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Where Do I Start?

Having (reluctantly) accepted that my rugby playing days are now over I need a new challenge and I'd like to get my teeth into Triathlon but where do I start????

It seems to me looking at triathlon from a new sport perspective that there are loads of kit, clothing, events, training routines and tactics invovled. In fact too many for my simple rugby brain to absorb. Can you help my by making simple suggestions to help me get going.




  • Welcome mate

    Where do you start? You can compete in triathlon as long as you have:

    Bike of anysort, you will see everything down to shoppers with basket.

    bike helmet - compulsory

    running shoes important that you have some decent running shoes.

    top to run and cycle in

    swim trunks and cycle/run shorts can be the same ie Trisuit or can be many bits

    8 safety pins (usually available at registration) for your numbers.

    An ability to swim rather than drown.

    I think that everything else is just SHOPPING![:D] and if you catch the bug and want to carry on with Tri (you will) then your wallet will be empty faster than letting your wife get to it.[&:]

    If you have a mountain bike you can make it quicker by fitting clipless pedals and buying cycling shoes, also slick tyres rather than your knobbly ATB ones, and clipon aerobars. If you enjoy road cycling than a road bike will save you so much time, and then if you want a specific race bike you can buy a Triathlon/Timetrial specific bike.

    A Trisuit will save lots of time in transitions as you dont need to worry about clothes. a number belt means you just turn the belt from back to front.

    Make sure that you can run the distance in running shoes without socks, again it saves time trying to put socks on wet feet at T1. train in no socks with your race runnning shoes so you know it's ok.

    Talc for both sets of shoes makes it easier to get them on with wet feet.

    And the free bit is the training, how many hours did you put into Rugby each week? Now double it Oh and add a few more hours for fun! You can do Ttriathlon NOW but how well do you want to do? Don't be held back thinking you will embarass yourself, why not everyone else does! TRI IT NOW> next year it gets better.

    Good luck

  • Hi B.B.B.,

    I to have just started triathlon training. Used to be a reasonable footballer and had to accept that I couldn't hack it anymore. I bought two books via amazon.co.uk - Joe Friels 'The Triathletes Training Bible' and Matt Fitzgeralds 'Complete Triathlon Book'. The first is a bit heavy and in depth but useful all the same. The second is an easier read for a novice like me. I recommend either.

    As for training I simply just started swimming, cycling and running more. I swim 3 times a week (weakest discipline) and cycle or run on the days I don't swim. I have one days rest a week. The training books quite clearly state not to overtrain. I started easy and I am gradually increasing my endurance.

    Might be an idea to get some advice for swimming, as technique is quite important. I do interval sessions and it has really brought on my swimming.

    Once I am back in the habit of excercising everyday I will use the techniques as described in the above books. Just concentrating on getting fitter for now.
  • scotchioscotchio Posts: 19
    Personally I started with duathlons, These generally go Run - Bike - Run and there are still loads going on now, and through the winter. My advice would be to borrow as much kit as possible and do a sprint Duathlon. (London is soon and the Thruxton mass attack is fun) If you think multisport is your game then get a cheap wetsuit in the sales and start training for sprint tri's in May.

    Good Luck

  • Also, I intend to join Manchester Triathlon Club. Got to be better than doing it on my all the time. Plus, lots of advice and help. (I hope??)
  • B.B.BB.B.B Posts: 4
    Thanks for your advice fellas.

    I've used this weekend as a 'training opportunity' and found the running and cycling bits ok (almost enjoyable!) but I swim like a brick so I definately need to hit the pool more.

    I reckon I'll follow scotchio's advice and tackle duathlons whilst sussing out how to swim, breath, go in straight line and have some energy at the end to do more than just shower.

    As for the kit, well years of playing rugby has taught me how to scrounge the best bits so I think I'll start by borrowing a few bits and create a secret slush fund that the wife and kids don't know about before buying my own gear.

    I'll let you know how I get on.

    Thanks again,

  • robsaundrobsaund Posts: 26
    If you haven't swum before, you might be best advised finding a local club/coach and get some tips and advice in addition to the social aspect of it which you're no doubt used to from a rugby background. If you hit the pool and practise bad technique it'll only be harder to lose the habits later. (I have been swimming - badly - for some time and have only just signed up for a course. It's going to be fun losing my habits - NOT! But hopefully I'll come out of it with a nice new stroke)

    If you manage to find a tri club in your area, they probably have coached/tailored rides and run sessions so that you could benefit from their wisdom in those disciplines too...

    Otherwise, good luck and enjoy!


  • B.B.BB.B.B Posts: 4
    Thanks for the advice Rob. I think you're right about getting getting help with the swimming at a Tri club. I tried a swimming session at my health club, advertised as 'Lane Swimming' - what a joke. It was a complete fiasco. I haven't been kicked so much since I played in a rugby tour of South Africa. There was no organisastion and no common sense. I hope it was a one-off, but something tells me I may have my work cut out trying to do good swim sessions at the gym. Is this a common problem?


  • I'm sure that there are plenty of gyms with good swim coaches, but how relevent they are to developing an efficient freestyle suited to triathlon depends very much on the coach in question. Pools in gyms/health clubs ordinarily tend to be short and shallow - which are great for practising drills, but not much use, in my opinion, when you're trying to put it all together. You seem to spend more time turning around and pushing off than actually thinking about your swimming.

    Search for swimming posts on both this forum and on those at tritalk.co.uk where there are a number of posts from professional coaches including TI (Total Immersion) and SwimSmooth to name but two. I started out with the Freestyle Made Easy book (or Triathlon Swimming Made Easy - I can't quite remember) from TI from nothing, but didn't benefit from going on a course or practising drills with anybody else. Consequently I dread to think what my /technique/ actually looks like. I've now booked myself on a weekend course which will hopefully give me something to think about and the feedback I need to put my errors to rights... However, I can at least bang out 1500m freestyle in about 30-35min (not particularly quick) with sufficient in reserve for the bike and the run sections though. It's a start.



  • RobRob Posts: 209
    Hey Scotchio, I was thinking of doing the Thruxton Mass Attack this year. Do they use the racing circuit for the whole race?
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