July 04, 2022

A Guide to Triathlon Takeaways: 4 Tips to Keep in Mind to Help You Learn from Past Races

A Guide to Triathlon Takeaways: 4 Tips to Keep in Mind to Help You Learn from Past Races

Life is all about learning from past experiences and applying them to new adventures, right? Triathlon season is no different! You can always learn from a past race and use that info to improve on a future one. If you're not all about being the best you can be, are you even living that swim, bike, run life? No, no you’re not. 

So that’s what we’re here to help you with. Whether you just crushed a swim but bombed on your transitions, or you did your best run yet but didn’t exactly nail the biking part, we’re here to offer a few ways to turn those takeaways into positives for your next event. Keep reading for our guide to triathlon takeaways, and how to use past races to improve on future ones. 

Don’t Be Shy

Everyone has their own reasons for being a part of the triathlete community… the keyword here being community. Don’t be afraid to chat with your fellow everyday athletes once the race is done. For the most part, people are excited to share their experiences, along with tips and tricks for helping fellow racers. 

So keep an eye out- not in a creepy way- but in a “ooo that looks like something I might need to add to my routine” or a “how’d they make that look so easy” way. Look for friendly faces that might look like they have something to share. Or, for someone that seems like they might have lots intel on the latest and greatest tri tech must haves. 

Asking others is also a great way to find out what you can expect from other races. Race reviews are a fantastic way to identify elements of a race that you can expect to encounter, but newfound friends can also give you the rundown on their past experiences.

Learning from someone else’s journey is truly one of the best ways to gather life experiences without having to make your own mistakes and learn the hard way. And, you get to make a new friend. It’s a win-win situation. 

Accept Less Than Perfection

This is one of those life lessons that just applies across the board. It’s one of those things we learn in kindergarten, but we so often forget. Even if it’s your 100th triathlon event, it’s almost a given that not everything is going to go according to plan- there might be a *gasp* mistake or two. 

So while you’re preparing yourself physically for each event, give yourself a little mental prep, too. Yes, you of course want to strive for your own version of perfection. A personal best should always be your goal. But, allow yourself to at least acknowledge the fact that you might not be the best at everything, then put that thought away and move on. Don’t dwell on it, just have the thought, then let it go. 

Once you allow a thought to pass through, you don’t have to worry about it creeping up at a really inopportune time, like when you’re trying to get out of your wetsuit- that’s never an ideal time to think about anything else!

Aim to Be Organized

Organization is key. And you don’t know how valuable organization is until you’ve lost it. So think back to moments from your most recent race and decide where you could have prepped better and been more organized. Naturally, there are things that pop up that you just can’t avoid, especially at events with hundreds of people. 

But, anticipating where these mishaps can occur, and being more prepared will only help you next time. Take some time to look back at your most recent race, or even past few races, and write down places where you feel you could’ve benefitted from more organization. 

Here are a few actionable steps you can take to be more organized:

  • Practice your transitions with different equipment arrangements, just in case something gets bumped or isn’t exactly how you left it. A transition mat is a great transitional tool to help you stay organized. 
  • Keep important belongings close during your open water swims with a swim buoy + dry bag combo. It’s tricky to keep track of things when you’re racing in different areas, so any equipment like this will help you tremendously. 
  • Organize your gear bags the same way every time. Create a system for packing your bag that works for you, and stick with it. It’s also helpful to have a checklist that goes into your bag so you can ensure all the necessary things make it where they need to go. If you’re a visual person, take a photo and leave it in your bag so there’s no question about where things belong. 

Expect the Unexpected

This goes without saying, but it’s also one of those things that feels like it can’t be said enough. You’re not doing this event in a vacuum, with no other people around. And even if your event is indoor, there are still elements that can (and will) impact your race. 

Here are just a few things that most triathletes experience at some point, so just knowing they might occur can help lessen the impact:

    • Dizziness: this can happen any time, but it most frequently occurs after the swim. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and get help if you need it. 
  • Getting lost: this happens more often than you can even imagine. When you’re so focused on what’s right infront of you, it’s not hard to lose sight of the route. If this happens during a swim, pause and reset. As part of your race day training, study the route for the bike and run part of your race to prevent that from happening. 
  • Technical difficulties: there’s technical support on hand for a reason- to help you keep calm and ride on… or swim on, or run on. You also have your trusty tool kit in your gear bag, so little road blocks are not race ending situations by any means. 
  • Wrapping Up

    Think of each race as a learning experience that will ultimately prepare you to do a little better in the next one… how much improvement you make is up to you. The tips we listed above are things we’ve picked up along the way, and we’re sharing with the hope that these will help you do better on your next race.

    For more ways to crush tomorrow- whether it’s your next triathlon or even guidance on recovery after your events, head over to our website.