The idea of having a time machine in the year that is 2020 is a fun concept to consider. (Remember years that didn’t bring historically awful news every single day?) What any of us wouldn’t do to either go back in time to 2019 or skip ahead to the end of this global pandemic.
So, let’s play the fantasy game. Let’s imagine you hop in the DeLorean or travel back in time through the Quantum Realm to have a conversation with your past self from years ago. After you tell yourself to invest some financial stock in Zoom, what other wisdom are you sharing? What do know now that you wish you knew back then?
The question got us thinking about things from a triathlon perspective. With the three disciplines, our sport is unique in that there’s seemingly no limit to how much you can improve over time, whether you’re a beginner or an elite athlete. We could all benefit from the knowledge of someone who’s been racing for years.
Imagine you could go back and talk to yourself at the time you were first introduced to the sport. Back when triathlon was just an idea in your head and not a lifestyle that you now love. What’s one piece of tri advice you would share with yourself? Besides, “Hey, maybe don’t plan on traveling to a ton of events in 2020?” (We laugh to stop ourselves from crying.)
We asked the question on social media this week and the responses we got from the multisport community were amazing. We did our best to compile our favorite ones.
Whether you’re new to the sport, looking to improve or simply noticing how many of these resonate with you, hopefully you’ll enjoy these answers from triathletes around the country.
The field is full of awesome, fun, adventurous people. Get in it. — lboyce01 on Instagram
You are so much more than you thought you could be, but it takes time, persistence, and patience. — debbliss469 on Instagram
Find moments to appreciate the journey and smile during your races, and take photos with new friends you meet along the way! — ksull1982
Swim, swim, swim...work on the swim in the same type of water you are racing in. — jasonpuris on Instagram
Love yourself through every part of the process of going from zero to triathlete. Don't put yourself down because you're slower than the girl in front of you, or when you feel like it's easy for everyone else. You'll get better every minute you're out there. You'll be stronger, faster, fitter and more comfortable with your abilities the longer you just keep at it. — blairannb on Instagram
Don’t try out a borrowed wetsuit in a pool the night before your first triathlon and think it’s a perfect fit for race day. — taramar15 on Instagram
Enjoy the journey, not the destination, and always smile because photographers hide in the bushes on race day. — triharderbell on Instagram
Don’t put a protein bar in your mouth before you go uphill. — racingmechanic2.0 on Instagram
Don’t neglect recovery, stretching and strength training. — bmcperformance_training on Instagram
It’s faster to learn to swim without a snorkel than it is to swim with a snorkel. — Jenny Thorpe on Facebook
Train for the bike - it’s half the race, regardless of the total tri distance. — Bill Pritchett on Twitter
Take time to take it all in. Time in the water, wind during the bike and nature as you run. There is nothing like your first Tri. 🏊♀️🚴♀️🏃♀️😁 — usageiger on Instagram
Have fun and enjoy every moment. Don’t stress just have fun. ❤️❤️❤️ — joviliskila on Instagram
Find a good coach that will show you the right path to achieve your goals! — endurancefactorytraining on Instagram
I have two! Hills hills hills!!! And practice in a wet suit before the race. — fasedy on Instagram
Get some cold water in your wetsuit before you start swimming. — bowwwwballll on Instagram
Stop with the junk miles in the pool and work on form! — ssrun4fun on Instagram
Practice swimming in open water, then after that, practice swimming in open water. If an organization has a practice swim, go! — Mark Fischer on Facebook
Buckle up and send it. — Justin Lippert on Facebook
Learn proper fueling during a race. — Rosalind Jarrett Sepulveda on Facebook
Ride your bike. A LOT! Like it’s your only mode of transportation. — Megan Barner on Facebook
Don’t cry before the swim. You’re gonna love it 100m in and be sad when it’s over! The Joy is in the Journey, race YOUR RACE and be proud you made it to race day! ❤️ — beccag29 on Instagram
Bad races don't indicate a poor triathlete. Just focus on the next race! — Erin McCardle on Facebook
Your only competition is yourself. — Kris Messner on Facebook
Enjoy the experience of being out there versus focusing on the results! — Nancy Gomes on Twitter
Enjoy the camaraderie; the triathlon community is a supportive, friendly, wonderful group. — Jane Highberger Bergan on Facebook
Looking for more tips and tricks related to triathlon? Check out MyTimeToTri.com for a ton of great beginner resources that will help you get started in the sport. And follow USA Triathlon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.