Triathlon Safety Tips

Do you know all the rules of a specific triathlon event by default? Probably not. Some events have their own set of safety rules you need to abide by.

In the absence or lack of such laid out rules, prepare for and race in triathlon safely with the following suggestions as a reminder or an added bonus to your own common sense and due diligence (this here is just some tips to keep in mind and not a full fledged guide to triathlon safety).

Also, if you’re looking for affordable gear, don’t miss our recommendations on the best cheap triathlon watches – perfect for keeping track without breaking the bank.


Triathlon Swim Safety

  • Just in case, bring a wetsuit for the triathlon swim leg for if the water turned out to be too cold.
  • Almost always have a bright colored swim cap so that you’re visible all the time.
  • Make sure, in case of open water swim training for triathlon, that you’re aware of potential risks of the body of water (certain animals perhaps, etc).
  • If you don’t consider yourself a strong triathlon swimmer, there’s really no benefit for you to start at the front in a tri race. Not only will you feel the urge to speed up your pace amidst the splashing and chaos as the stronger swimmers go past you like nothing, you also risk ending up panicking when you add up all those things.
  • If you get overly tired during a triathlon training or race, there’s nothing wrong in taking a little time to breath and gather your strength by turning over and backstroking, etc.
  • Try not to eat large meals few hours before triathlon training or race swim leg.


Triathlon Cycling Safety

  • Helmet, helmet, and helmet. Triathlon events require you to use it anyway, so why skip on it even in training? It’s there for a reason.

Triathlon safety tips for cycling

  • Use bright colored outfit and reflective patches when training for triathlon so as to avoid getting into somebody’s blind spot unnoticed.
  • Before taking a long triathlon training or race bike ride, make sure it’s in a good working condition. As you can imagine, it’s not the most pleasant experience when it breaks down mid way.
  • Use hand signals when training in traffic.
  • Practice shoulder checking.
  • Try riding your bike in a straight line for more efficiency.
  • Know the route you embark on.
  • Pass others safely from the left while making sure your own left is free and nothing’s coming up on you from behind.


Triathlon Running Safety

  • Stay hydrated (too obvious?).

Triathlon safety tips for running

  • Lace locks or elastic laces for running shoes can save time in triathlon transitions.
  • Prevent injuries and burnout by allowing your body to rest by taking recovery days in-between training. We’ve all had those co-workers, relatives or even friends whose knees, ankles or something else is done for for life after having done excessive training at younger age.
  • Run properly. Any one can “run”, but not everyone know how to actually run properly. It’s crazy, I know.
  • Try running immediately after biking. Practice this in order to get more used to the effects and how to handle such a situations better during a triathlon race.
  • Try running on a hot dry day, too. Proper clothing and even sunscreen may be necessary. Triathlon events don’t dictate the weather, but they try to plan for a good one, and more often than not it means it’s a hot dry day.


Beginners’ Safety Tips For Triathlon

  • Have an “emergency” contact number – anything can happen during triathlon training or tri race.
  • Try to keep to your regular pace rather than tire yourself out at the very start of a triathlon event even if there are people going past you seemingly with ease.
  • Go over the triathlon event’s rules (from their website), safety measures, routes and other tips.


Triathlon Safety Awareness About Dehydration

  • If an average adult needs 2.5 liters of water per day, so when exercising for triathlon, they would need something like 750 ml per hour.
  • Aside from heat stress, dehydration is another common issue during a triathlon event. Organizers do make sure participants have access to water, but it’s up to you to grab the water. Stop for a moment if necessary, but try not to skip water intake.
  • Dehydration affects your physical and mental performance without you even noticing.
  • Carry a bottle of water with you during training sessions or the triathlon race day itself if you can, even on cool days.

Triathlon Safety Awarenes About Dehydration

Info About Heat Stress During Triathlon

  • As we all know, continuous physical effort in triathlon causes loss of bodily fluids as we start to sweat initially. Blood thickens and heart rate increases which puts strain on our cardiovascular system (lungs & heart). As bodily fluids decrease and blood flow is increasingly focused more on vital organs, less blood goes through skin area and thus less sweating occurs. Less sweat on the other hand causes core body temperature rise.
  • At this point, if not getting more water, heat illness starts to progress. It starts off with “heat cramps” caused by dehydration.
  • If at this stage, find shade and drink water or some sports drink as it’s a little better than just water and you’ll be fine soon after.
  • However, if something more serious comes up, called heat exhaustion, things are a little more troublesome. A heat exhaustion causes your core body temperature to rise quickly which will likely result in headache, dizziness, chills, dehydration and even loss of consciousness.
  • And when something even more serious occurs, likely a heat stroke, your core body temperature needs to lower quickly and help should be on its way or else it’s finito for you. Symptoms of a heat stroke include lack of sweat, headache, rapid pulse, confusion, lethargy, seizures, unconsciousness, with body temperature being over 101°F / 38°C


Mitigating Heat Stress In a Triathlon

  • Try out training in the heat to better understand and improve on how to help your body handle it.
  • Consider wearing brighter clothing that would reflect and not absorb the heat as much.
  • For sunscreen, use something that doesn’t hinder sweating. Usually the oil-based ones aren’t very good for running in the heat.
  • To find out if you’re properly hydrated, weigh yourself before and after a training session in the heat. You don’t want to weigh less than 3 to 4% compared to before the run, and if you do, it means you would have to drink more during bike leg in a triathlon race.


Extra Reading

(links open in a new tab)

The TOP 10 Best Cheap Triathlon Watches | post | TriathlonsWay
Is a Cheap Triathlon Watch Worth It? | post | TriathlonsWay
Do You Need a Triathlon Watch? | post | TriathlonsWay
How Does a Triathlon Work? | post | TriathlonsWay
Why Get Into a Triathlon? | post | TriathlonsWay
Benefits of a Tri Watch | post | TriathlonsWay
What Is a Triathlon? | post | TriathlonsWay
Triathlon Safety | post | TriathlonsWay


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