First Time Triathlete Virginia

First Time Triathlete Virginia

If you have signed up as a first time triathlete in Virginia, you probably feel both excited and nervous. Training for a triathlon takes a lot of hard work and commitment and you want to make sure that you finish the race successfully. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little anxious. However, if you take the steps to properly prepare for the big day, you will have less to worry about. The coaches at Team Z provide some tips to follow if you are a Virginia first time triathlete.

Practice Biking on a Course That Resembles Your Race

It’s important to complete a few rides on a course that is similar to your racecourse. For example, if the racecourse will have a lot of hills, you don’t want to just practice riding your bike on flat roads. Riding up and down hills is more difficult and takes some getting used to.

Begin Fueling for the Race 24 Hours Beforehand

When you are competing in something as grueling as a triathlon as a first time triathlete in Virginia, it’s important to start fueling your body with nutrients a day ahead of time. However, that doesn’t mean you should eat more calories than you normally do. You just have to increase your protein intake. Be sure to include some type of protein, whether it’s chicken or fish, in every meal. The protein you eat should outweigh the carbohydrates you eat.

Get Plenty of Sleep

The night before the triathlon is not the time to skimp on sleep. You need all the energy you can possibly get. Go to bed early that night and try to get at least eight hours of sleep.

Eat a Good Breakfast

The type of breakfast you eat the day of the triathlon can make all the difference in how you perform. Your breakfast should consist of 50 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent fats and 30 percent protein. For example, you may want to eat a bowl of oatmeal with almond butter, bananas, and chia seeds. Try to eat your breakfast about three hours before the race so that your stomach doesn’t feel too heavy.

Rehearse Transitions in Your Head

If you are a first time triathlete in Virginia, you may get tripped up when it comes time to make transitions during the race. That’s why you should mentally rehearse how you will complete your transitions before the race starts.

Remember to Warm Up

While you’re waiting for the race to start, give your body a proper warm-up. It will help boost blood flow to your muscles and prevent injuries. Try jogging in place, mocking freestyle swim strokes, or doing jumping jacks.

Wear a Wetsuit

For the swimming part of the race, you should wear a wetsuit. Although it will take a few extra minutes to put it on and take it off, it can improve your swim. It will allow you to float easier and swim faster.

If you need any further advice about participating as a first time triathlete in VA, the coaches at Team Z are happy to help.

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Growing up, I was never even remotely athletic, a distinct liability in a sports-mad country. Moreover, I grew to associate the idea of people being “sporty” with people who were generally obnoxious, who loved to lord their athletic prowess over others.

Triathlon, therefore, was a revelation for me: very ordinary people who were able to achieve extraordinary things. Team Z is the essence of triathlon in that regard, an amazing mix of experienced athletes (who turned out to be quite nice people) and absolute beginners, all sharing their different journeys. The team is full of people who push me when I need to be pushed and who push me when I don’t think I want to be pushed. Because the team pushes me, I’ve become something I never would have believed I could become: an athlete.

Mark Mullen


Never say never on Team Z! I never thought I would do a triathlon let alone a half Ironman. I told anyone who would listen that the only way I would ever run another marathon was if it was in an Ironman and since I was never going to do an Ironman I had nothing to worry about. Well, so much for my “never” list. With the support of Team Z, I have raced numerous short distance triathlons, several half Ironmans, raced my best injury free marathon (I beat Oprah’s time), and signed up for an Ironman.
Regardless of your experience, speed, motivation, and goals there is a place for you on Team Z. When I joined the Team in December 2011, I did not know what to expect. My old game plan was to go as fast and as hard as possible regardless of the consequences. I do not recommend this strategy. I somehow always fell to side with an injury and burned out long before I reached the start line. This all changed when I joined Team Z. With the help of the coaches and my teammates, I am learning everyday how to find balance physically, set reachable goals, listen to my body, and enjoy the experience. I have a good friend on the Team that says that all the training and hard work is the journey. Race day is the victory lap. Gotta Love Team Z!

Kathy Hsu


In 2009 I ran the Disney Marathon with my mom, accompanying her on her first 26.2 mile adventure. I remember standing at the start next to her and saying, “just think, those Ironman people have to do this after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112”¦..freaking lunatics!.” Two years later with a couple of sprint and Olympic triathlons under my belt, and after a couple of glasses of wine, I started to wonder, “Maybe I can do an Ironman too?” So I pulled the trigger, dropped the cash, and signed up for Ironman Cozumel. This followed by immediate panic. “Oh dear God, what have I done? I haven’t the slightest clue how to train for an Ironman.” A couple months later, by chance, I ran into a Z’er outside of my work and as we started talking Triathlon, she told me about Team Z. “Why not? It can’t hurt” I thought to myself. So I joined. It didn’t take me long to realize that this team had everything I wanted: knowledgeable and supportive coaches, structured training plans for all levels and abilities, fantastic teammates, and most importantly cold beers ready for you after every race!

Scott Leary