My name is Fiona Donnellan, editor of Girl Outdoor Magazine. I started the magazine to help empower women adventurers and shine a spotlight on women doing amazing things. I’m also a keen adventurer, surfer, swimmer and triathlete.
Here is my beginner’s guide to triathlons. If you’re thinking about getting into the sport or just fancy dipping your toe here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you on the road, in the water and on the bike.
Join a club
Joining a triathlon club was invaluable when I started my triathlon journey, it helped with training and also knowing what gear to buy, what races might be suitable for beginners and getting to know people who were at the same level as me.
Invest in good gear
It might not be an option budget-wise to spend big, but buying cheap means you may find yourself having to repeat buy, having to repair or having gear that will inevitably slow you down. Ask questions about the gear that suits your size and shape. I love my Orca wetsuit, I love my New Balance road runners and I adore my Decathlon tri suit. All investment pieces but worth it in the long run.
Start with a try a tri
Lots of the races in Ireland have an option to ‘try a tri” before you tackle the standard or sprint distance. This will give you a chance to swim, get on the bike, and run the race format without the added pressure of the longer distances. You can focus on transitions between disciplines and getting comfortable switching between.
Watch explainer videos
There is lots of content online about training plans, the best bikes for triathlons, the perfect swim stroke and the way to transition quickly – if you’re struggling with areas of your race find a tutorial online. I love this YouTube channel, in particular, great advice. https://www.youtube.com/user/globaltrinetwork
It's so important to ensure the right recovery process is in place after completing such a strenuous activity. It goes without saying that what you fuel your body with, in terms of food, is so important but also what you put on your body on the outside. I came across Nuasan during my training when someone recommended it to me. I absolutely love their Nuasan Active Body Wash because it's got arnica and magnesium so it's ideal for after training. Also, their body wipes are brilliant for keeping me fresh and cool on the go.
The right training
I’m a great believer in training better, not harder. Find a plan that suits your ability and build on your fitness level. Mix up your training, and try brick sessions (where you cycle and run). Remember even though you’re strongest link might be running, don’t neglect the swim portion of your training. This goes for all three sports. There are a lot of training plans out there and available online, if you’re part of a club they might share their best tips of the perfect one for your level.
Find a buddy
There is nothing better than having a pal to try a triathlon with, especially in the beginning when you’re just getting to grips with the basics. They’ll also help keep you honest with training. Good luck!
Photo Credit: Sonja Smith
A huge thank you to Fiona for this brilliant guest blog post. Check out @girloutdoormag on Instagram and keep an eye on Fiona's training regime! Also, visit www.nuasan.com to view out the full range of Nuasan products.