Live Better

Your first triathlon: Tips from Brendan Sexton

Olympian Brendan Sexton shares some helpful advice for your first triathlon.

What’s the number one thing people should keep in mind when setting out to complete their first triathlon?

Acknowledge that there’s a process that will take time. Set small goals that lead towards a major aim and enjoy the processes involved in achieving those goals.

If possible, find a group of training buddies with similar goals and abilities to your own. It’s also great to train with people who are more advanced so you can gain perspective and added motivation to improve. Ensure your group makes the process of improving enjoyable, and be sure to celebrate your collective achievements.

Should you focus on your weak leg or your stronger leg when training?

At an elite level, I’m constantly trying to improve all three legs of the triathlon. I believe this should be the aim at any level. Triathlon is a three-discipline sport – ideally all three legs would be as strong as each other and a triathlon is only as strong as its weakest leg!

That said, a focus on weaker legs should see greater overall improvement. I often find someone’s weakest leg is his or her least liked in training (the case with me anyway), so a change of approach towards the training could see more enjoyment and therefore improved performance.

“It’s great to train with people who are more advanced so you can gain perspective and added motivation to improve.” 

What level of fitness do you need to complete a sprint distance triathlon?

Being an endurance event lasting up to two hours, a sprint triathlon will need some degree of preparation. In training, you should practise separately swimming a non-stop 750m, riding 20km without a break and running 5km. If you’re able to complete the disciplines alone without difficulty, the combined effort is attainable.

What is the most important training gear that people need?

Apart from the obligatory pool, bike and running shoes, the most important equipment is the right clothing. Depending on climate, conditions and type of training, what you’re wearing can make all the difference too. Training and race apparel should be well fitting, engineered from good fabrics, offer insulation in cooler weather and breathability when it’s hot.  In 2XU I can approach my training, racing and recovery with the confidence I require to perform at my best.

vImage: Jaimi Chisolm

Recommended Reading

Move to feel good: Michelle Bridges’ top exercise tips

Superstar trainer Michelle Bridges shares a few top tips.

Read more

What’s the deal with pre-workouts?

Do pre-workout supplements do everything they claim?

Read more

How can exercise help manage chronic illness?

How exercise can help manage diabetes and more.

Read more

Join the community: can group exercise improve your mental wellbeing?

Group exercise keeps us motivated, committed and connected

Read more

Make a splash: 5 ways to get better at swimming

Change up your swimming routine with these drills.

Read more

Dragons afloat! Here’s why you should try dragon boating

There’s a seat for everyone in the sport of dragon boating.

Read more

What is body composition and why does it matter?

Why body weight alone does always tell the whole story.

Read more

After injury: how to set recovery goals

Physiotherapist Charissa Fermelis explains her method.

Read more