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Does your child compete in triathlons?

(12 Posts)
Marniasmum Thu 11-Feb-16 21:38:33

DD (Y6) is keen to do a triathlon..There is a local triathlon club with a junior section but there is a waiting list so We have started training with the running, and building up stamina and speed in the swimming pool.
The real event is 200m swim (in a lake!) 4 k bike and 2k run.
Any tips.She will need wetsuit I guess

Marniasmum Thu 11-Feb-16 21:39:46

Also she is a bit unfortunate being a December 30th birthday (2004) and will have to compete in the 2003/4 born catagory

museumum Thu 11-Feb-16 21:47:25

I know some people who run a kids club. It's fun to train in a group. Your DD should stay on the waiting list.
I know no tips though sorry.

angelcake20 Fri 12-Feb-16 13:31:37

DCs belong to a triathlon club, though other commitments mean they don't often compete. Most junior triathlons use swimming pools, even our regional races only have a couple of open water ones a year. Most of our club, including our DCs, do not have wetsuits, which are usually compulsory for open water unless the water temperature is very warm. Open water swimming is generally much harder, ie rougher, colder, poor visibility but 200m isn't too far. Normal beach/sailing wetsuits are not regarded as suitable for swimming in. Ideally your Dd should have trainers which are not lace up, ie Velcro or elastic laces, and it is usual to put talcum powder in them to absorb the water from wet feet. If she wants to do it regularly, it will be easier in a tri-suit with a number belt but not worth it just to try it out. The cycling is usually the make or break leg at this age. Does she have a decent, light bike and is she confident using her gears correctly? There are a lot of rules for triathlon, particularly regarding transition, so check the instructions for that particular race and make sure she is fully aware of these. For serious races she will have to set up her own transition so practice doing this beforehand. My DCs are both autumn born so I think it's good for them to do something where they're one of the younger ones, rather than always being amongst the eldest in the school year. Sorry that's a bit long!

BackforGood Fri 12-Feb-16 13:37:06

I too am surprised about someone so young doing open water swimming - when ds did it for a bit, the swim was always in a pool.
angelcake has given the tips I was going to - talc in the (non- lace) trainers etc. There was quite a bit of focus on the transitions - they reckoned that's where the races could be won or lost not that ds was ever going to win.
That said, it was a lovely atmosphere, with people really competing against their own previous times, rather than each other, IYSWIM, so all were welcome, whatever age or stage they were at.

Run247 Fri 12-Feb-16 13:42:18

Best to get them in the open water early! Like nippers (kids surf lifesaving from 5-12) in Australia, it will help them to be comfortable in that environment early.

ivykaty44 Fri 12-Feb-16 13:53:10

My dd2 used to do tri

I would advise trying an aquathon first before competing in a triathlon.

There are plenty of rules with triathlons, for example not touching the bike before wearing helmet on head, no crafting on bike section ( which is allowed in seniors) no tumble turns in some but tumble turns allowed in others.

I looked on entry central for events for DD to participate and often the club members would choose some to do for a league.

A lot of the competitors come from a swim background so the swimming can be very fast paced.

Op is there a cycle club near to you or an athletics club or park run? I know lots of the junior tri club members use the park run for part of their training.

DD joined a cycle club and eventually gave up tris and the swimming and took up track and road racing instead, she loved the track best of all.

Sport can be a wonderful journeygrin

ivykaty44 Fri 12-Feb-16 13:55:16

Oh and look on British triathlon to see if there are any other clubs near to you? Look on British cy long for cycling clubs, there are certainly quite a few cycling clubs with good junior sections

ivykaty44 Fri 12-Feb-16 14:01:16

Sorry drafting not crafting..!

If you're in the Midlands and want to know which events I would recommend, please do let me know and I'll give you more info on friendly well run events

celtiethree Sat 13-Feb-16 15:17:11

I have three DS all who currently compete. I would agree with other posters and suggest a pool based aquathlon or triathlon before an open water event. If you are going for open water then training in the wet suit would be strongly recommended as it is very different from swimming in a swimsuit. The open water races can also be very intimidating with lots of swimmers very close cutting across each other etc! If you can get a few to practise together in open water that would really help.

It's not essential but I'd recommend a Tri suit for under the wetsuit. That way you don't need to waste time messy around with t shirts which are awful when you are wet and it had light padding for the cycle.

As others have also said:

Look up transition rules
Switch out laces for lock laces (most running shops sell them)
Talc in shoes - practise putting them on with wet feet!
Find your local junior park run and get your dd to go along
Look on entry central for other events


You'll probably need a race belt.

Practice cycling followed by a run before the event.

Think that's it! It's a wonderful sport and the atmosphere at the kids races is always brilliant! Open water always seems to have a party feel and seems to be increasingly popular, my youngest DS 9 is doing his first open water this year! Hope your dd has a great race.

CMOTDibbler Sat 13-Feb-16 15:25:09

I do triathlon, and ds(9) has done a couple. UKTriathlons run a few, and they are lovely as a first go as they are designed to be very much about taking part. The Henley one is pool based, but their open water one has the children going off at intervals so less scary.

I'd really recommend a pool based tri first - theres a lot of rules to follow, so not having to peel off a wetsuit first time is a plus! And swimming in a lake is weird, let alone with other people

She'll need to practice riding with people around her and learn overtaking discipline/manners as the childrens cycle is off road and a bit fast and furious!

tootsietoo Sat 27-Feb-16 22:46:39

My DDs have both done open water triathlons last year, DD1 was 8 and swam 200m and DD2 7 and swam 25m (almost a paddle as it was so shallow, right at the edge of the lake). You should definitely find a local lake which allows swimming (there are a couple within easy reach of us) and go along a few times to experience it. I think she would need to be a confident swimmer though - I definitely wouldn't let DD2 do a 200m open water swim yet as she is not particularly strong, and it is crowded in the water sometimes.

Also, see if they could join a transition training session - if you can't squeeze into one at your local club, I know that the Castle Triathlon series run them sometimes and other organisers might too. It was invaluable, as the transition procedure does seem quite complex the first time.

Hope she enjoys it - we've all gone multi-sport mad in our house lately, the children loved it!

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