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Hey, many questions...

Hi everyone!!

As my login and subject imply, I am a newbie!

Have always been interested in Triathlons/letes. Always drawn to any articles on Triathlons and searching for videos on youtube. I can’t explain why, the discipline just captures me.

I finally decided to bite the bullet (2 days ago) and enter my first sprint, the For Goodness Shakes – Xtreme Terrain Triahlon in Crawly.

It’s in 6 1/5 and thought that this was a good time scale to aim for due to my limited experience (pretty much none).

All my exercise at the moment takes place in the gym and in classes. I work out 5-6 times a week. I usually attend 3 pump classes (weights) a week, 2x combat classes (aerobic class using martial arts moves), 3 treadmill sessions (though I am new to this, currently on a run/walk plan and running for 3 min and walking for 1 over 40 min). I am not swimming yet, but my gym has a pool and I am obviously planning to get myself in it soon as.

Can anyone tell me if this is a realistic goal...gym based exerciser to sprint triathlon in 6 ½ months?

I have had a couple of other worries too...is this race suitable for a beginner? As it is ‘Xtreme Terrain’, there is an open water swim, which, on looking at the beginner’s page of this site isn’t recommended.

Also, due the fact all my exercise is completely gym based (and my Dad doesn’t like clutter), I don’t own a bike. Should I by a cheap (I’m a student) mountain bike...as the race is extreme terrain so includes a MTB, or a hybrid so that I can compete in other races next season more easily? (If I don’t get completely put off by the first race!).

Hmm I have seemed to go on a bit...so many questions...thank you to anyone who reads this and I will be VERY grateful to any answers/advice given.



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    BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    First of all, 6.5 months to train for a sprint tri is plenty of time. You probably have a decent base of fitness already so you just need to tune it to a triathlon.

    I'm sure this race will be fine, however if you need to build some confidence you have plenty of time to train for a race beforehand, maybe another sprint or super sprint in say 4 months time. As for the race being open water, don't worry. My first race was in open water and it's not as bad as you may think. I would however recommend a few open water sessions first, with maybe some coaching.

    You do need to get a bike. Whether you go for a mountain bike or hybrid is a tough one. I would go with a mountain bike. If you enjoy triathlons after this season then you may well want to buy a road bike anyway and a MTB gives you more options if you do enjoy off road.

    Some last bits of advice; you will need to get out of the gym, so once you are happier with your running start pounding the streets or even better find some off road running. I would also recommend you investigate joining a tri club. This can be a bit daunting when you're a novice, but triathlon is a very welcoming sport and you won't be the only novice there. You will pick up some useful tips, train with people with similar goals and make it sociable.

    Good luck and congratulations on commiting.

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    Boycie - David

    Thank you so much for replying and so quickly.

    Everything that you have suggested has reassured me and I will now start looking for another possible race.

    As for the Tri clubs I have just done a quick search and it seems there are many in my area, though I might wait a couple of weeks...as yes I do find the idea quite daunting.

    Your quick and very helpful reply is evidence that Triathlon is a welcoming sport, thank you again.

    Tri1stimer - Julia

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    hi , welcome to our great sport , just thought i'd mention you'll need a wetsuit for open water swimming . if you can't afford to buy one you can hire them from various places . good luck in your race ,enjoy it and don't panic (we're nice folk)
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    legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Welcome Tri1stimer!

    I'm another one fairly new to all this - but everyone is so friendly and this forum is a great source of info!

    My one piece of advice - if you are doing an open water swim - practice in open water before the event. I really love the swim, ... in fact Triathlon is all downhill after the start for me - I love the swim, manage the bike and hate the run - but at the end it's always worth it!.. anyway, back to the point, I thought the open water aspect would be easy ..Oh how wrong I was!!! I was really out of my comfort zone and got really panicked. The great news is that after only two or three sessions I was back to normal feeling really happy in the water - it just takes a bit of getting used to - it's colder, you can't see as well, wierd things go on in your head etc etc. I also discovered that in sea swimming and really rough water I get motion sickness - so I had to deal with that. I know it can be hard to find places to practice but you'll be so glad you did on race day.

    I also tend to think about where I want to be at the start of the swim - generally I stay near the back and let the really good lot go on ahead and leave me some room. I also try and leave a bit of room at the bouys so that I don't get pinned against them by stronger swimmers who can turn tighter than me - I'm worried that I'm making it all sound awful! Please believe me it isn't, these are just a few little things that hepled me loads!

    Good luck with the training - you've got bags of time - hope you really enjoy your first race!
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    turbotimturbotim Posts: 7
    once upon a time i trained for weeks before joining a gym thinking that being unfit, i would stick out like a sore thumb. Guess what? I didn't.

    my point is that tris are only daunting because you don't know what to expect. Find a local(ish) event, go and watch for an hour or two and talk to the lycra clad natives.

    After watching the 20 stone man finish his breaststroke/backstroke combi, ride off on his ladies shopping tourer and shuffle/walk to the finish you will realise that it's not as bad as you think.

    but seriously;

    learn to swim properly, ie a club and/or coach (swimming = 70% technique, 30% fitness)

    get outside and train for the run and bike. ie specificity of training. running gets you fit for running, cycling gets you fit for cycling!

    don't go mad and do too much too soon.

    check out www.beginnertriathlete.com

    mostly - enjoy, it shouldn't be a chore

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    hey to all that answered my post.

    I'm feeling much more relaxed, clued up and excited. Really like the idea of going to watch a race to see what to expect, thanks turbotim.

    Yes Leaglebeagle, you do make it sound scary...but much rather know what to expect than freak out during the swim. Very funny anecdote!

    Bodhisattva, yeah I did realise I would need a wet suit and the price is a problem. Didn't realise hiring would be an option, thank you!

    Thanks again all. Tristimer...Julia

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