How to Prepare for Shorter Distance Triathlons

It’s important to have the appropriate transition set-up and warm-up in order to complete short distance triathlons. For a more fun race, you might want to follow the easy guide below.

Pre Race Preparation

On the morning of the race, ensure that you arrive ahead of time. This will give you ample time to do the following: register, stretch, acquire a number, and take a restroom break.

At the transition area, the first thing that you should do is to locate the swim exit and entrance points, and then strategically place your bike on the rack that is closest to the exit, which will save you time from running to your bike.

Survey the area once or twice to familiarize yourself and then run from one point to another at full speed at least once before the race begins.

Warm Up

Next, perform a warm up exercise for every sport prior to the race. I prefer to warm up backwards, which means I start from running to swimming. A 10-12 minute run paired with a number of surges that last for about 15-20 seconds come highly recommended.

When you are about to end your test run, run as if you just came out of the water, run to the bike rack, wearing your helmet and glasses, and then get on your bike, make a spin for about 8-10minutes while incorporating a 4-6, 10-15 second sprints while standing.

Once you are through with the bike warm-up, retrace your steps towards the transition area and act as if you were actually doing the race. Get-off your bicycle, make a run towards the transition are, remove your head gear, don on your running shoes, and then run towards the run exit. All this is similar to the actual race.

Prepare Your Transitions

After that, arrange the transitions from swimming to biking and then biking to running in a way that you are most comfortable.

My preference would include placing the shoes on the ground with the helmet facing up, and the glasses within. Once you are done setting up it is time to apply your sunblock and proceed to the swimming starting point.

To prepare yourself, perform a 200-500 yard warm up swim. I have witnessed hundreds of athletes get started without warming up appropriately. One sure way to spoil the whole race is by starting without adequate warm up.

Keep in mind that being prepared is just part of the challenge.

In summary

Be there early. Give yourself plenty of time to warm-up and get your gear together.  You really will enjoy your race much more if you do.  Good luck!


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