USA Triathlon News Articles If I Had a Time Mach...

If I Had a Time Machine — Things Triathletes Wish they Knew When they Started the Sport

By Nick Hehemann, USA Triathlon | Oct. 23, 2020, 2:43 p.m. (ET)


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, 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 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.