Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a triathlon after seeing the Brownlee brothers carry each other to glory in this year's olympics.
When choosing your first tri event, you’re spoilt for choice, but which triathlon should you enter? Follow our step by step to get you to the starting line of your first event.
Setting a Goal:
The first thing you need to do is make your goal of entering (and of course completing) your first triathlon, a SMART goal.
What makes a goal SMART? Smart is an acronym which helps make your goals clear for success.
Specific - To make a goal specific this is where you ask yourself the who, what where and whens. So for a triathlon you may decide where you want to compete, is that alone or with company and when will your first race be?
Measurable - Make sure you can measure your progress? This could be adding minutes to the amount of time your training each week or increasing your distance.
Attainable - Any goal is attainable if you put the work in, but make sure your triathlon goal is achievable, give yourself the relevant amount of time to complete your training and give your best performance.
Relevant: Is your goal worthwhile, does it fit with your other aims? For example, if your secondary goal is bulking and building muscle, a triathlon could impair your progress here. Make sure all you goals compliment each other for the best results.
Timely: This is your time limit, so for example rather than I’d love to do a tri, it’s in 2017 I will complete a triathlon.
Once you’ve got a clear smart goal for your tri training. It’s time to pick a distance.
Choose a distance
The chances are you’ve probably thought about this whilst you’ve been accessing whether your goal is SMART, but this is your next step, as your distances decipher your training routine.
The are three main triathlon distances:
ITU Long Distance 02
20km (Double Olympic)
ITU Long Distance 03
30km (Triple Olympic)
Typically, most people will start their first triathlon with a sprint distance, however those with a little more competitive experience, ie. marathon runners, may be tempted to begin with the Olympic distance, as they are already confident with the run. Having said that, remember the run is the last discipline meaning unlike your regular runs, your body is now tired from a swim and bike ride.
Choose a race
Once you’ve decided your distance, you’re set to go to pick a race date.
To figure out which race you want to enter there are tons of tri event pages, Sundried have a list of UK events here (link to tri) . If you have a specific area in mind, simply search the area you’re heading to followed by sprint triathlon and you’ll be sure to find any events.
An indoor triathlon can be a great way to ease yourself into your first triathlon, as it removes the element of the sea swim - which can often be the most daunting discipline for newcomers. This allows you to practice performing three sports and perfecting your transition before you tackle a sea swim, which comes with the worry of battling the tide, other swimmers, sea debris, drifting and what can often be a difficult entry or exit to the transition zone.
Book early - events sell out
Events such as triathlon take a lot of training, so people tend to decide well in advance that they’re ready to enter. And with such detailed safety requirements, organisers often enforce a limit on the number of entrants. Once you’ve set your goal, book an event asap to avoid disappointment.
Finding time - and balance - to train for three sports
In order to ace your first triathlon you need to practice each of your three sport disciplines and it can be difficult to fit in the time for training. Even if, for example, you’re confident with your run, it’s still worth practicing a run after a cycle or swim, as this very much changes your race dynamic. Training sessions where you include more than one discipline are called brick sessions. Brick workouts stack together two sports and so are a great way of testing how your body will react after your muscles are pre exhausted. Brick workouts help your body handle the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon event.
Get a coach
For novices, training for a triathlon can feel complicated and a good coach will make your training feel simple, increasing your confidence and ensuring you're prepared for every aspect of the race. They’ll help with your plan, nutrition and any questions which may pop up along your journey. You can visit our Personal Trainer Ambassador pages here to find a trainer profile you’re comfortable with, or alternatively visit our Personal Trainer database to find a trainer near your location.
The TrainingNow comes the tough part, the training. Sundried are producing a training regime for your first triathlon which will be developed over the forthcoming weeks. In our ‘My First Triathlon’ section you’ll find all our hints and tips, advice from pro athletes, accessory reviews and trainer advice.
Nicetri events are ready for you to start the season early with this February event on 19.02.2017, shake off the winter and test your fitness for the start of the season.
The Anglian Water Duathlon offers a picturesque setting in Cambridgeshire which inspires first-timers as well as those that have raced for national titles and the Great Britain Age-Group qualification.
This is a race for everyone and suited to all abilities.
Both race distances take entrants on a picturesque race around the local lake and woodland.
Both run sections take place on hard compound tracks and feature steady climbs at the outset, which obviously means you’ll be running downhill to the first transition and the finishing line.
The bike course contains long smooth stretches which allows fast intervals of speed, whilst also including climbing hill intervals to test your strength.
Due to the early season start - it is advised you regularly check the weather before the race, whether it’s tri suits or thermals - it’s sure to be an exciting race day.
Sprint: 5km run / 20km bike / 5km run
Standard: 10km run / 40km bike / 5km run
Parking will be at the venue “Mander car park” (weather permitting, if wet follow marshals and signs to local car parks). Race packs will be collected upon registration on the day of the event. All participants receive a race brief email, and the full race details will be available on site two days prior to the event. Registration takes place between 7 and 8am on race day, with early arrival recommended.
Race Number and Chip Timing
All race entrants are issued with a race number which must be clearly visible at all times. Nice tri also provide number markings on entrants hands with pen. Your number needs to be displayed at all times to be used as a backup to the electronic chipping system. Each entrant is provided a computerised chip timing which should be attached to the left ankle. To ensure accurate chip feedback it is essential to run over the timing mats at the various marked stations. Results include finish time and splits which will be available shortly after the completion of the event.
Transition areas are protected by security and competitors will need to show their I.D to be allowed in or out of this area. Prior to entering transition your race number and bike and helmet labels must be attached. Your bike will have a designated transition area and a helmet must be worn at all times.
Prizes will be awarded for both first positioning men and women, and every entrant will receive a goodie bag.
For more information visit Nicetri events website here.
Multisports management bring to you a brand new one off event for 2016 at Tri Farm Boreham, 1st October 2016.
This small and fun event is a great way to spend an autumn afternoon and with a 2pm start there’s no early alarms!
Registration will be held by the venue gate from 12:30. Race briefing at 13.45. Race start 1400hrs.
600m Lake Swim. 14km bike and 5km run.
Tri farm is a “one stop triathlon training facility” based in Boreham, Essex. With it’s very own lake , cycle and run route this is the ultimate place to practice your tri. The guys at Tri farm have thought of everything from wetsuit hire to last minute wetsuit lube and goggles! The supervised swim course has an average depth of 2m. The run course is all around the track. All the staff are RLSS qualified and there are even picnic tables for emergency cake or bacon rolls post tri!
The swim is in Tri farms lake. As this is a small fun event, Multisports management will be setting swimmers off individually in numerical order, 20 seconds apart. So you'll have no problems with crowding. Waves will be split into genders and age groups. The start is over at the usual Tri farm swim place; you'll spot it (the lakes a big clue). Please keep off the run path as bikes will be using it.
After you swim clockwise for 3/4 of a lap, keeping the turn buoys on your right you make your way to the exit, do so with caution as it is up onto slippery uneven surface. Wetsuits are likely to be optional, this will depend on the water temperature.
The bike course is mainly on road, with approximately 30% off road. Mountain bikes or hybrids with a reasonable tread are recommended. There no fixed gears allowed
The running route is based around the lake, ail running shoes and trainers with a decent tread are recommended (but not spikes.)
Race numbers are very important as the event is manually timed.
Results and Prizes:
This is a fun event rather than a competition. You'll all get a finishers medal. Awards will be made for fastest swim and fastest run and fastest overall male and female competitors.
For more visit Multisport, the organiser’s website.
Bowood House Sprint Duathlon is a beautiful run and ride around Wiltshire taking place on 2nd October 2016.
The run, bike, run is a picturesque route around the estate, taking in stunning scenery of Bowood Lake, The Cascade Waterfall and The Doric Temple. The transition will be on grass lawns and overlooked by Bowood House.
Sprint: 5 km Run, 21 km Cycle (closed road), 5 km Run. Start time 12 am.
Super Sprint: (great for first timers), 2.5km run, 12km Cycle (closed road), 2.5km run. Start time 13.45pm.
Childrens duathlon: There are 3 ‘Tri Star’ races depending upon age group. Start time 10.30am.
Tri Star 1 is for ages 9-10. 1.2km run, 3km cycle, 400m run.
Tri Star 2 is for ages 11-12. 1.2km run, 6km cycle, 400m run.
Tri Star 3 is for ages 13-14. 1.9km run, 9km cycle and 400m run.
Team entries are available.
Registration will take place prior to the event and bike racking also takes place on the day.
The run will take a picturesque route around the estate, taking in stunning scenery of Bowood Lake, The Cascade Waterfall and The Doric Temple. Transition will be located on the lawns under the shadows of Bowood House. Racking will be numbered according to waves.
The cycle route will takes you into the 'wilder' parts of Bowood Estate, looping around the grounds past Bowood Golf Course, Osprey Farm, and Lord Lansdowne’s' private driveway, which is inhabited with game fowl. Once completing the cycle stage, you will head out onto the same run route as before. On completion of the two laps, the finish line will be near transition.
Bowood house offers plenty of parking via the main visitors entrance.
Please arrive in good time before your race.
Presentations will take place towards the end of the event once all the waves have started.
Winners trophies will be awarded to the following; 1st, 2nd & 3rd male and female overall.
Results will be available shortly after the event and uploaded onto Events Logic UK website (link at bottom of page).
Entry can be made online via the Event Logic website, linked at the bottom of this page.
Bowood House & Gardens is home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne. Bowood offers a fantastic day out in Wiltshire for all the family. Famous for one of the UK’s most extensive Adventure Playgrounds, children are guaranteed the time of their lives. Younger children will enjoy meeting friendly farm animals at Tractor Ted’s Little Farm and undercover fun in the Soft Play Area.
All the events hosted at Bowood House are on closed roads and this makes for perfect racing conditions without the traffic. With a suitable spectator friendly layout, this venue provides the perfect location to enhance your very first racing experience.
For more on the event visit their website here:
The Jekyll and Hyde Park Serpentine duathlon returns to Hyde park on Sunday 30th October.
The aptly named Jekyll and Hyde triathlon is a fun and fast route with additional prizes on offer for those with the best fancy dress costumes, from pumpkins to witches and roadkill, entrants really get into the spirit of the event.
Sunday 30 October 2016
The Bandstand, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London
Approximately 4.2km Run / 20.8km Bike / 7.6km Run
Dress Code: Fancy dress is encouraged but not essential, but remember you’ve got to be in it to win it!
As London is so busy and because Serpentine run and tri club support a healthier lifestyle, reducing our carbon footprint and fighting climate change.
They recommend saving time, money and improving fitness as well as helping the environment by choosing to walk, cycle or use public transport and if you must you a car, try sharing.
Cycling - It's a fantastic way to warm up your legs prior to the race. Please remember that cycling is not allowed on many of Hyde Park's footpaths - when making your way to and from the race please respect this and don't risk creating ill-feeling with the park authorities and users. This might prevent this event from being run in the future.
Parking - There is limited parking in the area - parking is available at the Diana Fountain and the Triangle Car Park, both off West Carriage Drive, and there are spaces on West Carriage Drive itself. Please note that parking is not free after 8:30 am. Underground Parking is available at the Park Lane Car Park.
Please note there is no race day entry to this event, all entries must be made in advance.
First Leg (Run):
Run 1 lap of the Serpentine on tarmac paths - 4.2km.
Second Leg (Bike):
Cycle 8 laps of South Carriage Drive (roads closed to traffic). Don't be fooled, it's not flat but it should be fast and the road surface is good. Dead turns at both ends - 20.8km.
Due to clash with the changing of the Queen's Life Guard, there is a strict bike cut-off of 9:30am. If you have not started your final lap by 9:25am, you may be withdrawn from the race.
Organisers have found in the past that every year a few competitors complete the wrong number of laps. It is surprisingly difficult to count to eight as you get tired. A handy tip is to attach 8 small pieces of tape, one for each lap, to your bike frame. Peel one off at the end of each lap and when you have one left you know you are on your last lap.
Third Leg (Run):
Run 2 laps of the Serpentine on tarmac paths - 7.6km.
Bag Drop is available near registration and will be watched by marshals. To make collection easier, please write your race number on the luggage tag provided at registration and attach it to your bag. Do not leave money or valuables as we cannot accept any responsibility for their loss.
There are no showers or changing facilities in Hyde Park so you need to go ready to race.
The nearest public toilets are near the start on Serpentine Road and will be open from 7am (cost 20p).
Food and hot drinks will be available at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen after 8am.
Hyde Park is a beautiful place to spend time after the race and there are cafes at the eastern end of the Serpentine and at the Lido. If you don't come to this part of Central London much, how about a feed in the atmospheric Lebanese cafes on Edgware Road? Or head south from the park and join the ladies who lunch in Harvey Nic's! See the map on the Royal Park's website for other park facilities.
- Cash prizes and Pumpkins will be awarded for the following:
- Overall Male & Female first, second and third place (Overall Male & Female will be removed from the individual age division awards).
- First place finishers in each age category (V40, V50, V60 etc).
- First, second and third place male and female teams (3 to score).
- BEST FANCY DRESS COSTUME!
Are you taking part? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.