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First Triathlon - Sprint Tri Eton Dorney

i have done it and have entered my first Sprint Triathlon and wanted some much needed tips on training through the Winter to be half competitive in my age group 

i will be 50 in April and currently  am riding around 50mins for 20km and 25 mins for 5km as for the swim where are my arm bands ????

Any advice or tips would be appreciated folks

Also if anyone is near Southend and would like a cycle buddy please let me know 




  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    I wouldn't worry about being competitive too much, for a first time out (and seeing as you suggest you aren't a great swimmer) I'd focus on getting round.  My suggestions:

    1. Swim - given your comments perhaps see if you can get a swim analysis or join a coached group so you get some drills to work on to improve technique.

    2. Bike lots and bike hard - this is easier said than done but if you can access a Wattbike you can look at doing structured training based on power zones which should really help boost your fitness and pull that bike time down a lot.

    3. Practice transitions and get comfortable with your race gear - this can probably be left until March/ April time but is something you should look at at least a little bit.

    Hope this helps get you started.

  • It really depends on how competitive you want to be. There are some very fast people in the 50-54 age group!

    In order to put in a competitive mid field time, you will need to achieve the following splits

    Swim around 15mins

    Transition - 2 mins

    Cycle around 40mins

    Transition - 2 mins

    Run around 25mins

    Total 84 mins

    If you aim for sub 1.5 hours you will be adequately competitive

    Your run time looks reasonable, your cycle time is slow (around 15mph), you should try to get up to 18mph - which is 42min for 20k

    If you have a Park run locally, try to take part, running with other people will help you to push yourself to run faster. A couple of runs per week should be enough.

    Cycling, over the winter is tough, if you have a local cycle club, they probably have weekend rides through the winter, and often have groups riding at different speeds. It is normal to have a group who ride at 16mph.

    Many people use a bike in the gym or turbo trainers in the winter. A 1 hour session per week will see your cycling improve, if the gym has a Watt bike, this can really help you to improve your cycle technique. Many bikes in the Gym will have an FTP test (functional Threshold Power), this normally take around 45 minutes and tests how much power you can sustain for 20 minutes, when you know your FTP you can build cycle work outs that are appropriate, you can then check your FTP again in a month and see how it is developing.

    Swimming is all about technique. Many Tri clubs have free coached swimming session for members. Now is the time of year when we are all trying to focus on technique, not speed or distance. I go swimming twice per week, but probably should go more often. The Swimsmooth website has some great tips and training programs that will help you develop. There are so many things to focus on to improve your swimming

    As you get closer to your event, start to try combining a cycle with a run, initially you will find that your legs do not work properly - so it will be a cycle / waddle. but a bit of practice will really help

    A word of warning, Triathlons are addictive, it all starts with a seeming innocuous sprint; you find that you are competitive, and try and Olympic distance, it is hard, but great fun, after 3 or 4 Olympics, you say, "I might enter a middle distance at the end of the season", and before you know where you are you have entered a full Ironman for next year, and don't even think about all those shiny carbon fibre bikes, deep rim wheels, sophisticated GPS watches.... or maybe that is just me

  • Just go and enjoy it. I was irrationally freaked out by being able to see the buoy rope when I did Eton Dorney last year - so much so that I ended up doing breast stroke. For your first event just go, practice transition and enjoy - forget times, and being competitive. You will probably surprise yourself by being just that little bit faster than expected.

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