Emma Pallant’s top triathlon tips

16th September 2015

Team GB athlete and World Duathlon Champion Emma Pallant is a great friend of Human Race and has taken part in numerous events including Windsor Triathlon and the Shock Absorber WomenOnly Triathlon. Here are her top tips on getting through your first triathlon and most importantly, still having a smile on your face at the end.

A year and a bit ago I lost my triathlon virginity when I raced in the London Triathlon. I’d be lying if I said I was cucumber-style cool on the start line, but I had great fun in the race. Here are my top ten tips on how to make the most of your day and cross that finish line with a big fat smile!

  1. Don’t do anything new! Stick to the nutrition, the kit and the equipment that you have used in training. Familiarity is your friend!
  2. Get there in plenty of time. This will help you to be relaxed, and you can take your time setting up for transition. Things always seem to take longer on race day, especially the queues for the loos!
  3. Lubricate the legs and arms before putting on the wetsuit, it will come off a lot quicker in transition! If possible try to get someone to do this for you because you don’t want slippy hands in the water (I’m sure there will be plenty of volunteers well up for that job!)
  4. Once the race gets started, try and swim with people. You might think it’s more comfortable staying away from the splash but it will actually help to drag you along faster!
  5. Try to keep a consistent pace on the bike, get into a rhythm and try to hold it. This is the most efficient way to work your physiology. To stop the mind drifting, sometimes I have a song in my head, or count to myself so as not to drop the pace and stay focused.
  6. Don’t forget to sip on your drink! To recover from the swim and get ready for the run, staying hydrated is key, so if you find yourself singing on the bike then add in a water pit stop pause before the chorus!
  7. Don’t bolt out of transition too quickly, because this will fill your legs up with lactic acid and the rest of the run will be pretty painful. The best way to go is to start off steady and pick up the pace, its all about pacing yourself.
  8. Find a point about 500m or so away from the finish where you know that you can just give it everything. It’s the last bit of the race so make sure you get to that finish line with nothing left in the tank, one of my friends calls this the man sprint and swears no race is valid without it!
  9. Post-race: try to get some good protein in for recovery. Even if you don’t feel like eating, take something in in the form of liquid because it will help repair the muscles so you feel less sore the few days after the race.
  10. And finally… you’re done!! So SMILE, be proud of yourself and find a way to celebrate with the people that helped you in the lead up to the race.