Signing up for a triathlon race is an exciting event in and of itself. It gives you something to look forward to and something to work towards as you look to reach your goals swimming, biking and running.
However, make sure you don’t do any of these five things before you sign up for your next triathlon race:
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Signing up for a triathlon race at the last minute is not ideal on a few different levels. First, the cost. By waiting to sign up until just before the race, you end up having to pay significantly more in race fees than you would have paid had you signed up a couple of months previously.
In addition, signing up just before the race doesn’t give you time to really focus on training for that particular race. Every race is different and the mental aspects of training are just as important as the physical ones when training for a triathlon race. By knowing what to expect, and training towards those expectations, you not only put yourself ahead physically, but mentally as well.
Don’t Count On Your Friends Racing
I’ve seen this scenario play out more times than I can count. Person A decides to sign up for a triathlon but wants to do it with a friend (or family member), so he or she convinces Person B to sign up as well. Well, Person B isn’t ready to commit and so says he or she will train first and then sign up when they’ve trained a bit. Person A signs up for the race fully expecting Person B to sign up as well, but Person B never actually signs up. Sometimes when this happens, Person A will drop out of the race.
Don’t let this happen to you. You should sign up for a race because you want to do it for yourself. If you’re counting on someone else’s presence being a motivating factor for you, expect disappointment.
Don’t Sign up for a Distance You Haven’t Trained For
Many, many people do this. They have a goal to compete an Ironman, or another longer distance race and they sign up for one without ever having race a smaller or shorter event. Sometimes the person is disciplined enough to work towards that goal of finishing the longer race, but many times, the person becomes overwhelmed with the amount of training needed and ends up quitting.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to choosing a race distance. It’s better to choose a shorter race, finish it strong, and sign up later for a longer one, than to initially sign up for a long race and then quit because you didn’t make it in terms of your training volume. The confidence you get from finishing a shorter race is much more important and will help you towards your goal of finishing the longer races.