How Do I Survive My First Triathlon?

If you have never competed in a triathlon, the thought of it can be quite daunting. Triathlons are certainly not for the faint hearted, and they do take a toll on your body, especially as a beginner.

However, the benefits and the feeling of accomplishment after completing a triathlon is like no other. It is such a great event to compete in, and it will help you to increase your fitness greatly.

As it is quite daunting, you may be wondering how on earth you are going to survive your first triathlon.

We have all been there, but there are many things you can do which will help you with this competition.In this article, we will be chatting you through everything you need to do to ensure that you are prepared for, and survive your first triathlon.

How Do I Survive My First Triathlon

What does a triathlon involve?

Before we jump into our top tips to help you survive your first triathlon, you should be familiar with what a triathlon entails, especially if you are interested in competing, but have not yet begun your training.

A triathlon, as the name suggests, is made up of three different parts. It involves swimming, cycling, and then it finishes with a run. It certainly does test the body.

There are four different types of triathlons in total, depending on your performance levels. There is the sprint, Olympic triathlon, half triathlon, and full triathlon.

The one you will compete in will depend on your skill level and the competition you enter. The majority of beginners will enter a sprint triathlon as it is the shortest and easiest of the four, but you do not necessarily have to do this.

How do I survive my first triathlon?

When it comes to surviving your first triathlon, there are a whole host of different things that we could cover. 

In this article, we have touched upon the most important things that will help you with your first triathlon:


The best way you can survive your first triathlon is by training. This is the most important thing you can do. Not only will training get your body ready and fit to complete, but it will also give you a better idea of what the triathlon is going to be like.

While there are certain competitions you can compete in with a small amount of training, this is not recommended with a triathlon.

Even the sprint triathlons are challenging, and given that there are three separate events you will compete in, you will need to ensure you are prepared for them all.

While these events may not be too difficult to carry out on their own, when you have to cycle and run after swimming a long distance, this makes these two events far more challenging.

Given this, you will want to ensure that your body is ready for all of these events, both individually, and as a whole. 


A big mistake beginners will make is to choose an incorrect pace. While it can be tempting to start at a faster pace, if you are unable to maintain this throughout the triathlon, this is going to greatly affect your performance and time.

It is far better to have a slower pace that you can keep up with, than starting with a faster pace that cannot be maintained. This is why it is so important to ensure that you are practicing the events often to get a better idea of the correct pacing for you.

Practicing The Course

If it is possible, we would always recommend practicing the event on the course the triathlon will be carried out on.

This will help you to have a better idea of what the competition is going to be like on the day.

Not only will this give you peace of mind, but you can also better prepare. It allows you to be familiar with what you need to do, and the course will be less daunting on the day of the competition too.

Set Up

Getting your set-up correct is essential. As the triathlon involves three events that are carried out straight after each other, the switch between them needs to be as seamless as possible.

While you may not think that this is overly important, it will help greatly when it comes to the time it takes you to transition. It will also help your body to get used to the fast change in exercises too.  


On the day, you will want to ensure that your outfit is correct. This can sometimes be overlooked if you are too focused on the event, but it is so important. You will want to ensure that there are no faults or issues, to allow you to compete as seamlessly as possible.

Diet and Hydration

Always ensure that you are staying sufficiently hydrated before, during and after your event.

Dehydration is dangerous and can have a big impact on your performance, so you will always want to remain hydrated.

In the lead up to the event, you will want to be maintaining a good and well balanced diet, and you will want to eat a reasonable breakfast to fuel you for the competition on the day too. 


Finally, the last tip you will want to follow is to have confidence in yourself. This is so important as this will help you to power through if things get tough. 

Try not to focus on those around you, stay at a pace that is good for you, and have the confidence in yourself that you can finish the race. You have got this!


We hope these tips will help you to survive your first triathlon. While a triathlon is not an easy event to compete in, it is so rewarding to complete. 

Always ensure to train well, practice, and stay hydrated. In addition to this, you will want to have confidence in yourself on the day of the event too!