So you're thinking about taking on your first Triathlon?
At this point we've helped hundreds if not thousands of people take there first steps into Triathlon and we often see the same questions so here's our quick guide to getting started.
Lets start with what is a Triathlon?
A triathlon is traditionally defined as a continuously timed event consisting of a swim, a bike and a run, typically in that order. Modern variations are sometimes not timed, or consist of differences in order/repetitions.
Traditional Triathlons come in varying distances known as:
- Super Sprints – anything shorter than a sprint
- Sprint – 400m-750m Swim, 21km Bike and 5km Run
- Olympic/Standard – 1500m Swim, 42km Bike, 10km Run
- Middle/Half Iron – 1.2 Mile Swim, 56Mi Bike, 13mi Run
- Ironman/Long Course – 2.4 Mi Swim, 112 Mi Bike, 26Mi Run
Newer variations are often defined either by one of event titles such as point to point events like Castle to Coast or being Super League style events.
What if I can’t currently Swim / Bike or Run?
Everybody starts somewhere and the best way is to set yourself a goal and work towards it.
Many people start off with Super Sprints events and most never race further than Sprint or Standard distance events. The key thing to enjoying the sport is to slowly build up your fitness levels and grow to enjoy the sport.
Thats why our Super Sprint events are so great is they give people a chance to try the sport and only require a fairly small amount of training.
Ok I’ll have a go what do I need to know?
That first of all it’s going to be great fun and shortly you will be hooked!
Theres a couple of things you’re going to want to do to get ready though and make sure you have the best race experience possible. A little bit of preparation go’s a long way so take some time to train in the run up to the event and make sure you’ve got suitable kit with you.
What do I need to do to prepare for the event?
Depending on the distance of event you’ve signed up for generally speaking at a minimum you need to be able to complete each individual distance. Our Supersprint events at Woking are the perfect distances and are achievable for most people.
Our Super Sprint at Woking is a 200m Swim, an 13km Bike, and a 3.3km run. As long as you can complete each of these stages by themselves you can likely put them all together on the day.
That being said you might want to prepare a bit more if you have time and I would recommend using our basic training plan.
What does it mean by my age group?
Triathlon results are judged by age group so you may find you get assigned one. Don’t panic this just means you’ll be placed in the same catergory on the results listing and it may affect your start time. In reality it’s unlikely to affect your race so don’t worry about it.
What Equipment do I need?
You do need a reasonable amount of equipment to take part in a triathlon. But you don’t need to run up a huge bill.
For a pool based Swim you’ll need goggles and a swim suit or trisuit.
For the Bike you’ll need a road worthy bike, helmet and suitable clothing or trisuit.
For the Run you’ll need a pair of trainers.
For your first triathlon thats really all you will need and a determination to get around the course.
You’ll notice suitable clothing comes up a lot and trisuits really do make life easier. These can be had quite cheaply online now so are worth buying. You can then put layers over the top for the bike/run as needed but the suit will help you stay comfortable throughout the event.
How do I get changed/What is Transition?
Upon exiting the pool you generally go straight into transition. This is the area outside where your bike and your stuff will be located. Transition is included in your race time so you don’t want to spend too long getting changed but equally make sure your prepared for what lies ahead.
Before the race you’ll go into transition, rack your bike and place all your kit your going to need next to it on a small towel. You generally always rack the bike by the saddle, handlebars pointing out and place your kit the same side as the bars.
Top tip – Bikes should alternate on the rack to give everyone the most possible space.
I’ve seen other similar events such as Aquathlons what are they?
Theres a couple of other common formats you might see such as;
- Aquathlon which consists of a Swim followed by a Run
- Duathlon which consists of Run – Bike – Run
- Otillo – a newer format rising in popularity consisting of alternating swims and runs.