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Absolute Beginner

Wondered if anyone could give me some advice etc; The title of the subject says it all. An absolute beginner, cant swim, well hardly, have only completed a 5km jog, and I cycle a bit on weekends. I really want to set myself a goal, I'd love to take part in the 2012 London triathlon, not the olympics games may I point out, but wondered if people think this is being unrealistic?

Love to hear your opinions and advice, and any training programs or advice that you think would help? Or even what distance to choose, I don’t even know if there will be a 2012 triathlon because of the games?

Anyway all help and advice greatly appreciated, no matter how harsh!



  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    You won't get any harsh comments on here unless you selling cheap nike shoes or viagra....


    London Oly for your first tri - I wouldn't. That race squeezes in as many competitors as it can and basically is just a mass of people bumping into one another. There are much better races out there for a fraction of the cost. I had entered London in my first year but never went.

    Training wise - there are various books out there, programmes on-line etc. You will however need to work extensively on your base fitness that means looooong slow rides/ run/ swim etc but you ill need to build up the distances over a gradual period of time as your body will need time to adapt to the training.

    I would re-mortagage your house now, sell some kids, sell the parents, sell a kidney now as you will buy stuff which will be made of carbon, then realise you need more and then you'll need more kit.... soon you will be penniless.

    You will also move forward to lose all aspects of social life and you will own more pairs or running shorts/ bike shorts than you do jeans. You will stop looking at the latest clothes instead it will be the latest bike gear.

    Be warned... your life as you know it is over.

    Oh and possibly look at doing a sprint tri before an OIy - that way you get a feel for it. And if you do London as your first then get some open water practice in - don't leave it till race day otherwise you are in for one massive shock.
  • gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    Some good advice is in there somewhere (lol!).

    Where do you live? find a club locally, contact them and talk to someone about your goals (a sprint for your first race is about right) and get training with them now. Buy books etc for inspiration, but don't rely on them as you don't know what you are doing yet (don't think Haines do a Triathlon book ...yet). Your better off with a decent club where you'll find lots of like minded people who can share their experiences with you and help you get to where you want to be.

    Don't buy all the bling just yet:
    * Most sprints will be in a pool so don't worry about a wetsuit at this point. Get some decent swimming session/lessons in for now.
    * If you have a bike (whatever sort it doesn't matter), make sure it's roadworthy and it'll be fine for your first couple of races. If you don't have a bike, then get one that fits 'you' (go to a bike shop is what i'm saying). It doesn't need to be carbon (but you will want it to be eventually ).
    * Make sure you have a decent pair of trainers. If they are more than 12 months old then you'll need some new ones. This is essential as old warn out trainers are going to damage you regardless of your running ability - end of.

    Hope this helps - oh, and most importantly, have fun!
  • pennelldjpennelldj Posts: 2
    I've just sold the last of the Viagra haha!

    Thanks for the great advice guys; I wasn't going to try the olympic distance, I think I was going to aim for the sprint one, but wondered if there would be an 2012 London triathlon due to the olympics being held that year, think thats where the confusion was.

    As I said great advice, yes I need to start now with swimming lessons and getting base fitness in then but haven't a clue how long the long rides/swims & running should be, I'll google it.

    I guess I'm more worried about a) drowning b) coming last and c) just being totally ambitious?

    If next Summer is my aim do you think it's possible?
    I'm living in Cardiff so will look up some clubs locally. Any other advice gratefully accepted.

  • ScoutyScouty Posts: 8
    pennelldj wrote:

    I guess I'm more worried about a) drowning b) coming last and c) just being totally ambitious?

    Lol! If it makes you feel any better, that's pretty much exactly how I felt in the beginning! (I say beginning, but I only have about 2 months worth of training under my belt!)

    In a drunken haze, I signed up for the Bristol Tri and during the hangover the next day, wondered what the hell I'd done! I could barely swim 2 lengths and my technique was crap to put it mildly! I'd always talked about doing a Tri but lacked focus; that wasn't a problem once I'd signed up! My best advice (which has been mentioned above) is to join a local Tri club and get along to their training sessions; that's by far the best thing I've done. Speak to other members (Tri is a really friendly sport) and get some tips. Next, train, train and train some more! I've spent a fair number of hours in the pool as it's by far my weakest discipline and the hard work has paid off. I've gone from swimming barely 50m to 1.5km in a couple of months; if I can do it, anyone can!

    Oh, and a subscription to Tri220 doesn't hurt either!

    Best of luck!
  • Wrong side of 30, ex V heavy smoker and drinker. 3 years later have now done a half marathon in under 2 hours and looking at the long term goal of a 70.3 next year. Am i setting too high a goal? I have little spare time to go joining a club so train when family,job and other activities allow, I am very lucky in that I am in a job which allows me an hour each day on top of my lunch to train. My training is currently 4-5 miles running 4 days a week with a 6-7 miler at the weekend. Also starting to do 20 miles on the bike with a 2-3 mile run after. Substituting one of the week day runs for this, just need to get in the pool now. Never felt better in my life!!!!!
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