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Pep talk for beginners

Racing might be on hold, but that doesn't mean we can't encourage athletes to embark on a triathlon journey

Photo by: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl

The summer is traditionally a time when we welcome new athletes to the sport and, even though there aren’t any races in the cards for this summer, we’ll hopefully still see some athletes enjoy the warm weather to embark on their own triathlon journey over the next few months. In our May issue we asked team founder Angela Naeth to ask athletes from the I Race Like a Girl triathlon program for some advice on what to say to someone doing their first triathlon. Here’s what they said:

Kim Danahy-Coyne: Have fun, smile, and breath.

Michelle Brenton: Enjoy this turning point in your life. Triathlon is highly addictive and you’ll always remember your first.

Stepfanie Johnston: Your training might feel hard and overwhelming at first, but remember why you are doing this! Working towards long term goals doesn’t always feel good in the short term, but keep going. You are worth it.

Photo: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl

Nicole Ramsbey: You are allowed to be nervous and a little stressed, but by gosh have some fun and SMILE! Oh, and know where the photographers are??

Ginny Ackiewicz: There may be things in your life you’ll regret, however triathlon will never be one of them. Being a “triathlete” changes you for the better.

Kristin Chronic: Don’t be afraid, get in there and have fun. Don’t buy a bunch of new things before asking people with expertise.

Michelle Olsson: Talk to someone who’s done a few tris, regardless of the distance – you can gain a lot from a mentor. On race day, don’t try anything new and keep smiling, remember that you are lucky enough to be doing this.

Leah Moroney:  Just keep swimming just keep swimming, just keep biking just keep biking, just keep running just keep running. Works for me every time.

Related: What Ironman champion Angela Naeth eats in a day

Gina: Just keep going. Breathe through the “suck.”

Emmeline Watson: Just do it. It will impact you in more ways that you’ll ever imagine.

Mary Kay Jessen: Don’t get caught up in all the fancy equipment and extras, just train as much as you can that works for you and where you are and with what you have. Go out on race day, smile, have fun, and enjoy that post race high.

Suzanne Amos: You will not feel ready, but it doesn’t matter. Triathletes come in all shapes, sizes and speeds – and when you get there, just race your own race. And try to have fun.

Sophie Dennison-Gibby: Relax, enjoy every second and don’t worry about what other people around you are doing. Visualize that finish line and get the celebration you deserve.

Imei Hsu: Since this is your first triathlon, it’s really a time of figuring out if you enjoy training and racing three events, not just if you can achieve a podium finish. If you focus on that triathlon race as a fun reward for your hard work, any nerves and fears will wash away into big smiles at the finish line.

Heather Geoghan: Ask for help. The triathlon community is full of people who have been there before. Ask what baby powder is for, ask how to set up your transition. Don’t be shy. Everyone has something to offer and you’ll find that people love to share (and talk about what works for them).

Melaney: Be proud! You’ve accomplished something that most people dare not even to try by getting to the start line.

Isabella DeMeo: Don’t stress about race day too much. Enjoy the race, you trained so hard to get there!

Kristen Hafferty: Go into it just to have fun and feel things out.  Also, if you have questions, ask!

Nancy Cochrane: Relax, smile throughout the event, enjoy your experience, believe in your training.   You will be signing up for your second triathlon in no time.

Alison Parker: Treat your first race (or any race) as a celebration of all the training and hard work you did to get yourself to the start line. Celebrate that journey.

Carole Harbison: Don’t overthink it. Just have fun spending the day outside with other athletes.

Laura Rucobs: You are a triathlete. Now. Not when you cross the finish or complete a full. Now. You belong here.

Sara Davis: Breathe. Have so much fun. Take in all the scenery. Sign up for another one!

Shannon Stefaniuk: Relax and enjoy yourself; the training is done and this is the fun part.

Silver Jade Bohn: When things get hard, give out some high-fives and tell others what a great job they’re doing as you pass them. Motivating others can help to motivate yourself all the way to the finish line. Don’t forget to have fun.

LB Lincoln: You got this. Swim enough so you can make it out before the cut-off and not be disoriented. Bike enough to feel comfortable in the saddle for the distance. Finally, if you aren’t coming from a strong running background, practice walking, you might need it.

Danielle L: Smile every mile!

Suzanne Croy: When you cross the finish line, you realize that you have more strength and courage then you thought, and knowing that becomes your superpower.