If you need help sticking to your 2018 fitness goals, you may want to consider doing a triathlon. You don’t have to be a hardcore athlete to take on this challenge, and it’s a more enjoyable way to get fit than spending endless hours at the gym. This article will provide a few tips on how to make your first triathlon (or half-triathlon!) a success, even if you don’t break any time records.

Plan, Prep, Train

It’s easier to stick to your workout and meal plans if you make them in advance. Schedule the time, variety, and duration of your workouts. Hold yourself accountable for your workouts and meals so you stick to your plan.

Study the triathlon course so you know what to expect, and if possible, do your workouts in similar environments so your body is familiar with the course too. Be sure to train for each leg of the race, including your transitions. And don’t just train to your strengths; improve your weaker areas too. For example, if you’re not a strong swimmer but already love to bike, spend more time in the water than on the road.

In addition, remember to take care of your body when you aren’t training. Eating for a triathlon is different than how you would normally eat, so take the time to figure out what works best for you. Drinking enough water is also essential. You should hydrate more if you’re increasing the amount and level of your physical activity.

Ask for Help

Include others in your training. The people around you can provide helpful tips and motivation on your journey. Is one of your relatives a swim instructor? Ask them to help coach you. Want to bond with your new roommate who happens to teach classes at the local gym? Go for a bike ride together or check out a class they teach.

If you involve more people, they can help hold you accountable when going for another run is the last thing you want to do. Your friends and family are invaluable supporters as you work toward the finish line.

Get the Right Gear

Get all your gear ready ahead of time. If you don’t have the right equipment, staying on track with your goals will be difficult. Don’t break in new gear the day of the race; be sure to practice and train with it so you’re comfortable. Running shoes, a road bike, and an athletic swimsuit are all basic essentials.

Depending on the location and time of the race, you may also need a wetsuit. If you’ll be swimming in cold water, it’s a necessity. Same as with the other gear you’ll use, it’s important prepare for the race in your wetsuit. Though they make swimming long distances easier, always train hard in your suit as if it’s race day. Practice transitioning quickly but carefully, to avoid snags and tears.

Incorporate Tech

According to an infographic from Arizona State University, 96% of people who use health apps believe they’ll improve their quality of life. Incorporate mobile apps or a Fitbit into your daily life to help emphasize overall wellness. Technology has changed athletes’ lives and you have a number of resources to help you track workouts and plan meals.

Positive Thinking

Remember why you chose to do this. Treat this triathlon as an opportunity to improve your health and try not to get caught up in winning the race or losing a certain amount of weight. This challenge is about exercising in a fun way. Focus on meeting your goal and you’ll stay motivated and positive.

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