If you haven’t yet heard of Holly Lawrence, prepare to be impressed. At just 27 years old Holly has taken the triathlon world by storm. After competing at the IRONMAN 70.3 distance for just two years, team TYR’s newest athlete swam, biked and ran her way to first place at the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Queensland, Australia. Since then she has earned a total of eleven 70.3 wins and is currently a 2x IM 70.3 North American Champion and IM 70.3 Middle East Champion. Today, this Great Britain native has made the golden state her home, training and living in Santa Monica, California.

With some serious accomplishments under her belt, it’s safe to say that Holly knows a thing or two about competition. So we decided to get her opinion on what it takes to really compete in a triathlon.

Are you a first time triathlete or simply thinking about taking on the sport? If so, then read on below for some of Holly’s top tips to conquering your first race. (And hint, it’s got a lot to do with proper preparation!)

First up, break in your gear. Holly encourages first time triathletes to test any products or plans they want to use on race day in the months leading up to the triathlon. All too often people use a new kit, nutrition strategy, equipment or wheels during race day and inevitably, something goes wrong. Giving yourself time to test out what works will help you to know if a nutrition plan causes GI issues or if a wetsuit doesn’t fit right. Race day is not the time to test things out!

Next, prepare, prepare, prepare!  Holly suggests giving yourself time to check out the layout of the course you are planning to race. She recommends knowing the technical sections of your location, so that you feel most comfortable on race day.

On the morning of the race, Holly recommends doing a transition run through. Begin with where you would enter from the swim, following the flow the race will use. Moving through your transition stop by your bike and run through changing equipment in your head. Continue to run through bike out, then do the same with bike in and run out. She stresses that though it may sound or feel silly, figuring out your transitions in a race can be very disorienting. So taking the time to run through the motions prior to the start will allow you to act without so much thought.

Finally, Holly’s biggest tip? Racing should be fun, so enjoy it!  She believes you’ll get the most out of yourself when you’re in a good head-space and loving that feeling of pushing yourself to see what you can achieve. And the rest of us over at team TYR couldn’t agree more!

So to all of our first time and veteran triathletes alike, we’re wishing you good luck in your next race!

If you enjoyed this post (and Holly’s awesome advice) be sure to tag us in all of your training, pre-race and race day tips with the hashtag #TYRTips. We can’t wait to see what you’re up to!

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