Three tips to help you prepare for your first triathlon

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<ul><li><p>A student currently attending the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Justin Zatkoff plans to receive his law degree in 2014. Outside of his academic pursuits, Justin Zatkoff enjoys a range of athletic activities, including triathlons. </p><p>Seasoned triathletes know how to prepare for and what to expect from an upcoming triathlon. Beginners to the sport, however, may need a little assistance getting ready for their first race. Here are afew tips to help those just entering the world of triathlons to reach their training goals and avoid injury: </p><p>1. Decide on a triathlon length. Triathlons come in a variety of distances, from the shorter sprint type tothe much longer Ironman competition. Your overall physical condition and race experience can help determine the length of triathlon to undertake, but for beginners, it is probably best to start with a sprint. Sprint triathlons typically consist of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride, and a five-kilometer run. </p><p>2. Create a training plan and give yourself ample preparation time before the triathlon. Do not push yourself too hard. Unless you are a regular runner, swimmer, and biker, it is important to start training slowly. Increase your distance by no more than ten percent each week and give yourself a break from any increase every two to three weeks. Also, focus more time on the sport that is the hardest for you. Finally, working on your transitions from one sport to the next can help you shave valuable seconds off of your overall triathlon time. </p><p>3. Purchase the necessary equipment. For the running portion of the triathlon, not much else is needed other than a good pair of shoes. However, you also will need a swimsuit and goggles as well as a good bike and helmet. Be sure that you are comfortable with all of your equipment before the actual competition. </p></li></ul>