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advice for a triathlon virgin...

(12 Posts)
juicychops Thu 04-Oct-12 12:12:35

.Im looking to do my first triathlon next September and want to do the Olympic distance. Do u think this is a realistic distance for a first timer? Would u recomm end doing a sprint distance first? Im a strong swimmer and a runner and awake every now and then so it will be putting them all together that will be the hard part! What do u think?

lljkk Thu 04-Oct-12 12:18:58

What if you had a trial run doing half of each distance in a tri style & see how you felt? I thought that was guideline, if you could comfortably run half a marathon several times a week then you should be up for doing the whole distance as a one off exciting event.

You don't mention your strength at cycling, Do you have a good bike, even? I did my first tri last year, and was amazed at what rubbish bikes many of the novices had. At least that was only a sprint tri.

jumpingjackhash Thu 04-Oct-12 12:25:05

I'd give a sprint a go as part of your training for the full Olympic distance - it will also help you get to grips with the transitions.

Do you have your eye on any particular race next Sept? Some are really aggressive in terms of competitors and timings while some are a bit better suited to first races.

juicychops Thu 04-Oct-12 13:02:34

i did have my eye on the London triathlon although i can imagine that may be a bit of an aggressive one. The cycling is my weakest as Ive never really done long distances which is why Im aiming for a year time so plenty of training inc the London to brighton bike ride. I also had a knee op in may after the London marathon so been out of action for a while. Im gunna get myself a hybrid bike after xmas as my mountain bike is too heavy. Any recomme ndations for good races in the south east?

jumpingjackhash Thu 04-Oct-12 13:27:47

The Dorney races (Windsor) are quite good to get you into the swing of things - they have sprints on weeknights and bigger races on weekends. The course is pretty flat and they have a number of waves so it's not too crowded. My DH does Olympic and iron distances and uses Dorney as training sessions, they were his first races too.

Windsor Tri is a good one too, although it gets booked up very quickly! It's great for spectators and supporters, as it's quite compact (except the bike course, of course) and you'll be easily spotted through most of the race.

If you want to work some more on your bike then there are usually some good road-trips in the Surrey Hills on weekends in the summer, you even get a medal at each of them! I'll ask DH who organises them so you can check them out.

Disclaimer - I'm a lazy sod and don't actually do tri but I'm a tri-widow as DH got into them in a big way about 3/4 years ago. I can give you a spectator/supporter review of most of the courses too blush

jumpingjackhash Thu 04-Oct-12 15:48:47

OK, so Wiggle and Chain Reaction run cycling events which are good for training runs / building up stamina. They usually happen on weekends in and around Surrey Hills.

DH now thinks I want a bike for Christmas so I can join him hmm. I don't.

juicychops Thu 04-Oct-12 21:14:00

great thanks for the info its much appreciated. im looking forward to my first Tri!

Clure Thu 04-Oct-12 22:51:16

Hi I did the London Tri this year (my fifth time) I would say although its a massive event and can be quite overwhelming its a great one to do and is a bit of an "all comers" event, you really do have a great mix of novices, first timers, try harders and the fast and furious! I would say try the sprint distance first. I struggle with the swim part but if you are a strong swimmer you have a great advantage. Get some cycling experience in though as this is the biggest part of the race and the bit you will be doing for the longest. Practise transitions too. I'd recommend a road/race bike rather than a hybrid if you are serious about triathlon. Good luck!

juicychops Fri 05-Oct-12 17:06:27

thanks Clure. i was looking at local triathlons last night and will definately do a sprint tri first to get a feel for it as i have no idea what to expect. il make sure i definately fit in plenty of bike riding too. The reason i would prefer a hybrid is because i want to start going on bike rides with my ds too and when we do start, we'll probably do a lot of off road stuff where a road bike wouldn't be suitable. if i get the taste for tris and find myself wanting to do them regularly then i shall consider getting a road bike in the future, but at the moment i live in a flat and have no where to keep my bike other than my hallway!! so can't have too many wink

Totobear Fri 05-Oct-12 17:11:46

I did an Olympic distance first, two weeks after getting my bike hmm. Maybe not the most sensible thing. I panicked on the OW swim and did fall off my bike at one point but I did also qualify for another race!?

I think a sprint the best way to dip your toe in the water. OW swimming with a mass start can be pretty scary! Count to ten when the whistle goes to avoid the swim fight that ensues initially! That is my tip for the day!

SerendipityAlways Fri 05-Oct-12 19:06:10

Excellent advice TOTOBEAR on the swim start!! No matter how good a swimmer you think you are, open water swimming can be terrifying!! I did 2 triathlons this Summer and was amazed at how frightening the swim part was, even though I'm an experienced swimmer. Its imperative that you get lots and lots of open water swim experience in the weeks leading up to your tri. And also get used to swimming in groups, as the start of the swim in triathlon can be mad as people jockey for positions!

I would agree with other posters to maybe do a sprint triathlon first - and remember the 4th discipline of triathlon, transition! You should incorporate "brick" sessions into your training, eg a bike session followed immediately by a run session, your legs will then know why they're called brick sessions!! Triathlon is great, great fun and I would encourage you all the way!! Enjoy and do come back and let MN know how you got on! Also as another poster said, cherry pick your first triathlon as some courses are more challenging/hillier than others and a flat course may be better for your first triathlon! Best of Luck!

ivykaty44 Sat 06-Oct-12 20:59:30

look on entry central for triathlons - you can put in the distance you will travel and they will limit what you see to that area. At the moment there will not be a lot on the website but by next spring there will be numerous triathlons and other events.

You say you are a strong swimmer, is this pool based or open water?

have you thought about looking on the British triathlon website for a tri club that you can join and train with like minded people who can give you great tips and advise?

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