Participating in a triathlon definitely isn't for wimps. A distance swim, bike ride and running event mean you're pushing your body to its limit, but also completing a major feat. If it sounds like the challenge for you, your first step is to actually register for a triathlon. Giving yourself enough time and finding an event near you means you'll have an easier time setting goals and ensuring that you're trained for the right terrain and elevation for the best possible time.
One of the simplest ways to find a triathlon near you is to use TriFind.com. TriFind.com keeps a list of all of the registered events in the entire country, which means you only have to visit the page, click on your state and then choose the area in which you live. You'll see all of the planned events for any given months, giving you the best chance at choosing a triathlon that gives you enough time to train and is near your current location.
If you'd rather find out about triathlon events in your own community, check local resources that give you a heads up when a race is planned, usually months in advance. Head to your local sporting goods store, cycling store or runner's specialty store. Many have bulletin boards where event organizers post race information, so you can look through and choose an event based on the terrain, length and location.
If you're new to triathlons, you should know that there's typically a large support group available through fellow racers. Those who have tried and conquered triathlons are usually more than happy to share their knowledge about upcoming races and might even have tips to help get you started. You can look for runners or triathlon training groups by asking around, looking in your local classifieds or checking out nearby tracks and training facilities.
Before you sign on the dotted line for registration in a triathlon, make sure you're giving yourself plenty of training leeway time. If you find a race near you, it might be tempting to sign up for the soonest event, but that might not give you the time you need to train. Allow at least six weeks to three months of hardcore training before you compete in a triathlon or you could under-perform thanks to your eagerness.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.