there will be another transition area that is called the bike-to-run transition. This is where you get off your bike and leave it in the area designated before-hand and put on your running shoes and head out on the run, the final leg of any triathlon.


The Swim

A Sprint Triathlon swim is normally a standard distance of 750 meters.

The first thing to mention is that you will be assigned a race number and it may be placed on your arm or leg with a marker so you can be tracked through-out the race.

Because it is one of the shorter distances, sprint triathlons are normally include a pool swim as opposed to an open water swim. This is the case most of the time, but not always. If you are quite new to swimming it's always best to enter Sprint Triathlons that feature pool swims.

As you become a more proficient and confident swimmer you can graduate to a Sprint Triathlon that has an open water swim.

At the beginning of the race you will do your swim then head for the swim-to-bike transition zone once you leave the water. This is where you put on the clothing you want to cycle in and also where you will find your bike in the designated spot you left it in before the race. Most races will have change tents for men and women.

In some cases there may not be and in that case many people just wear a triathlon suit they can wear for the swim, bike, and run. They may put on heavier clothing over top of their triathlon suit for more warmth depending on the weather conditions of the day.

If the race provides change tents than you can change completely into dry cycling clothes before getting onto your bike. Again you have to do your home-work and find out all about the race you plan to enter before hand so you will be aware of what to expect on race day.

The Bike

The standard distance for a Sprint Triathlon bike leg is normally 20k.

You will be provided with an actual race number to wear for both the bike and the run. It's best to use a number belt than it's just a matter of putting the belt on around your waist and you don't have to pin it to your clothing.

Normally the number should be on your back for the bike and on your front for the run. It's just a matter of positioning the belt where you want it.

Be sure to follow the directions of the volunteers as you prepare to leave the transition area for the bike course. Often there is a specific area for getting on to your bike. This is for the sake of safety as it can become very busy and accidents happen.

Once you leave he first transition you will be heading out on the bike course. Normally there will be aid stations along the way where you can pick up water etc.

In most cases you may have one road lane to cycle in that is closed to vehicular traffic. Again you have to follow the race instructions. A course is not always closed and you may be required to stay near the shoulder of the road.

The Run

The run distance of a Sprint Triathlon is normally 5k.

It is the final of the three disciplines of a triathlon and after reaching the end of the bike course there will be one more change to make in the bike-to-run transition.

Again be sure to follow the instructions of the volunteers as you are nearing the end of the bike leg. There is usually a designated bike dismount area and it's important to pay attention as again, it can get quite busy in this areas and following instructions will help prevent accidents.

Also be aware that you will be required to leave your bike helmet on until you reach the area where will be changing for the run.

Remember to have your race number facing the front for the run.

You will leave your bike in the spot that was designated to you before the race. Normally there are bike racks set up and the spot provided for you will have your race number on it.

Now all that's left to do is take off your bike helmet and change for the run. Some people wear the same thing for the bike and the run and some will change into running clothes if there are change tents provided. It's your decision.

Out on the run course you can also expect to find aid stations set up with water and perhaps replacement drinks and food as well. Again it depends on the particular Sprint Triathlon you have entered.

In a triathlon there is no pressure on you to run the entire run course. You can walk, power walk, or run, whatever suits your level of fitness and ability. However be aware that there are normally official race cut-off times that require you to be off the course at a certain time in the event the course is being opened to traffic.

Again that is something that you should find out when you are given the race regulations and instructions when you pick up your registration package.

A Sprint Triathlon is all about having fun and learning how triathlons work in general.

Just go at your own speed. It's a great opportunity to learn new skills and meet a new circle of friends who like yourself are interested in becoming fitter and healthier by doing becoming part of the great sport of Triathlon.

My name is Ray and I've been an endurance athlete for over 30 years. I've competed in over 30 marathons, 2 - 50 mile races, 14 Ironman triathlons and countless shorter races.

I've created a website called "Ironstruck". My website provides training and racing tips for the beginner triathlete and novice Ironman. Visit my new site at and join our community.

I have also written 3 triathlon books. Two are for those who have an Ironman triathlon in their future. "IronStruck... The Ironman Triathlon Journey" and " IronStruck? 500 Ironman Triathlon Questions and Answers" have been very well received by the triathlon community.

My latest book " Triathlete In Transition" is for the very beginner triathlete and first time Ironman is also being well received.

If you enjoy my articles on Ezine, then VISIT My Ironstruck bookstore and have a look at the books that can guide you and inspire you as you begin your own triathlon journey. Good luck on becoming an Ironman!

Source: EzineArticles
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