The TriDot Triathlon Podcast

Gearing Up for Your First Triathlon: Essential Race-Day Equipment

Episode Summary

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as you enter the sport of triathlon. Balancing swimming, biking, and running is already a lot to take on even before considering the gear requirements for each discipline. Join us as we discuss the essential (and optional) gear for completing your first tri. Spoiler alert: you don't have to spend a fortune for your first race!

Episode Transcription

TriDot Podcast 024:

Gearing Up for Your First Triathlon: Essential Race-day Equipment

This is the TriDot Podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We'll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let's improve together.

Andrew: Hey, everyone, thanks for tuning in today. Oh my gosh, guys, I just felt like a 1960s News Anchor when I said that, tuning in. Thanks for joining us today for another riveting episode of the TriDot Podcast. In the studio today I have coach Elizabeth James. Elizabeth is a professional triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher. She is faster than me at basically everything on a racecourse and so it's a joy to learn from her today. Coach Elizabeth, thanks for coming. 

Elizabeth: You are very kind. I'm excited to be here today. I've certainly made some fantastic progress in the sport over the past five years but today's main set is really focused on our beginners. 

Andrew: Yes, it is.

Elizabeth: And this topic excites me. I have such great memories of my entry into triathlon and hope that today's episode is particularly valuable for those that are either looking to get started in the sport or those that have recently started. I mean, for those seasoned veterans, maybe this is a fun reflection down memory lane. 

Andrew: Also with us is coach John Mayfield. John is a six-time Ironman finisher. If you're a longtime listener of the podcast, you will note that number is now one higher than the last time I had John on. He completed Ironman Arizona. He's also coached athletes to successful finishes at every Ironman in the United States. He works with athletes from Elite Kona qualifiers to beginners and is perfect for today's main set topic. John, how's it going friend? 

John: Going good. So, yeah, like Elizabeth we've come a long way since our first triathlon. We're both full-time triathlon coaches. This is what we do, and I look back on my first race as a huge turning point in my life and my career. Little did I know that one sprint triathlon all those years ago would change my life the way it has. So, it's exciting to share that experience and everything we've learned along the way. 

Andrew: Today on the show, we're going to warm up with something we call the real quick training tip. Then as you may have gathered by what we've been talking about already, we're going to get rocking and rolling on our main set talking about I'm new to tri, what do I need? If you are new to triathlon, we want to help you get started. If you're a tri veteran, we hope that this will be a nice walk down memory lane as you remember how it went when you were the newbie at the starting line. For our cool down we have a brand new segment that I am super pumped about. We are starting a podcast humblebrag where we want to give you our listeners a chance to boast about something awesome that you have done recently in your training or racing. Let's get to it. 

Time to warm up. Let's get moving. 

Andrew: All right. Elizabeth, John, today we are going to warm up with a real quick training tip. This is a chance for you to stand up on your coaching soapbox and share with us a top tip that has made all the difference in your training and your athlete’s training as well. John, what you got for us? 

John: Mine's pretty simple, pretty easy and is something that is so true. In training, the most important thing is consistency. Perfection is not required. Oftentimes, I tell people that perfection is most likely counterproductive. So, the difference between consistency and perfection is important. So, consistent training, get in as many sessions as possible. Don't worry about the sessions that slip through the cracks due to life or whatever the case may be. But consistently training is key to making those gains and having great results on race day. 

Andrew: That is a great quick tip. Elizabeth, what is your real quick training tip? 

Elizabeth: I would say that athletes frequently talk about putting in the work and I won't argue against that. And as John talked about, you do need that consistency. But rather than just talking about putting in the work, I'd like to add to that and say that you have to put in the right work. So, don't just go swim, bike and run, training should be very specific for the athlete and align with their goals. 

Andrew: I'm a company man so I just want to add to that that a great tool to help you put in the right work is training with TriDot. You can head to and sign up for a free test drive of TriDot training software today. 

On to the main set. Going in 3, 2, 1. 

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Elizabeth, John, a lot of folks out there are brand new or even fairly new to triathlon and they might be wondering “What do I need?” It's a crazy sport. And there's a lot to it from swim skins and wetsuits to bike Aero contraptions and watches, heart rate monitors, transition mats, salt pills, beet root pills, electrolyte pills and on and on and on and on. So, let's walk through this kind of discipline by discipline. Elizabeth, what swim gear does someone actually have to have for their first triathlon? 

Elizabeth: In terms of swim gear, a swimsuit and goggles is all that you need. I do suggest a swim cap as well. I wouldn't say that the swim cap is required, but it's a very small expense and it's beneficial. And if you don't have a swim cap, a triathlete you know likely has a few extras. 

Andrew: That's so true. 

Elizabeth: Oh, yeah. They’re I mean, frequently giving out at race events. 

Andrew: I want like a new triathlete to know like when you go to race day, and you're setting up your stuff in the area, you have all these other athletes around you, like triathletes, and like runners and endurance athletes just in general, are some of the nicest people on the face of the planet, right. I don't know if it's just the endorphins from working out all the time or what but like everybody in that area with you is there to help you. So, if you're there and you don't have a swim cap, you didn't bring a bike pump, you forgot something, it's your first time and maybe something slipped through the cracks; do not hesitate to just find a couple of people around you that look like they might know what they're doing and ask them some questions. Right, John? 

John: Absolutely. 

Andrew: Now there are a lot of pool toys that can help us in our swim training and these aren't musts for racing your first triathlon. But if someone is looking to buy a few things, for those swim sessions to maybe start improving, what would you guys recommend? 

Elizabeth: Well, I mean, you said that well. None of the swim training tools are necessary for doing your first draft one. But for somebody looking to improve their swim technique, the first purchase should be fins. Better swimming, faster swimming is developed through technique. And without getting too technical on swim technique right now, fins are going to help master the fundamentals of body position and balance and are there for a great first purchase in terms of training tools for the pool. 

Andrew: Now, what I like about talking about pool training tools because unlike some of the other disciplines, right, bike contraptions can get expensive real fast, good running shoes can get expensive real fast if you're looking at multiple pair. But for swim training tools, they're generally pretty cheap in terms of investment. So, if someone gets fins, John, is there anything else that maybe is a good first or second purchase past that? 

John: Yeah, a pool buoy is great. Oftentimes, they'll have these at the pool. So, you don't necessarily have to have your own. Oftentimes, pools will have them. Yeah, it's another very affordable thing, give or take 10 bucks, and can really help with some of those developmental things like body position as Elizabeth mentioned, isolating the front end of the stroke, that sort of thing. 

Andrew: Now on race day, things start getting a little bit more complicated on the bike. John, what does someone need for the bike leg of their first tri? 

John: There are a lot of things that you can have, but kind of like the swim there's really two requirements; you gotta have a bike and you got to have a helmet. Other than that, clipless pedals are usually one of the first things that the athletes will begin to upgrade or add on, but it's certainly not required. So, as long as you've got A bike, and that really falls into a lot of possibilities, doesn't necessarily have to be a high end time trial bike, triathlon bike, road bikes, mountain bikes, you'll see everything in transition. So, there's certainly no requirement for any certain type of bike. The only thing that is required is the helmet. So, that's really all you have to have, a bike and a helmet. 

Andrew: Now, I'll go back down memory lane a little bit for myself. When I started, I kind of thought the bike leg of my first tri would be the easy part. And I think we all know that that's a very difficult sport. It uses those really big leg muscles and it can wear you out very, very quickly if you've not trained on a bike, right? So, I went and I was running, I was swimming. I was like, “Oh, everybody grows up riding a bike. That'll be the easy part.” I didn't think about the fact that that's the part you're on the bike part of the course the longest, right, first of all. And so what I did is-- Someone had told me that you could rent bikes. And so I went down to a local bike shop and I was like, “Hey, I have a sprint triathlon tomorrow, I need to rent a bike.” And they were like, “Oh, we don't rent bikes out anymore.” Now most bike shops and we'll talk about this in a second. Most bike shops rent bikes, but this particular shop it stopped doing that. So, like I just on the spot, having a race the next day, I had to buy a bike. So, I bought my first road bike, the day before my first sprint triathlon, and a couple of things happened. One to your point, people can race on any type of bike. I had people passing me on mountain bikes because I was so just new to it, right. And so I was out there, I'm on my road bike, my muscles are cramping up because I wasn't used to biking. I thought it was again would be the easy part. I was very, very wrong. Hopefully, somebody out there listening to this story can relate to it because hopefully, I'm not the only person that's made this mistake. I've come a long way since then. But so for me on the bike leg, I remember I was just in running shoes and just regular pedals, right? And for people starting off, like how much experience do you think somebody needs before they make the jump to those clipless pedals? 

John: It's really kind of its own thing. There is a learning curve to it so you definitely don't want to do it for the first time on race day. In fact, that's a general rule of thumb, nothing new on race day, that's something you'll hear pretty often and pretty sound in the advice. So, especially when going to the clipless pedals, make sure you're proficient in that. And that's really true for all things cycling is make sure that you are proficient, you are going to be riding around a lot of other people conceivably making some tight turns kind of depending on how the course is. So, you want to make sure that you're safe for your own safety as well as those around you. So, practice riding out on the road, practice riding with some other people, practice your mounts and your dismounts, those sorts of things so that you don't cause any harm to yourself or anyone else out there on race day. 

Andrew: Yeah, I think people do forget like on race day like you're gonna have all sorts of people around you, right? And if you're not used to people passing you on the bike, if you're not used to people getting on the bikes in and out of transition, like if your bike, those bike skills aren't there yet, it can be a little intimidating, can it? 

John: It can. 

Andrew: Okay. So, for someone, they want to try this sport, they have zero cycling background, they don't have a road bike in the garage, they don't want to spend a lot of money to make the mistake that I did for my first one. What is the best way for a new triathlete to get to the starting line with a bike? 

Elizabeth: Well, I mentioned earlier that if you didn't have a swim cap, you likely know a triathlete with an extra cap or two that they're going to give you. In the same way, your likelihood of being able to borrow a bike is very high. 

Andrew: That’s a great idea. 

Elizabeth: Yeah, well, and as you continue in the sport or maybe you've already discovered this, you'll find that triathletes often have multiple bikes. I mean, it's the role of n plus one meaning that no matter how many bikes-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: Yeah. The golden rule. 

Elizabeth: Oh yes, yeah, no matter how many bikes they currently own, they always need another. So, if you're really interested in doing your first triathlon but don't have a bike, ask someone to borrow it for the day for your event. As you mentioned earlier, Andrew, the triathlon community is just fantastic. And as a whole, we want to support you, we want to share the joy of the multi-sport. And if borrowing a bike for the weekend morning is going to allow you to do your first event, you are likely to find a willing lender. Now, if that's not a possibility, or you don't know somebody with a bike, you also mentioned check with your local bike shop. Most bike shops have bike rentals. They'll even include that helmet that John was mentioning as a requirement with the rental so that you'll be all set up for race day. So, they'll get you set up, they'll adjust the seat height for you, maybe even provide you with a flat repair kit. Some shops will teach you how to change the tire and then you'll be all set to go. So, you've got some great options there. I guess one last point, Andrew, I know that you mentioned not having a road bike in the garage, and John touched on this a little bit earlier too. I do want to make kind of an important distinction here that it does not have to be a road bike. You might have a mountain bike or commuter bike in the garage and that'll do just fine. 

Andrew: It absolutely will. I'm glad you mentioned-- we've mentioned that a couple times and it's for good reason, right. You don't have to be intimidated by the gear, you don't be intimidated by the expensive things. You can do your first triathlon with just what you have in the garage if you have something in the garage. So, now Elizabeth, you mentioned changing a flat tire and that some bikes will have sometimes a kit that can help you do that. Do athletes need to know how to change a tire for their first race? 

Elizabeth: Well, yes, but can I say yes with an asterisk because you should know how to change a flat tire. It's not difficult to learn and it is an expectation that you will be able to be self-sufficient on the course should you get a flat. But that being said, don't let that be the reason that you would not sign up for your first event. Almost all races are going to provide sag support, which is a support vehicle that will help athletes on the course with any mechanical issues, including flat tires. And I can almost guarantee that if you were to get a flat tire in your first event, the next two triathletes that pass you by on the bike course are going to ask if you need assistance. 

Andrew: Yeah, that is absolutely true. I've had multiple friends, especially in the local sprint, right. On the local sprint, a lot of people are willing to take that time and make sure a fellow athlete in need is taken care of. So, here's another question, though, just to move on, if maybe someone's done their first tri and is looking to move forward in the sport or whatnot. At what point in somebody's journey, does it make sense to actually go through the process of buying a bike? 

John: It can really vary by the individual. Some people do that first race and they're hooked. They know this is their future and this is what they're going to be into. Others want to test the waters for a little bit and there's nothing wrong with that. Something we see pretty common is athletes will first buy a road bike and maybe do a season or a particular race on that road bike, and then they'll get into the time trial bike, the triathlon bikes, something more specific like that. So, it really comes down to the individual. How much are you able to spend? Do you want two bikes Do you need two bikes? All comes down to personal preference and budget. So, there's really no right or wrong answer on that. You will perform better you will ride faster in a triathlon on that specific triathlon bike. But there's nothing wrong with the road bike or the mountain bike as long as you want to continue to use that. So, it really comes down to personal preference and personal opportunity. There are a lot of opportunities to get these bikes. There's, as I mentioned, a lot of people are upgrading from a road bike to a time trial bike or maybe to a new time trial bike. So, it seems like there's always folks that are trying to sell their bikes, that's a great opportunity to get into a bike at a lower cost, especially if it's maybe something you're just kind of trying out and you don't necessarily want to go and buy a new bike off the shelf. You can save some money by getting one in the secondary market. 

Andrew: Now Elizabeth, the run part of a race seems a little bit more straightforward. Are running shoes and a can-do attitude all you need for the run? 

Elizabeth: Yep. From an equipment perspective, the run is easy. Now running shoes is a whole other topic and something I could geek out for and talk about for another hour here. And we actually do that on episode three with Coach Raines and myself. So, if you're interested in that topic, check that out. But really, for the purpose of a beginner, a pair of running shoes is the extent of required equipment. Now the fourth discipline of triathlon and new triathletes need to be ready for it, they go into it, they know it's swim, bike, run, but I think a new triathlete can forget that there's the transition in there. I've seen athletes with special mats under their shoes, with towels to wipe things down with, buckets to sit on, food to eat. One time, I saw a guy put on deodorant in T1. 

Andrew: What is actually helpful in transition and what isn't necessary? 

Elizabeth: Yes. So, I've totally seen this too, and I have been that athlete with the little more than necessary myself. Goodness, one gentleman had like a pop up cot that he sat on to eat a sandwich between the bike and the run segment of his race. There's those extras that may not be necessary.

Andrew: Sweaty sandwich. 

Elizabeth: Oh, yeah. It sounds so cliche, but honestly, in transition, less is more. So, you are just swapping the gear that you need for the next part of the race. I coach my athletes to use transition as kind of a grab and go. So, grab the gear that you need and then go, get out of transition. You can do most of this on the move. 

Andrew: So, one last thing for folks to figure out is race day nutrition. Now, we’ll definitely dedicate future podcasts to this to talk more about what you need to be eating on course, and fueling and etc. But in short, what does someone probably need for their first tri? 

Elizabeth: For their first triathlon, water. I mean, for most triathletes, they will do a sprint distance triathlon event maybe lasting around 90 minutes or so. Athletes will certainly need to hydrate, but they may not necessarily need additional calories. Now, as you mentioned, the longer course that you have, then you really need to dive into some race day fueling. But for most sprint distance events, I'd say that can be handled with just proper hydration. 

John: Yeah, and what they have for dinner the night before, as well as breakfast the morning before the race, that's going to give them all the calories, all the nutrition that they need. Again, assuming that it's a shorter end of the race, which most people's first race are a sprint, so not a whole lot of nutritional needs for the sprint race. So, whatever works for the athlete, whatever they've done in training often should work on race day as well. 

Andrew: So, if you're use-- you know, just on a Saturday morning before going out for a run or swim or something, whatever you're used to having for breakfast is probably a good idea to have for breakfast on race day. 

John: Yeah, going back to that advice before, nothing new on race. So, what has worked in the past is going to work on race day, so stick with that. 

Andrew: If someone's listening to this, and maybe they have their first sprint a few weeks from now, a few months from now, they haven't signed up yet, but they're considering it; what are maybe a couple breakfasts that you would recommend like things that are really really good for that race, morning nutrition, that they can start practicing eating now? 

John: Some of the common things are oatmeal, some something else, toast, nothing with too much milk. So, you may want to avoid the cereal, the milk, things like that. Things that work for you, things that sit well on the stomachs, things that are going to provide the energy without causing any GI issues or anything like that once you get out there and start racing. 

Andrew: Okay. I want both of you to think back to your first ever triathlon. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently about the equipment you use that day? 

Elizabeth: Well, we have just talked about how you know in the transition area less is more. In my first triathlon I had a small basin of water that I sat next to my bike rack that when I arrived in T1, I rinsed off my feet in the water and then dried them off with a little towel before putting on my tennis shoes. 

Andrew: Really pampered your feet? 

Elizabeth: Oh, yes, definitely, definitely. 

Andrew: Little pedicure.

Elizabeth: Pretty much. I've since cut that out of my transition routine but otherwise, I wouldn't say that there are any big changes that I would make. I have certainly upgraded my gear since then, but it was still appropriate for my first event. 

Andrew: John, what about you? 

John: Yeah, I have a similar story. No regrets on my first race. I've come a long way in the years since. The gear has been upgraded. I'm more efficient in getting in and out of transition and all. But I went in with pretty much the basics of we've mentioned here; goggles on the swim, a bike and a helmet for the bike and some running shoes and it set me up in triathlon. I've had lots of success in triathlon over the years, I love the sport and like I said at the beginning of the podcast, it all started with that first sprint triathlon. So, all's well that ends well, so I wouldn't change anything necessarily. 

Andrew: Now I'm going to contribute here because I would do something very different. My transition one time was, I think, just over eight minutes in my first sprint triathlon, right. And you hear that and you're like, “What on earth did you do in eight minutes?” 

John: What did you do? 

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Andrew: So, one, in my defense, I had the previous week, I’d had kind of a head cold, so I wasn't 100%. So, I came out of the pool, novice swimmer, like just gassed, just out of breath. So, one, I was exhausted. I was trying to like not be light-headed, but here's what I did. I wore swim jammers, like just regular swim trunks that I would train in, in the pool at the gym. And so I was wearing those and I thought, again, I hadn't biked I thought that I would need padded shorts for kind of the 13-14 whatever it was mile bike ride. I’m like surely that's a long way. Surely, I need the padded shammy shorts from the bike -. I hadn't biked so I didn't have like actual tri shorts or cycling shorts. So, I went down to the local REI and I got some mountain biking, like underwear. shammy shorts. And so my plan was thinking that I was being clever, I was like, I'll just throw those little underwear shammies over my-- I'll just pull them up over my swim jammers. 

John: Yeah, makes sense. 

Andrew: But then you don't want to look like an idiot because you're literally wearing like mountain bike underwear while you're running and biking. So, on top of those, I pulled up just like a pair of like soccer running shorts that I had. And I wore all three the rest of the race with my swim jammers like coming out of the rest of them. Like eight and a half minutes like wardrobe change from the waist down. I think I threw a tank top on because I didn't have any try stuff. So, for you guys like that was a big lesson I learned is I was able to start streamlining what I wore. Do you guys remember what you wore for your first tri? 

John: My story isn't completely unlike yours. I at least splurged for the triathlon shorts. 

Andrew: Nice, smart man.

John: But it was like a week before the race. So, kinda same thing is I really didn't know what I was doing. I went down to the shop that actually was putting on the race that I was doing and bought a pair of triathlon shorts and I swam in those and threw on a shirt in T1. So, I'm not sure what my T1 time was, but it was pretty long because putting on a shirt while wet certainly poses a challenge. But it wasn’t a triathlon jersey or anything like that, just a regular shirt and it worked. So yeah, I had some fresh triathlon shorts and just a regular shirt. 

Andrew: And you probably looked a little bit more the part than I did, right. 

John: Probably so. 

Andrew: And I will say this, I'm glad you said this. Usually, when you're signing up for sprint, there are packet pickup locations that have first-timer clinics that might have a transition clinic that might have the race belts and the swim-- Elizabeth earlier talked about spending the $2 on a swim cap. Usually, those packet pickup locations have those kinds of odds and ends that can maybe help a new triathlete out. 

John: Yeah, those are great for that. 

Andrew: Yeah. So, Elizabeth, think back, what did you wear for your first sprint triathlon? 

Elizabeth: Well, I mean, both of you kind of talked about looking the part and I think that's what I was aiming for when I was selecting my outfit for my first triathlon. I know that I wore a pair of volleyball shorts because I thought that they were the most closely resembling a pair of tri shorts, you know, I tried to look the part. 

Andrew: Okay. I see where you're going with that. 

Elizabeth: And then I had a fitted tank top again with the thought that it was going to kind of look like a tri top. So, I mean, I wore that for swim, bike and run. I did not have clipless pedals so I wore tennis shoes for both the bike and the run segments and that was the extent of the gear that I had. And I really think that this is important for beginners to hear. I mean, you can wear a swimsuit for the event, pull on a pair of running shorts over-- top of those in T1 and be all set. You certainly don't have to make a large financial commitment to get started in the sport. Once you cross that finish line, fall in love with it, then it's more appropriate to begin purchasing gear for those upcoming events. 

Andrew: Now, as folks progress in their triathlon journey they will likely want to start investing a little bit more money in better gear, maybe some training toys. What do y'all think are the more important purchases a triathlete should make? 

John: I would say probably the most important thing an athlete can invest in that will really invest in their training is a watch. So, there's several different brands, several different models, price ranges, but we're really looking for a watch that includes a heart rate monitor. So, often these now track swimming, cycling, running, they have speed and pace for the run, heart rate for the bike and run. And those, the metrics are going to help the athlete execute their training, the data is going to help influence their training. So, for just a couple hundred bucks, they can get a watch. It's going to last them for years and years and is really going to enhance the training that they're able to do. 

Andrew: Yeah. No, I think it's a great point. I always love at races, especially like open water swims you're standing there on the shore, there might be 20, 30, 40, 50 people around you that are in your like swim wave, and you see everybody like standing there ready to start. They're waiting for the opening gun and everybody has their wrist up. They've got a finger on their watch because we're all waiting to start our watches, right as the race starts, right, so that we can track ourselves during the race. No, I think it's a great tip, John because it's an investment, it's a little bit of money, but they last forever, right. I mean, especially a Garmin Polar like all those brands, they last a long, long time. I mean they do everything you need them to do and I think it's a really really great tip. 

John: So, the watch isn’t going to make you any faster, it’s not one of those things you can strap on and now you're all of a sudden gonna be faster, but it's an investment in yourself. It's gonna allow you to train better, it's gonna allow you to race better so that you become faster, which is different than a faster bike or faster wheels or faster helmet, some of these things that you can buy them quote-unquote free speed. So, that's the important thing and that's really what's going to really going to be with you for your whole career is you investing in yourself, in your training, in your race execution. And that's why I think it's just dollar for dollar probably the best thing that you can invest. 

Andrew: Yeah, great point. Elizabeth, what's something that you would recommend people look at first? 

Elizabeth: Gosh, yeah. I mean, watch, definitely number one. I'm trying to think beyond that, I mean, definitely from a running perspective, I would say athletes need to visit a reputable run shop and get shoes that support their run for. 

Andrew: Yeah, that’s a great point.

Elizabeth: So, get the right shoe, not the one that looks the coolest and has your favorite colors and necessarily matches your kit, but the one that's best for your foot. And you're going to find that as you progress through the sport as well that you need to have gear that is fitting to you. So, later on in the sport, you will probably visit Bike Fit, that's going to be another thing. So, beyond the watch, I'd say you know start to dial in some of the gear that is going to be fit to you as an athlete, just from an injury prevention standpoint and making sure that you've got longevity in the sport that you love. 

Andrew: Now people may think that a training plan is only important for more experienced athletes racing longer courses. But John, why should a new athlete head to and start training smarter right away? 

John: Well, the athletes are going to have to do training regardless of what they've got coming up. So, if it's their 10th Ironman, or if it's their first sprint triathlon, you have to prepare for that. So, you're going to be investing time, so you might as well invest time that's going to produce your best results. You want that training to be as effective as possible, and you want it to be safe as well. So, injury is very, very common in triathlon, it often stems to improper training. Whereas for just as little as 9.99 a month the athletes can sign up at TriDot, have personalized training that's going to maximize their potential and ensure that they stay healthy so they can arrive at their best on race day. 

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. And I will say, I mean, you can certainly finish a sprint triathlon on your own just kind of running a couple times a week, get in the pool as much as you can, but the experience will be so much better if you get on a smart training plan, like with TriDot. I know my step-brother went to do his first triathlon, it was a super sprint, so real short race, real entry-level, like introduction to the sport. Super sprints are really really great for that and he did zero training beforehand. He just wanted to try it out, he knew his brother did it, I talked about it a lot. And he borrowed a friend's mountain bike, yeah, to go to Elizabeth’s point. He did no swim training, he did no run training and he was miserable. He finished but he literally, I had finished the race, I flew out to where he lives, and I did the race with them. I had finished the race, I'm on the course with my mother, father, and his wife and he comes by on loop one of the bike course and we're all like, “Yeah, you're doing it, you're doing great.” He does without saying a word just glaring at us, gives us a huge thumbs down and keeps riding. And we were laughing, it was funny. It's funny to look back on now. But people can certainly finish their first sprint with little training, training on their own. But it just goes so much farther having a training program that like you said for $10 a month is going to help you. 

Great set everyone. Let's cool down.

Andrew: On this edition of the cool down, I want to introduce our TriDot version of the humblebrag. Are you tired of your co-workers not reacting in amazement, as you announced to them your newest PR? Has the eye-rolling of your family members become too much to bear as you launch into the story of your latest training feat? Tell someone who cares. TriDot’s humblebrag gives you a safe space to unapologetically boast about how amazing you are. Today's humblebrag comes to us from TriDot athlete, Paul from South Lake, Texas. Take it away, Paul. 

Paul: Well, thanks, Andrew. I'm Paul from South Lake, Texas. And I've thought long and hard about my humblebrag and I think I've got a good one that might really interest you guys out there. So, I've been using TriDot for almost about a year now and I had a great 2019 season because of TriDot. And I think everybody has been through many of the races I did this year. I mean in the past, I've done one full Ironman, I've done three halves. So, I did in 2019, I did a half in Galveston, which is pretty cool even though my third lap of the run got rained out because of the storm, but that's all right. Still had an awesome time. And I swam in escape from Alcatraz, and I just wrapped up last weekend, the New York City Marathon. This is all based upon TriDot. So, for those that don't realize it, TriDot’s perfect for preparing for a marathon as well. It’s awesome. So, I had a great time, but everybody's probably done a lot of those races, but how many of you can honestly say you've been in a magazine with Chris Hemsworth? 

So, this past spring in the March Men's Health magazine, I along with four other fellow triathletes were featured in a five page spread in Men's Health magazine, which is pretty cool. And the whole experience was awesome because we actually about four months prior, had a photographer come out here in the area and spent literally a full day taking thousands of photographs of us. We went from swimming, we went from running to biking, he got some cool action shots. It was awesome. And then they took a summary of that and threw it in an article in Men's Health in the March issue and highlighted “Hey, here's what you should be looking out for in preparing for your first triathlon”, which was pretty awesome. And what was really cool was that they did a follow up article on us on the online version, asking how our first race was because at that time we were preparing, right, we're preparing for our first triathlon of that year, and it's kind of talking about how we prepared and such. 

And they came back around, said, “Hey, how'd you do?” And they pictured us on the online version of Men's Health right after that, which was a great experience for me because I get a chance to talk about trying to and they actually refer to that in that online article for Men's Health, my reference to how TriDot’s actually help me, which is pretty cool. So, my humblebrag is just being able to be featured in Men's Health magazine. But honestly, just doing what I do and having the time available to participate in triathlons is awesome enough and that to me is a pretty cool humblebrag in itself. 

Andrew: Oh my gosh, I love it. That's great stuff. Elizabeth, what do you have to say to Paul about his humblebrag? 

Elizabeth: Wow. TriDot celebrity right there. That's great. 

Andrew: John, this is the very first edition of the TriDot Podcast humblebrag, but gosh, it was a good one. Do you think that's going to be impossible for someone else to top? 

John: If I know triathletes, no. There's lots of humble bragging out there, so certainly started with a good one but there's lots more to come. 

Andrew: Listen, folks, I want to put your latest accomplishment on the next edition of our humblebrag. Email me at to tell me what you're proud of. Your latest training victory might end up on a future episode of the TriDot Podcast. 

That's it for today, folks. I want to thank coaches John Mayfield and Elizabeth James for sharing some great advice for new triathletes. If you know someone thinking about trying out tri, this would be the perfect podcast episode to share with them. A big thanks to our friends at TRITATS for sponsoring today's show. TRITATS are the perfect way for you to show up on your first triathlon already styling like a pro. Make your mark by heading to and using our special code, TRIDOT. Enjoying the podcast, have a humblebrag you want to shoot my way? Email us at and let us know what you're thinking. Again, that's We'll do it again soon. Until then, happy training. 

Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot Podcast with your triathlon crew. For more great Tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head to and start your free trial today. TriDot, the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.