Costs for the three sports will build up, so for your start up equipment for training and racing keep it cheap, second hand websites are great. Then if you become serious about triathlons, start buying the best equipment you can afford; you will only want to upgrade a year later!!
Join a club or a group to train and race with, so you can learn from the others; from both their mistakes and success. The motivational benefits of others will help keep your training consistent.
Frequency is key with swimming, you will get more from 3x30minute sessions a week rather than struggling through a 90minute session a week.
An efficient swimming technique is crucial if you want to improve. Having a coach, even a friend look at your technique or filming you will help you swim faster for less effort. Learning a good sculling technique and practicing it regularly is an easy way to improve.
When entering a triathlon with open water swim, practice this before the event for both your safety and to get used to your tight fitted swim specific wetsuit. Avoid a baggy surf wetsuit and invest in a slick neoprene wetsuit and you will save missives of time!
Once you have completed your swim and are ready to jump on the bike, organize this transition and keep things minimal and simple. Once you are more confident you might want to start with the bike shoes already clipped into the pedals with elastic bands used to keep them upright; then fasten and tighten the shoes when you are up to speed on the bike. Oh, don’t forget to put your bike in the correct gear you want to start in.
Learn to cycle with a high cadence between 90-100 revolutions a minute. This is similar to your run cadence so makes the bike-run transition easier. The technique will develop better cycling efficiency as you will be pedaling circles not squares!
Nutrition on the bike is essential for training and racing. If you use "gels" (essentially syrup and water) for an instant energy, when opening them it can get messy, so put them into a drinks bottle beforehand and you can sip when needed mess free.
You will see many triathletes running without socks because it means their transition is quicker but if you are not used to training sock free then the inevitable blisters will slow you down. Either do some training without socks or wear socks when racing; especially the longer races.
Before finishing any race. Adjust your clothing, ruffle your hair, put sun glasses up on your head and wipe the snot from your face. Yes, there will be a camera on the finish line so look your best!
Neil's Top Tips
Triathlon is welcoming to anyone and everyone who wants to get involved. My tip would be pick a goal to motivate you to get out training. The goal can be to complete a triathlon, a target race, target distance or target times (courses vary)
Swim Swimming requires fitness, so often you see swimmers only practicing technique. Do you do this for cycling and running? No, you get the miles in as well. So develop your technique, in the warm up, in between sets, but you can still be thinking about the technique whilst swimming hard.
Bike If you begin to ride a lot and put the miles into those pedals, get a proper bike for it. Go to a specialist that will take 1-3hours, this will help optimise your power and prevent injuries.
Run This applies to all three disciplines, enjoy your running and train smart. This means if your set a easy run, keep it easy don't get carried away because you feel good. When you have your intervals or fast runs hit them hard. Otherwise you are training in a grey area and it is detrimental to your progression.
David's Top Tips