Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started

The Anxious Triathlete began as a place where I chronicled the answers to all the little things I was embarrassed to share. Over the years I’ve learned the ropes, moved up distances, and become light years more comfortable with training and racing. As a result, I no longer have the same lens for triathlon- for better or worse, I’m no longer a beginner. As my personal journey within the sport has evolved, so too has my work with the AT. Though I have moved on from posts dedicated to “conquering my fear of looking like an idiot by learning and sharing as much as possible,” I always want to leave the door open to helping new people enter the sport. With this in mind, I have created three resources to share. The first is the below FAQ section on triathlon. The second, my free Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started. The third, coming soon, is a book the organizes three years of Anxious Triathlete content and makes it easy to answer all of those embarrassing triathlon questions without anyone ever knowing. And as always, I’m here at to answer anything I may have missed.

Happy Tri-ing.


What is a triathlon?

A triathlon is a multisport event. You swim, then you bike, then you run. Nothing to it! There are different distances of triathlon, with mini Sprint, Sprint, Olympic, 70.3 and 140.6 distances. Here are the details on the different distances:

Mini Sprint: 250 meter swim, 6 mile bike, 1.5 mile run.

Sprint: 500 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run

Olympic:1500 meter swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run

70.3: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run

140.6: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run

I want to do a triathlon, but I don’t know where to start!

That’s what I’m here for! Training for a triathlon starts by making sure you have the time and physical strength, then putting your money where your mouth is and signing up for a race. Download our Beginners guide to getting started to learn more about how to determine if you’re physically ready, what kind of race to sign up for, the gear you’ll need, and the foods to feed your body with.

I’m super nervous about doing this!

I don’t blame you! I was super scared to take the plunge. Triathlon is one of those things that looks crazy. It requires hard work and a willingness to do things you’ve never done before. The good news is that you have so many people on your side! Everyone was a beginner once- and there’s a reason we keep coming back. The feeling of accomplishment is second to none!

How can the Anxious Triathlete help me?

Download our Beginner’s guide to getting started for a step by step guide to tackling your first triathlon. For all the answers to those questions you’re too embarrassed to ask, we’ve got an e-book coming soon!

Isn’t this sport expensive?

It can be. But you don’t need the latest gear to complete your first race. Start out with gear you already have. Borrow what you need to. There are no restrictions on what type of bicycle you use so long as it’s safe. That means you can use a beach cruiser or a mountain bike, borrow your friend’s 6 speed, whatever you can find. You can find more tips on what gear you’ll need in our Beginner’s guide to getting started.

What if I still have questions?

Email me at and I’ll see how I can help!