triathlon_article_triathlon_start

The Gun: What to do at the Start

Article written by Niki jamieson

Triathlon Event  Wetsuit, goggles and swim cap on, you are anxiously standing in the sand looking through the sea of participants waiting for your turn. You’ve never done a mini-triathlon and, frankly, you are nervous about all of those people charging into the water at the same time. What should you do?

Luckily we have some great advice for you!

  1. Every newbie is anxious before, during and after their first mini-triathon. While you are waiting for your “heat” to be called, complete some easy arm and leg stretches and make small-talk with the people around you. Remember, tense muscles don’t float as well as relaxed muscles and relaxing is key to a good swim.

  2. When your heat is called, watch to see how the group forms and stay to the outside or back of the group. This will prevent you from being part of the mass chaos when the gun fires.

  3. When the gun fires, stay to the outside or back of the group and watch where you’re going. In the first 60 seconds, you will panic — everyone panics!!!! Then you will settle down and be fine — we promise.

  4. If you are in the ocean and are swimming proper freestyle (front crawl), our suggestion is to make it past the breakers before you start rotary breathing.

  5. If you are comfortable staying at the back or outside, stay there. If you are a competitive swimmer, look for gaps between the swimmers and make your move.

  6. Do not be alarmed if you get elbowed or bumped. Stear clear of people doing breast stroke or side stroke — those kicks hurt like hell!

  7. Begin “spotting” to ensure that you are swimming in the straightest line possible, from start to buoy (to maybe another buoy) to finish.

  8. Find your swim rhythm and enjoy your race!

If you follow these guidlines, your start will be the beginning of a fantastic race!

Check this out:

  • Read this funny account of a staff member’s first triathlon swim to Martha’s Vineyard while the rest of the race was heading to the first buoy.

  • How to Avoid A Frightening Start: Think Out of the Pack (video) – We thought that this was, quite possibly, the funniest video we’ve seen depicting a triathlon start and wanted to share it with you for a laugh!

  • Race Day– Experience a triathlon step-by-step without getting wet
  • Triathlon Swim – Now that you understand the “Start”, learn how to navigate the “Swim.”



Triathlon Swim : – Get the low-down on gear and read tips for training and events.

Triathlon Bike: – Learn how to structure bike workouts, find safety tips and read recommendations on great bike gear.

Triathlon Run : – Get the ultimate skinny on running sneakers, running gear, safety tips and much more.

“Triathlete Profile
Read interviews of people like YOU who give advice on training, balance and much more.

There are Newbies Starting Triathlons Every Day. Today Just Happens to be YOUR Day!