Advice, Guides & Inspiration

7 things to expect from your first 70.3 triathlon

So you’ve signed up for your first Half Ironman. The prospect of a 1.9km/1.2 mile swim, a 90km/56 mile bike ride, and a 21.1km/13.1 mile run, for a total of 70.3 miles can look pretty daunting at first glance, but now the wait is over. The question remains – what can you expect on the run up to the event?

The most important thing here is just to trust in your training and preparation. Doing your first middle distance triathlon will be one of the most challenging and rewarding endurance experiences. Remember, everyone around you on the day will be willing you on; from fellow competitors to marshalls and supporters.

The good news – you’re in the hands of one of the best organisers out there. Your job is just to make sure you follow their process and you’ll get super support throughout the event.

1. Pre-race admin:

The day before the race you will have to register, take part in the pre-race briefing and drop your gear at transition. Make sure you plan your movements for the day and have a clear idea of what clothing and nutrition you want to leave for the race day. It’s best to visit these places only once in order to avoid queues and hanging around!

2. Race briefing:

The race briefing is your best friend. The organisers will let you know about any last changes to the course or helpful tips about what to look out for and what to expect when you’re out racing. These are crucial for putting your mind at ease for the challenge ahead. Take a notebook in for any important facts you need to remember.

3. Help is always around:

Whether you’re on the swim, bike or run, Ironman always have helpful marshalls that deal with any problems. Rest assured that at every point during the race help won’t be far away to deal with any problems that arrive. Your job is just to trust your training and enjoy the day.

4. Use the official tracking app:

The app is a fantastic tool for those supporting from afar to keep track of you in real time through each stage as well as being a useful way for your supporters to find a spot to cheer you on throughout the course!

5. Make the best of the aid stations:

You will burn up to 5,000 calories by completing a half ironman, so it’s important to keep your body fuelled Throughout the day you will go past plenty of aid stations stocked with everything you need. From energy gels to isotonic drinks, be sure to make the most out of the nutrition on offer to make the experience as fun and competitive as possible.

6. Be prepared for one of the best finish line experiences

Make sure any supporters on the day are ready for you at the finish line. It’s one of the best race finishes you will ever experience and a high five from them as you run down the red carpet will be something you won’t forget. Don’t worry about turning off your sports watch and focus on the moment.

7. Make sure to put some money aside for the merch

Having completed a pretty serious feat of endurance, you’ll want a couple of mementos. After finishing,  you’ll pass through the merchandise tent – there’s some pretty stylish finisher’s items that you can buy to show off what you’ve done. Make sure to keep some money in the bank for those!