- making the decision
- First steps to take
- What to expect with training
Introducing Rhys Chong and making the decision to enter your first triathlon
My name is Rhys, I am a physiotherapist based in London and completed my first Ironman in Switzerland last year. I have been asked by Newtotri to write weekly articles to help all of you who might want to do your first triathlon or are regularly enjoying this incredibly exciting sport.
I trained for one year to complete my Ironman. When I started training I wanted learn the sport fast as there was no time to waste. I managed to find several coaches to help me. These coaches included Ironman experts covering the areas of training, swimming, nutrition, mental preparation, bike mechanics, massage, and pilates. I was able to take care of my injuries as a physiotherapist.
These coaches directed me in all aspects of Ironman training and saved me hours of work looking for information on places to train, equipment to buy and events to enter. I owed the success and enjoyment of my Ironman to these coaches.
I would like to share with you what I have learnt from these coaches and in my training. I hope I can enhance your triathlon training and race experience.
If you have never done a triathlon and are thinking about starting you might have loads of questions you want answered. It helps to read magazines, books and websites like Newtotri.. It also helps to talk to coaches because they can adapt their advice to your specific circumstances. There are many coaches in each discipline of triathlon. It is important to find coaches you enjoy talking to and trust. The best test is to meet them in person and then make sure their coaching is clear and easy to understand.
It makes a big difference to have coaches who have done what you want to do. The coaches will then appreciate what you will be going through and can offer practical solutions to help you. If you do not connect with a coach find another one.
When I was making a decision to start in triathlon the greatest fear I had was the fear of the unknown. These fears raised questions such as Could I do it? Was I able to fit it into my life? Who would help me? and where do I get the information I need? I spoke to lots of people but ultimately the decision was a step into the unknown. When you take the first step it is amazing how the rest will fall into place. My advice is just get started, enter a race and take small steps in your training.
Training is a very personal experience. Every triathlete will find what works best for his or her body. Remember you get better the more you train and race and give yourself the time to learn. Making mistakes will happen but correcting these mistakes is when you learn the most.
Training with a triathlon club can introduce you to other triathletes and resources. I personally found working with coaches on a one on one basis and then training myself was better. Training in a group intruded on my own training outcomes. In a club the speed, distance and times of training were predetermined. I wanted to train when I had the time and at the speeds and distances suiting my training plan. In a triathlon race you will be racing alone so it is better to train alone to get used to it.
Training alone has other advantages. I became more aware of my body and my equipment. I noticed my heart rate rise rapidly when I exercised hard and I was aware of how fast I recovered. I was more intune with my body’s reaction during training and as I learnt more I could adjust my race plan during the race depending on how I felt. This is very important in triathlon as you will be racing in three different sports one after the other and do not want to “hit the wall” and end your race prematurely.
In this article I have shared with you the benefits of having coaches to help you, told you to enter your first triathlon even if you still have questions, and highlighted the benefit of training alone to keep to your personal training goals.
You can find out more about my Triathlon Coaching Team on www.physical-edge.com Feel free to contact Physical Edge with your questions and read my blog on one year of Ironman training from my website. Until next time, remember to stay focused and enjoy your new sport. You are now an athlete in currently the fastest growing Olympic sport in the world.