Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Completing Your First Triathlon

January 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 153

The New Year has now passed and we are well into January, you may be thinking about a new challenge or one of your New Year's resolutions was to do a triathlon. The reality of undertaking the race is probably setting in now and you are probably thinking "what have I let myself in for?". Well, don't worry with the right preparation and training a triathlon is achievable and unless your goal is to complete it in a really fast time you don't need to be super fit to get through it. As always, if you are embarking on a new training regime please consult your Doctor first.

This is a great year to be doing triathlon especially as sport is going to take centre stage in the summer months with the Olympics. The Brownlee brothers will represent Great Britain and with the chance of a medal the sport of triathlon will become increasingly popular, especially in the UK.

What is Triathlon?

Having decided that this year will be your first triathlon you may need to know exactly what it entails (especially if one of your friends persuaded you without you really knowing). Triathlon is basically three events, one after the other, starting with a swim, followed by a cycle and then finishing with a run. Between the swim and the bike and the bike and the run is what we call the transition. This is where you will swap from one event to the other as quickly as you can.

What distances are involved?

Now that you understand what a triathlon is you need to decide which one to enter as your first event. Races range in distance from a Super sprint right the way up to an Ironman and the distance you will do in each are as follows:

Super sprint - 200m swim, 10k bike, 2.5k run

Sprint - 400m swim, 20 - 25k bike, 5k run

Olympic - 1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run

Half Ironman - 1.9k swim, 90k Bike, 21k run

Ironman - 3.8k swim, 180k bike and a marathon off the bike

IronMan distance is growing in popularity but bear in mind that you will have to put in hours of training to build your endurance. It is probably sensible to start with either a super sprint or the more popular sprint (twice the distance of a super sprint), get used to triathlon and start building your distances up from there if your goal is to go long. Most of these shorter races will start with a swimming pool based swim (although some are open water so read the entry carefully), followed by a cycle on the road and then a run either on or off-road. If you pick a longer event it is likely that it will be open water (lake, river or sea) and you will probably need a wetsuit and plenty of practice beforehand as it's very different to pool swimming.

What race shall I enter and where do I find them?

Having chosen which distance to race you now need to decide which race you will enter. The best place to find out about all races in the UK is via the British Triathlon website ( ) or at a specialist site such as Where possible enter a local race as triathlons generally start early so it's sensible to minimise travel. Try and pick an event that is reasonably priced; if you pick the events run by local clubs these tend to be slightly cheaper and you will also be able to get help and information about the event from local members.

What equipment will I need?

Once you've entered your race you will need to start thinking about your training and considering what equipment you need. If we look at your equipment first you will probably need nothing you don't already own such as something to swim in plus some goggles, a bike (which could be a mountain bike or hybrid bike) and some running shoes. You can race in your shorts and t-shirt so don't go mad with equipment until you know you like the event. Of course you could go out and spend thousands of pounds on equipment but the focus of your first race should not be on how quick you are but whether you enjoy it or not. Once you've done your first race and find you enjoyed it then you can start thinking about how to go faster.

What about my training?

If you simply want to complete the race the simplest way is to make sure you train on a regular basis and by the time of your race you are able to swim, bike and run the distances on their own.

Do I need to join a club?

It is always a great idea to contact your local triathlon club, if you are based in the UK go to the British Triathlon website it will give you details of clubs in your area. They will not only be able to help with your training but also advise on the race you have entered, what to expect, what fairly cheap equipment you could buy to make the day more enjoyable and also give you other beginners to train with and get to know. Joining a club can do wonders for your motivation and enjoyment of the sport.

Don't be worried about finishing last

My last pointer is don't worry about the race; triathlon is a very friendly sport and new people are racing every year, some can only do breaststroke at their first race, have old bikes and walk the run so no matter how fit you are or what shape you are you will be made to feel welcome and have a good day out.

Jayne Lloyd is the co-owner of Absolute Tri Coaching. Whatever your goals or current ability we offer full support across all three disciplines ensuring that all your triathlon training needs are met and exceeded. From personal coaching to video swim analysis & professional bike fits we are a one stop shop for your future triathlon success. Visit

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

First Triathlon


Super Sprint


Triathlon Website


British Triathlon Website


Local Triathlon Club

LED boat trailer lights are designed to offer high-power output and low-power consumption for ultra-bright and reliable illumination; they are sealed to resist UV-radiation, corrosion, and water

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Boating l December 12, 2012 lViews: 273

All these scooters are highly durable as they have been made using qualitative materials. They are ideal for extreme tricks, jumps and stunts for youngsters and are extremely light in weight. All

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Extreme l November 24, 2012 lViews: 413

The interest in BMXing has grown massively over the past few years. With BMX hitting its peak in the 80's with freestyle riders, the sport has never looked back. Even more impressively BMX racing is

By: Alan Trotter l Recreation & Sports > Cycling l October 24, 2012 lViews: 452

Mountain biking has grown vastly over the years from simple, open entry competitions to global world cup and olympic events. There are still local enthusiasts and the sport has a dedicated following.

By: Philip Loughran l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 248

It's unfortunate but true that although summer holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day offer some of the best opportunities for families to get out and enjoy some quality time together, with

By: Dexter Luck l Recreation & Sports > Boating l July 10, 2012 lViews: 585

The term "Klunker" that for years became synonymous with heavy, clumsy machines, was actually the model of bike made by the Schwinn company that had something to do with the origins of freestyle

By: John D Meyers l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 270

There is a lot more to hydration than just drinking water. Understanding the facts can not only improve your endurance and performance, but also prevent injury, so don't skip this article - it could

By: Michael Iskal Recreation & Sports > Triathlonl April 10, 2012 lViews: 172

An IronMan triathlon is one of the toughest races that a triathlete can enter. Most people train for years before they develop the conditioning that is needed in order to even think about entering

By: Ross Middletonl Recreation & Sports > Triathlonl March 10, 2012 lViews: 153

Be aware of these four vital factors when setting up a training schedule for a sprint triathlon! Miss any of them, and your training could cost you time and energy during your race.

By: Kevin Koskellal Recreation & Sports > Triathlonl March 08, 2012 lViews: 143

The ultimate answer to the title question, "What is the best GPS watch for you?" depends on your wants and needs and your pocket book. In this article I will outline some of the features available to

By: Stephen M Johnsl Recreation & Sports > Triathlonl February 20, 2012 lViews: 220

Does the first leg of the Triathlon keep you on edge? Fear of open water swims with a few thousand other Triathletes keep you up at night? Some simple tips I learned from my first triathlon swim

By: Caroline M Riversl Recreation & Sports > Triathlonl February 12, 2012 lViews: 162

How do you train for a sprint triathlon? First, you have to come up with a plan. Read this article to find out how to go about structuring the right training plan for you!

By: Kevin Koskellal Recreation & Sports > Triathlonl February 10, 2012 lViews: 167