I can officially say I am a Triathlete – I completed my first sprint triathlon on Sunday, a 500m swim, 20km bike ride and> a 5km run, I finished in 1hr 49mins and> was really proud of myself. My aim was under 2hrs so really happy with my first attempt, I made some mistakes but there is always next time!

I had a really good experience on Sunday but was extremely nervous in the run up, mainly thinking about transitions and> how to set up and> what to expect. I tried to find information on the internet but struggled to get answers to the questions I had so hopefully this and> future posts will help other first time triathletes. I think preparation is key with all events such as this so I will start with how I prepared over the days just before and> the day of the event, and> then on a future post tell you a bit more about the race itself.

Preparation
On receipt of my race day info I started to make a list of everything I could think of that I might need, split up by individual event, transitions and> anything additional, so it looked a bit like this!

Swim – Costume (no wetsuits allowed), goggles, swimming hat, sports bra (I choose to swim in my bra as support for my run).

Transition to cycle – Small towel for feet, energy gels/sweets.

Cycle – Joggers, running vest, long sleeved top, cycling gloves, socks (some people choose not to wear socks, I am not in this camp yet), trainers, Bike, Helmet, watch

Transition to Run – I had nothing additional here, but you could choose to have separate running shoes, water bottles, more gels/sweets, a cap for the run.

Run -I took my long sleeved top off and> ran in swimming costume and> vest.

Additional – Hoodie for after race, food (bananas, cereal bars, sports drink)

I put this all in my bag and> I was ready to go!

Event Day
I set off early, around 3 hours before my allocated start time, the drive took an hour and> this left time to have a look around, and> investigate, register and> sort ourselves out for the event. The event was the Cheshire triathlon in Nantwich at Barony Park. On arrival we went and> registered, you are provided with numbers for your front and> back, bike and> helmet, and> numbers are drawn on your arm and> leg. From here you can go and> sort out all your kit ready to set up transitions. It was here that we learnt about race belts, for numbers, these are a good idea as it saves you having to pin and> re-pin numbers on different tops for run/cycle. At Nantwich you set up Transition 1 first, so leave anything here you need between your cycle and> your run, and> then head over to the pool.

Here I had my first major panic, the pool was further than planned so we decided to cycle over, on arrival we had to go to set up transition 2, setting up here involved racking the bike, and> setting out all clothes and> kit – due to the time limits I did this quickly and> in what turned out to be an ineffective way so think this through before hand> so you know how you are setting up. I had a towel on the floor to stand> on but quickly left all my other kit on top, ideally I think next time I would place the towel on the side of the bike closest to you as you approach from the pool, then set all other kit up on the other side of the wheel, or over your hand>le bars.

Once this is all done you are ready to head to the swim, and> get started!