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Tracey's triathlon tips

Swimsuits. If there's one thing worse than wearing a swimsuit, it's wearing nothing at all! Make sure you have a swimsuit that will survive rougher conditions. Your chances of wearing a bikini until the end of the swim leg are pretty skimpy.

Cycling. Learn how to change a flat tyre. Your local bike shop will be happy to show you, and there's also instructions on this website. You may never need this skill BUT if you do you will be glad you took the time to learn.

Run. Always remember as long as you are moving forward you are going in the right direction. You can never run too slow. Do try to practice walking or running immediately after a bike ride though. It's quite a lot harder than you think and something you should practice after most of your bike rides.

Swim. If swimming with lots of others scares you, then get a group of friends together, go to the pool and all swim in the same lane. Try swimming really close and sometimes deliberately bump into each other. If your swim is in the sea then go and practice in the sea with your friends. Make it fun.

Commit. Making the decision to actually do a triathlon is the hardest part, don't just think about it, do it. ENTER! Trap your self , that way you have a solid goal with a fixed date and a quantifiable amount of time to train. Don't allow yourself escape routes by waiting until you get fitter, or to "see how it goes" before entering. Just decide and enter!

Get support. Tell loads of people you are going to do it. You will get a variety of reactions but again you will be trapping yourself to fulfil your commitment. Ask people to support you. Persuade friends to join you.

Plan your approach. You know when your event is so now download the appropriate training programme from for your fitness level. Print it out. Cut it up and stick each week into your diary, better still get a NEW diary just for your training. At the end of each day write in your diary what you did that day training wise.

Train with others. When you know you have a run or a swim to do, arrange to meet others at the pool or park. You are much less likely to give yourself an excuse if you have a appointment with someone else.

Reward yourself. Each week treat yourself for your hard work. NOT FOOD THOUGH! At the beginning of the week write down your treat in your diary and at the end of the week reward yourself. It may be a long hot bath, a special magazine, or even a peace of tri clothing... you decide.

Expect to have bad days. Life gets in the way sometimes and it makes training hard to fit in. It's much harder to get to the start line of your event than the finish line. But just take it one step at a time and each day think, how will I fit it in TODAY, don't worry about tomorrow.

Write lists. List all the reasons you can think of why you think this seems too hard or you can't fit it all in. Look at the list, screw it up and throw it in the bin. Tell your self they are just excuses and you can do anything you really want to and are not going to let those reasons get in the way. (Trust me this works!)

Go watch a triathlon. Find your local multisport club and go and watch a triathlon. Afterwards write down all the things that scared you and excited you. Then plan ways to address all the scary aspects.

Believe in yourself. Try this, make a fist, now look at your hand all tight and closed, now open it. What happened? Well your MIND told your body what to do and it's the same on race day. YOUR mind controls your body Not what anyone else thinks. If you believe you can do this then you can and you will! Do not start thinking. what if... Never let what if be an option.

Just do it. EVERYONE is nervous on the day, even the ones who have done it before. The day is your reward for all your hard effort. Celebrate and enjoy, smile all day no matter what happens. If something goes wrong quickly turn it into a positive and continually tell yourself the entire way around, this is fun! (because it is!)