Thinking of trying the sport of triathlon and wondering where to start?

IRONMUMS ambassador squashes some beliefs about what is needed to compete a triathlon. Take it away Tania...

Before I entered my first triathlon, I wondered could I use my mountain bike for the bike leg, what do I wear for the swim and run sections? Given this was my first tri I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment to participate, as I didn’t know if this was something I would continue and I didn’t have a lot of surplus funds.

Prior to signing up for my first triathlon, I did a lot of research and joined/liked several Facebook pages/groups to get an idea of how this sport worked. Ironmums was a group that I enjoyed reading posts from, as I found this group to be inclusive and encouraging, with mums balancing training and life.

From reading the advice of other mums who were triathlete’s, I came to the realization you don’t need much to get started in this sport.

I was extremely lucky to be gifted a tri suit from another mum who no longer had a need for it. This mum sent me the tri suit to try at no cost. On its arrival with bated breath I tried it on and it fitted perfectly.

Yay, I now had something to wear for the tri. ✅

Next thing to investigate was the bike situation. Fortunately, my introduction to tri’s was at the Melbourne pink triathlon, whereby you could use any road worthy bike. My mountain bike was road worthy so check another item taken care of. ✅

I already had newish runners so one less thing I needed to worry about. Runners ✅

Now I had all my gear sorted, next was to look at training. Oh dear.

At this stage I didn’t know what distance I would participate in the medium or long course at the pink triathlon.

I made the decision I was going to train and see how I felt closer to the time.

I started swimming at my local pool, getting myself use to swimming again. I hadn’t swum for a long time and started out swimming 200 metres. As I began to feel stronger, I extended my distance and covered the required distance for the long course. Knowing I could swim the required distance for the pink triathlon long course, I made the decision and signed up.

I trained for the bike leg using my spin bike, (as I live in a very hilly area) I didn’t get out on my bike too frequently.

I used my local parkrun to do most of my runs in preparation for my triathlon.

My introduction to the world of triathlon’s was with little triathlon specific equipment. I mainly used equipment and facilities I already had access to, along with a taste for a personal challenge.

Tips for your first tri:

  • Join the Facebook group – IronMums to get advice from mum’s who’ve been where you are (signing up for your first triathlon)

  • Remember to have fun

  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to finish in a certain time - finish lines not finish times

What I learnt from my first tri:

  • All participants/supporters at triathlons are encouraging

  • No one is looking at you. We are all different people with different abilities.

  • The buzz you have once you cross the finish line is amazing, when can I sign up for my next triathlon? 😊

  • Look into getting a triathlon coach like Nac from @ironmums

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