A little introduction first…
Not only was I a compete triathlon novice in 2012 before I embarked on my first triathlon (which was an ironman! Gulp) I was also new to swimming and cycling. I signed up for an Ironman without even trying a triathlon as a tester. I threw myself into the deep end thinking ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ !!? After heading to the pool for my first swim session with no swim training/practice or even knowing what the hell I was doing I went in there like a bull in a china shop. Thrashing around and trying to get to the end of the pool as quick as I could. After 15 minutes of getting nowhere fast, the realisation of what I had actually signed myself up for starting to sink in! The confidence was shattered and replaced with absolute fear of ‘I could actually drown’ that soon became the worst thing that could happen!
The cycling bit wasn’t much better either! My old boss kindly let me borrow his bike and I went out for a spin (this was a proper road bike with cleat peddles and all the jazz) I had absolutely no idea how to change gear or what the funny looking peddles were for!? So after a few little spins out on the bike in gym kit and trainers a friend of mine (who must of either been completely embarrassed by me or just simply felt sorry for me), introduced me to a friend of hers who was ‘into cycling’ by into cycling I mean bloody brilliant. He saved me from my hellish nightmare and politely agreed to help me out. He taught me how to change through the gears/how to clip in and out of the peddles in my cleats (this took a lot of practice! And a few falls at traffic lights in the middle of London: cringe) and road etiquette. He met up with me at the weekends to cycle around Richmond Park. I was finally getting somewhere slowly, at least moving in the right direction anyway. The running was smooth, I was never particularly fast at the beginning but it’s the one I enjoyed the most so there wasn’t much going on apart from lace up and get out on the road.
I made a lot of mistakes as a newbie triathlete, mistakes that I learnt a lot from. Even to this day I still make mistakes, we all do. It’s the most natural way to really learn and experience life. Looking back the most vital info, I wished someone could have told me earlier come in my top 5 tips for anyone thinking of doing a triathlon or a relative novice.