Are you looking to participate in your first triathlon? While there are many different races and distances that you can compete in depending on your fitness level, there is only one real requirement to participate in a triathlon -- a can-do attitude that will carry you through the training required to participate in a race.
There are several different resources and guides available to beginners who are looking to get out and start training in the sport. There are several different approaches to start participating in the sport, but there are common themes that you will want to focus on. Some of these are:
1. Equipment: You will need some type of tri suit. This suit can be a one piece or a two piece, but I suggest you look online and find a two piece tri suit that will work as a swimsuit, bike shorts, and running shorts. The right pair of bottoms will make your training and racing that much more enjoyable. You need a bike. Any bike will do, but to reach your potential you will need either a road bike or a triathlon bike. Make sure you purchase your bike from a reputable bike or triathlon shop if possible. The will fit you to your bike and make sure you are as comfortable as possible. You will need an approved helmet to go along with your sweet ride. And of course, you will need a pair of running shoes to get you to the finish line.
2. Basic Understanding of the Rules and Safety: I am new to this site, but I will post more later on the basic rules of triathlon racing. You should also know some of the basic safety measures you should employ while swimming, biking, and running.
3. Training Strategy: Notice I said strategy and not training plan. You do not have to purchase one of the plans that are for sale on the Internet to properly train for a triathlon. Talk with local triathletes and see how they train and what their schedule looks like. If you don't have an athletic background or friends who are triathletes, they you should consider working off of one of the many training plans that are available on the Internet or in some of the various books that have been published on the subject. A quick Google search will help you find one that is right for you.
4. Your Attitude: This is not an easy sport -- sometimes your performance in training and in racing depends on your mental training. Your attitude will carry you through many tough miles, in both training and racing. This is one area that many triathletes neglect and pay the price for, especially during their races. If you stay focused and your ability aligns with your expectations, you can be successful in this sport.
So if you are starting to train for triathlons because you want to lose weight, you want to crosstrain, or you think they all look great in that spandex, know that this is one of the friendliest communities around. If you ever attend an Ironman event, you will notice that the cheers for the last finisher are often louder than those for the first person to cross the finish line.
Good luck and check back often!
If you are looking for additional tips and more advanced discussion on triathlon, cycling or running, please go to my blog at http://26.2ismycooldown.com.