How to pick the right Triathlon event for you
Whilst some people don't want to know what they are letting themselves in for, I've listed the key things to look out for when deciding on a triathlon event to enter:
Distance - I love that there is so much variation in triathlon events. Here are the different distances for triathlon events:
Sprint distance: 750m (swim), 20km (bike), 5km (run)
Standard (Olympic) distance: 1500m (swim), 40km (bike), 10km (run)
70.3/middle/half-Ironman distance: 1.9km (swim), 90km (bike), 21km (run)
Full/long/Ironman distance: 3.8km (swim), 180km (bike), 42km (run)
There are a super spring and ultra distances too!
Elevation - It’s important to consider how many metres of climbing there will be on the ride. There is a LOT of difference between a 40km flat ride and a 40km ride with 600m of climbing, you can not compare overall triathlon times for hilly routes versus a more flat route. It’s important to aim to practise the same amount of climbing during your training rides to build leg strength up. If you are a strong climber it's worth including a race that incorporates hills, but remember it could affect your overall time. Hills often mean, amazing views at the top.
Run on or off road - It's also worth looking at the run route and whether you'll be running on the road, off road or a mixture too.
Laps - Often for long course triathlons the run route incorporates many laps. This can be a positive or a negative for people. It means you'll have more chances to see your spectators which is fab for motivation, but some some don't enjoy running laps and potentially takes more motivation.
Open swim or pool swim? Swimming in open water is incredibly different to swimming in pools. Whether it’s a sea swim, river swim, lake swim, it’s important to practise swimming in open water. Not only to help your body adapt to to cold water temperature but also the lack of visibility underwater but the wetsuit tightness around the chest
Time of year - Consider how long you will need to train for the race. If it's a longer course, you may need 6-12 months of training, so consider what season/weather you will be training in.
Location - Triathlon is a great way to see the world. There are races all over the world and in some beautiful places. My personal opinion is if you are training hard for a triathlon, why not race somewhere spectacular or a part of the world you haven't seen? Of course this means you'll need to pay for travel, travelling with your bike, accommodation so you'll have to consider your budget.