1. Make sure to practice the open water swim. It's so much different than swimming in a pool.2. BODY GLIDE!
My first thoughts were1. As Michael said open water swim! Make sure you at least do it once before race day.2. Have fun!
1. do Bricks (ride/run)2. work with a coach
Only 2 pieces of advice???1. Have fun while doing brick workouts, practicing open water swimming, making a checklist of everything you need and packing it the night before your race, and preparing to become completely addicted to this wonderful sport. :)2. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to perform or finish in a certain time. The first time you do anything should be for fun and to finish. Don't lose sight of that.
1. Have a race goal and stick to it (this goes hand-in-hand with 1b. which is race your own race...don't get caught up with how fast others are going. If you try to keep up, you'll fail)2. Think positive thoughts (during the race) and have a few motivational words in your head or written on your arm. Nothing is more powerful than the mind. If your mind is willing the body will follow.OK, so those were 2 or 3 pieces of advice :) Good luck!
My first comment would be like everyone else, make sure you do open water swims! Very important.My second comment would be consistency. When you stay consistent with your workouts the breakthroughs will come through!Oh yeah, thanks for the comment on my blog. I can now follow your blog!
1. Do BRICK workouts, in fact if possible try to run off the bike whenever possible. Even if it is just a mile, it will help you to get used to running on "tired" legs.2. Set realistic goals, actually I always have three goals for any race that I do. The first is to finish. The second is my realistic goal, the goal that I should be able to attain with a good solid effort. The third is my stretch goal, the goal that I can acheive if all of the planets align, the wind is always at my back, I nail all of my nutrition, etc.As for the rest of the comments above, I would say that it is good to get in an open water swim, but it isn't mandatory. I should do them more but I just don't have the opportunity to do them unless I at the beach in the summer. With that said, a friend of mine did all of his training in the pool leading up to his first triathlon and freaked out once he got in the water. Also, getting a coach is expensive and personally I don't have a lot of spare change sitting around.
1. Enjoy the journey. It's not just about getting PRs and having good races. It's about the training. Enjoying that ride, savouring in that run, feeling the swim.2. Be consistent. I'm not fast, and might never be fast, but consistency makes a huge difference.
Practice transitions - even if you feel like a weirdo doing it, you'll not be wandering aimlessly on race day! :)Have fun - remember why you are out there. To some it's to beat the other competitors, but for the majority, it's because you are healthy and fit and having a good time! :)
1. Know your pace and manage it.2. Don't rush transition (including pre-race setup).
1) Bricks - my legs felt like jello tubes the first couple of times I did the bike/run transition. Learning to work through that was key for me.2) Don't be a hog in the transition area. Learn to be a respectful user of space - it helps everyone out!!!
If it's the day before or of a race:1. Be mentally adaptable; things will feel weird, but you'll get used to it.2. Have fun. If you want to go all out, do it. If you want to reserve some energy, do it. Just do it with a smile.If you've got some training time:1. Do at least one bike/run brick. Get it in your head that your legs will feel WEIRD coming off the bike; don't let it surprise you on race day.2. Try to get comfortable in open water. Not only is there no bottom to stand on but come race day, you'll be fighting with other athletes for space. I often hear from (non-swimming baed) starting triathletes that the swim was scary. Not "difficult," just "scary."
Good advice so far, specially the swimming.1. Join a forum (and mentor group if possible) where you can ask questions, like beginnertriathlete.com.2. Get a plan to follow so you don't do too much too fast or too little for the race and log all your workouts somewhere. It's fun to see your yearly totals specially when they add up to more than your previous 20 years combined.