Hi everyone!  My name is Tara and you can find me rambling about fitness, running and my daily life at www.pnwrunner.com.

I’ve been following Joanne for a few years now and when she offered the chance to be featured on her blog for a guest post, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. I’ve never been done a guest post before, but I figured that I would be safe talking about a topic that I am comfortable with.

Let’s chat about Triathlons.

I caught the Tri-bug back when I was 15 years young. I loved the excitement of doing three different events all in one race. Definitely mixes it up!

If you aren’t familiar with triathlons, you aren’t alone. There are many different types of triathlon ranging from Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and a Full Ironman. Sprint triathlons typically look like this: .25 or .50 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. For an Olympic distance, just double everything. When you get into the Ironman distances, you’re on your own. I am nowhere near that playground yet. One day.

So you want to do a Triathlon, but have no idea how to prepare? This is a common question that I hear all the time.

Note: I am not a pro-triathlete by any means. I just enjoy training and competing in a variety of races and triathlon happen to be one of them.

Here some of the most common questions I get asked about Triathlons are:

1. What do I wear? Do I wear the same outfit for the entire race? Personally, I choose to wear the same outfit throughout the entire race. This helps lower my transition times (see below). I don’t want to worry about having to change into a new top or etc. If you do want to change, I recommend light and breathable clothing. I wear a dry fit tank and Lululemon dry fit running shorts. **Note: In some swims, having a wet suit is necessary! I’ve worn one in the past.


Obviously, I didn’t wear the goggles or cap during the entire race.

2. What do I bring?

Here is my list:

  • Bodyglide
  • Baby powder
  • Gu
  • Sunglasses
  • Helmet
  • Band-aids
  • Socks
  • Shoes (running/biking)
  • Protein bar
  • Towel* very important
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap
  • Race Bib and belt
  • Water bottle
  • Bike
  • Bag to throw everything into

3. Should I train in the open water or just the pool? I would recommend both. Open water gives you an idea of what it will be like during the race, plus you’ll get to battle some waves too!

4. How do I set up my area in the transition area? First off, I try to be at the event super early so that I can scope out the best area to set out my gear. I typically try to be on the end of the bike racks, easier for a speedy exit. Once I find my area, I set out my towel and begin placing out the items that I’ll be grabbing for frantically throughout the race. I lay out my socks, fill them with some baby powder and put my shoes next to them. I place my helmet on my bike, put my water bottle in the holder and I set out my race belt with my number attached. I keep my swim cap and goggles in hand for the first leg of the race.


Literally putting baby powder in my socks.

5. What are transition times? The time in between events. Such as swim to bike or bike to run. This is the time when things can get quite frantic and chaotic. Once I get out of the water, I start tearing off my goggles and swim cap (or wet suit).


6. Can I use a mountain bike? Yes of course! For every Triathlon to date, I have used a mountain bike. I added slick tires to mine to help with speed. I ended up purchasing a road bike a few days after my last Triathlon.


Overall if you are deciding to do a Triathlon, make sure to have fun! Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t worry about having killer transition times, just make sure to grab your shoes or bib! 🙂


You can read about my Triathlon experience from last year here. I hope that I’ve encouraged you to try something that is outside your comfort zone.

XO, Tara

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