100 Tips for a Successful Triathlon

This site provides advice for novices in triathlon as well as more experienced triathletes, and others who swim, bike and run. It is a guide to safe training, fitness and good health. 

       -General Advice  provides guidance on how to prepare for and do well in all three sports.At the end is advice for seniors (age 60 and over), a topic poorly covered in the training literature.

      -Swimming covers a few basics and specific advice for swimming in a triathlon

      -Biking includes recommendations for training, repairing your bike, avoiding and dealing  with flat tires, commuting by bike, and carrying needed equipment.

      -Running suggests ways to improve your running, prevent running problems, and prepare for the shift from biking to running during a race.

      -Preparation includes a checklist for what you should take to and have at a race.  It also includes, for novices,  a summary of what happens at packet pickup and gives advice on getting ready to race.

      -Injuries gives tips on how to prevent and treat injuries.

      -Stay Married gives advice on how to be very efficient in training, involve your family and give them a stake in the sport.

I have completed 38 marathons, over 200 triathlons and duathlons and biked over 120,000 miles during the last few decades. I have found much good advice during that time in the running, biking and swimming literature. (See for example, http://www.runnersworld.com and http://www.triathletemag.com  What would have helped me even more, and hopefully will help others is a brief summary of the key information everyone should know to do well and continue to do well in these three sports, especially when they are combined into a triathlon or duathlon. 

Triathlons are a lot more fun than any of the three sports separately. You have to figure out the best way to combine the sports when training and competing, and during competition you get to move from one to another, using different muscles and often encountering very different conditions. Cross-training is built into the sport, and you necessarily get at least a minimal level of fitness for health, even when training for a sprint. You can continue to compete at least into your 70s, and find you are welcome at a burgeoning number of races at almost any age.

Training in three sports takes time, but keep in mind that you do not have to be very fit to complete a short triathlon. Beyond the minimum, you can tailor your training regime to the length of your planned races and how well you want to do in those races. I commuted to work (28 miles a day) year round for 23 years, whence came most of my bike training. I have on occasion run to work as well. Its especially satisfying if you can work out at least part of the time with friends and family.

A commitment to a lifetime of exercise is essential for healthy cardiovascular, skeletal and muscular systems. It is also a must to keep your weight under control when we are surrounded with food all the time.

Being a triathlete is one way to enjoy fulfilling this commitment.

Please note that I am providing tips based on extensive experience and reading, not on formal training in any relevant discipline. Please keep this in mind when you consider the appropriateness of my ideas and exercise your own judgment on what will work for you.

I prepared these tips for triathletes to provide in one place brief advice based on extensive experience that can save time, prevent injury, help recover from injury and improve performance. I would very much appreciate feedback. I also would be happy to answer any questions. mikecook10@verizon.net 

Mike Cook


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Last update 6-2-17