5 Must-Know Tips for Beginning Triathletes
If you ask me, triathlons show the peak of human endurance and physical performance. Triathletes go for miles and miles with each discipline: running, cycling, and swimming. There are also many official triathlon events that happen in Singapore too! And if you yourself are gearing up for a triathlon event for the first time, here are some tips you need to know.
Slowly build your experience
Firstly, if you’re a complete beginner, you should start with smaller triathlon events first. It helps you get a feel for how triathlons actually work and you can also check your fitness level at that particular time. You do not want to go to a global event like the Ironman World Championship for your first try at a triathlon. The overall distance of the whole event is simply too much for a beginner.
Fit your training to your lifestyle
For one, you should never go to a triathlon event without training. But you should also create a program that fits your everyday schedule. Don’t create a training schedule that will interfere with more important daily activities. For instance, if you train too hard on a workday, both you’re mind and body will be exhausted. This can be detrimental to your long-term fitness and health. Just remember to make your training moderate but consistent.
Go with groups
The triathlon community in Singapore is actually bustling and there are a lot of individuals who enjoy doing meet-ups for training. Going with a group can add a different dynamic to your trainings. For one, it’ll be less boring. It’ll also be easier to stay motivated because you have to push yourself and keep up with the others’ pace. You might also get a lot of valuable advice from these fellow athletes.
Do brick sessions
Brick sessions or back-to-back workouts are considered integral parts of training for a triathlon event. A brick workout basically means you complete a bike and run workout or a bike and swim workout back-to-back. This is to help your body get used to transitioning from one exercise to the other. This is very important because the sudden transitions from swimming then cycling and lastly running are not as easy as it sounds.
Get used to open water swimming
Another very important part of training is to include open water swims. Although it won’t always be readily available, it’s still a valuable time for you to get used to the swim leg of the event. Swimming in open water can feel very different from practicing in the pool, especially with the pressure of the whole competition. So, try to expose yourself to that experience as much as possible.
Non-mainstream Sports in Singapore
If you want to have a good time while you are conditioning your body, you should consider sports. If you are really good at something, you should pursue it. Who knows you will excel in national and international competitions? When you find the one thing that you are passionate about, you have to carry on. The Singapore government supports mainstream and non-mainstream sports.
When you hear mainstream sports, it includes swimming, football and other known sports. If you are thinking outside the box, you consider non-mainstream sports. There are athletes that pursue non-mainstream sports here in Singapore. There is nothing wrong with it. The rewards may be smaller but the fun and the joy of doing it makes a difference. Non-mainstream athletes derive their motivations from the passion not from the money and other rewards.
So, what are non-mainstream sports that some Singaporeans are passionate about? Here’s an idea:
- Muay Thai: Muay Thai is a combat sport. It originates from Thailand and it combines striking and clinching. Muay Thai involves great mental and physical discipline. You will use your shins, feet, elbows, fists and knees. There is an association for Muay Thai practitioners – World Muay Thai Council. A famous practitioner of Muay Thai here is Ms. Lena Tan. She will compete in the World Championships in Malaysia. The competition started on May 1 and it will end on May 10, 2014.
- Rowing: Rowing involves a group. It is a sport that aims to propel a boat on water using the oars or paddles. Groups will race to the finish line. A famous rower Saiyidah Aisyah got the Southeast Asian Games gold medal last 2013 in Myanmar.
- Ultra-triathlons: Ultra-triathlons will definitely test your limits. It involves swimming, cycling and running. This will include 2.4 mile swim, 26.2 mile run and 112 mile bike. Ultra-triathlons cover different distances like Deca Ironman, Triple, Quintuple and Quadruple. There is an association for ultra-triathloners – the International Ultra Triathlon Association. It is a sport for both men and women. It requires great endurance. There is one man that is a famous ultra-triathlon here – Dr. Kua Harn Wei. He holds the record as the first Asian to compete in the Deca Ironman last 2006. Not all people know this.
If you think that you excel in non-mainstream sports, you should pursue it no matter the obstacles. If other people do not know it, let it be known through you. You can invite your friends and family to join you or watch you do the sports.