Whether it's your first triathlon or your tenth, these ladies have got you covered. Each with their own journey and story to tell, here are the most valuable tips from the female triathlon Instagram stars around the world!
Belgium: Valerie Kesselaers
It’s been one year since my very first triathlon. There was an event taking place in my hometown and I was keen to participate, but I didn’t own a bike! I had no idea where to begin or what to buy. So many of my friends have been doing triathlons for years and I had so many questions, I basically hounded them on a daily basis.
I thought one month of training would be enough, so I bought my current bike one month before the race and a friend lent me a wetsuit one week before the race. To train, I swam 3 times a week, went on 40-60km bike tours 5 times a week and ran twice a week. It was hard, I’d never tried the transitions before and I didn’t know much about how to use my bike properly, having just bought it.
As the big day approached, I was totally ready (at least I thought so). In all honesty, it went pretty well and I was happy with my timings in the end. I had an overall time of 2:41:36 (1km swim, 40km bike and 10km run).
In the year since that first triathlon and through my current training for Ironman 70.3 later this year, I now have so much more experience and even some tips of my own to share!
- I found it super helpful to make a list for every minute of the race. So for swimming you need the wetsuit (obviously), goggles, cap, then perhaps a bag to leave your wetsuit in or flip flops if on a beach. Even making a list for each transition period of the race is useful
- Ensure your bicycle is already on the right gear setting so that once on the bike you can start quickly. For the last 5-10km don’t push too hard, try and bike on a higher cadence - this helps to get your legs ready for the run ahead
- Start your run ‘slowly’ at a pace you can maintain
- Make sure you eat and drink enough during the cycle, it’s not only super important for you to have the nutrients, but also to avoid having any bad moments during the run
- Try putting baby powder in your cycling shoes before the race, this helps your feet to dry quickly after the swim and avoids them getting cold
- Wear a hat during the run, I bought mine last minute and couldn’t be more happy that I did!
- If possible, check out your route beforehand, either by bike or car so that you know what’s to come
- And most important, don’t forget to smile at the finish! You’re definitely going to want that end photo making the race look effortless 😉
Further tips from around the world...
Singapore: Cheryl Tay
Cheryl recommends incorporating a 'deload' week into your training schedule. It's important to care for your body and go easy when needed, that way you can prep your body for the next build up. She explains:
"I love it because it means more sleep, more rest and more time. It also means things will ramp up next, as the race draws close, but right now I'm just gonna treasure this recovery week and relax, so that I can continue to enjoy this sport."
UK: Adrienne LDN
It can be hard to balance all the elements of training be it endurance, strength, mobility etc. For Adrienne, it was speed racing that got neglected so she slowly began to incorporate it into her schedule. Here are her top tips for working on increasing your speed:
"1. Intervals ! Interval training is the most effective way to increase speed. Try doing 800m intervals at 5K pace / with 2 min recovery in between
2. Run with someone that is faster than you. It sounds simple but trying to keep up will help you to get quicker.
3. Add lower body strength exercises to your workout. You need to increase explosive strength and power, if you want run fast!"
Venezuela: Olga Purroy
Whilst considering herself to be a very athletic person, Olga knows that training the mind and your mental approach to triathlons is also essential. In order to be your best self when swimming, running or biking, you need to have the right mentality. Your need to stregthen your mind just as much as your body.