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My first triathlon - Am I too ambitious??

Hi Guys,

I have never completed a triathlon but have wanted to do so for some time. Unfortunately the time has not been right to commit to a proper training regime. I now have a fairly narrow window where I can commit and I will be completing at least one triathlon in 2015. I really want to do an Olympic triathlon however the only date that I can do is in mid April. I can therefore commence a 12 week program immediately. I have no issue pushing myself however I am concerned that I am being too ambitious or that I will get an injury prior to the event. I have just turned thirty.

So here is what I have been doing recently;

Running; I completed a half marathon in September in 1 hour 40 mins. I have not done much running since. Once I get back into it my guess is running would be my strongest.

Swimming: Since around October I have been swimming in open water around two to three times per week - around 700 to 900m. My technique is terrible but I guess I can work on that – probably will need some lessons! It would take me around 28 minutes to swim 900m in open water however I would need to change strokes during the swim as I would get too tired doing continuous front crawl.

Cycling: I have not done much regular cycling recently. When I can I go for short cycles – around 12km which I do fairly intensely. Have not been able to do this in around two months but for a few months prior to that I did it around 3 to 5 times per week.

Overall I would say my level of fitness at present is only average at best because I have not been consistently training intensely since I completed the half marathon.

So do you think I am being unrealistic if I aim for a mid-april Olympic triathlon? Regardless of this I will be doing a Sprint triathlon in March which I am reasonably confident I can complete – whether or not I finish in a respectable time is a different matter!!

Sorry for being so long winded…

Thanks for your help



  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Best find yourself an event to enter first - cannot find any such UK events. Completing a standard/Olympic should be within your abilities but as for the time & effort it might take depends on how your training works out.

    Best wishes

  • I have a few tips on a website I'm building to help people just like yourself.


    It looks to me that you are not miles of being able to complete an Olympic distance but I agree with HarryD get an event pencilled in and work towards that.  Maybe try and get a sprint distance in three or four weeks before it to get used to the issues that can happen with new triathletes.


    have a look at www.transitionbag.co.uk for race day tips and advice.

  • risris Posts: 1,002

    the basic answer is yes, but you may need to tailor what you do to focus on areas of relative weakness, and also be aware of how much time you might need for building the training up in a consistent way. 

    having a shorter event in the run up is of benefit because you can use it to milestone progress and keep you motivated. you will probably need to be training at longer distances than the sprint before you do it.

    good luck - which races have you got in mind? you might some others from here are taking part, too. 

  • gb901gb901 Posts: 148

    I personally found it beneficial to start with a sprint event then do an olympic. Did this in my first season back in 2011 and again in 2012 with the additional of another olympic. Since then I compete in 2 to 3 olympics distances each year. This year im doing my first half iron man, my local norwich olympic event and the jersey.

  • Hi everyone, thanks so much for your feeback.

    At present I am based in Australia (when I wrote this post I had not even noticed it is a UK forum). I am doing a sprint triathlon in March so I am hoping that will be a good lead into an Olympic.

    I have also found an Olympic in May so I think that will give me a better timeframe.

    Johnpaulashton – thanks for the link – very helpful for a first timer.

    Gb901 – good luck with the half ironman. Something I hope to do myself some day!



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