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Do I Stand a Chance?


I'm new to Triathlons and after a long break from exercise to bring up 4 kids and buy a house (working all hours) I've let myself slip a bit [:)]. I've now been exercising for 2 years with the last year being at the gym most mornings and now have myself at a level that I'm happy with (obviously I'm easy to please); but why stop here?

For this reason and as I'm happy swimming and cycling I thought a Triathlon would be a nice goal. Oh yer I forgot about running but that can't be toooooo hard can it?[:o] Properly starting at sprint distance unless someone knows of a shorter distance and more than likely at Eton as this is nearby.

I was therefore thinking of entering next year after some serious focused training over the winter but was wondering what sort of times would be realistic and not likely to show me up too much. Don't mind being last but would like to finish before they pack up[:D].

Any helpful hints on the next step would be appriciated as its a little scary from where I'm sitting.


  • Hi Rolypoly

    I did my first sprint tri in 2002 with no athletic background and very little training (sidestroke for the swim, nearly didn't get up the hills on the bike and walked most of the run) so you already have a good basis. If you choose a bigger event that attracts novices you're much less likely to be last - Eton sounds good. And even if you are, it doesn't matter - I've been there, got the t-shirt!!

    My husband has just done Derby sprint tri in 1 hour 47 minutes - and he was by no means last (and he's had a double bypass so I'm really proud of him!!) so just go, tri, and enjoy!

    Have fun!
  • Hi Pacrfish,

    I must say this has reassured me quite a bit.

    My worry was that at the gym I go to there is a few quite keen triathetes who are extremely fit. I did have a chat once with one of them but this did little to reassure me.

    After your words I think it is just time to bite the bullett and enter.

    Many Thanks.
  • roly - what PAcrfish is hiding under her bushel is that she completed a half ironman this year .. so having done her sprint she has gone on and on to bigger and greater things .. have no doubt you could and probably will do similar ...
  • Go for it.

    I've only recently completed my first supersprint event (shorter than a sprint 400m swim+20k bike+2.5k run) as I wasn't sure about being able to complete the distance coming from no athletic background. I'm 38 and wasn't able to commit too much time for training. I managed to get to the pool at lunchtimes for a swim, would run in the morning, cycle/turbo in the evening alternating with rest/recovery days for about 10-12 hours training per week. With hindsight I should've gone for the sprint event but I didn't have the confidence at the time to do so.

    So, there are shorter events (look for supersprint or novice) but if you can commit some time to training, you can complete a sprint event. Books can be helpful for first time advice if you don't know where to start (101 Triathlon and the Triathletes Bible are in my collection)

    I had a blast of a time, everyone is really helpful/friendly and it is a thoroughly enjoyable sport.

    Good luck


  • Many Thanks for all the encouragement. I have now gone from my morning gym session that was basically for my health to some more serious training. Much to my surprise the more I do now the more I want to do.

    As I mentioned before swimming and cycling is my stronger disclipines although in need of improvement but running is worrying me a bit......

    I've basically now downloaded a training schdule from the internet that has taken me back to just walking and promises having me being able to run for 45 mins within 20 weeks.

    As I presently only run on a nice bouncy treadmill and have previously suffered with my ankles and shins in the past when running on tarmac this plan sounded a good and sensiable approach?

    As anyone any views or extra advice in this area?

  • I used to get shin splints when running and it previously forced me to hang up my trainers.

    I would say that you really ought to get to a specialised running shop and get your gait looked at to determine the right shoes for you. I made the mistake previously of "I've got two feet, I can run..." and that's how I ran into problems, no pun intended. Don't be put off by the thought of having people laugh at the way you run - the people in these shops are professional and there to help you and ultimately it could/will prevent injuries. Since I got my shoes fitted, I've found running much more comfortable and enjoyable.

    If you have a decent base on the treadmill, fine, if not, don't be afraid to alternate running and walking until you're able to reach your goals.

    Finally, start off easy and then build up gradually - don't be too concerned with speed straight from the off, build up the time first of all, extending your runs by no more than 10% each week.

    Try and stay off of the hard stuff - if there are off-road paths/tracks/grass available to you, try and run on those instead, but be mindful of your ankles (potholes etc...) and their flexibility.

    I only started this year and the running discipline was the one I like the least, however, from nothing I am at least capable of completing a 10km run now (in about 50min, so not particularly quick, but that will come...)

    This is what helped me to get going - I can't profess to be an expert, but it worked for me. So have a look, if it makes sense, fine. If you think I'm a complete idiot, you're probably right too :-)

    Good luck


  • I'd strongly echo what Rob has said re: "Quality" running shoes for the type of runner you are (pronator, neutral, supinator) that are extremely well cushioned... You'll find a wealth of advice online about working out what type of runner you are and you could buy online form somewhere like www.sportsshoes.com - or alternatively a REAL running shop - not a high street chain, do not go to those places looking fro good advice or anything othe rthan a fashion shoe.

    I also echo the advice re: running surface... try to avoid tarmac but watch for poor off-road surfaces that will lead to twisted ankles. Most of my knee damage is unquestionably attributable to me carrying my 80+kg, 5ft8in frame over up to (and often in excess) of 100 miles per week ALMOST EXCUSIVELY on tarmac over the last 20 or so years. It's not good for the joins.

    What i would say regarding "shin splints" and little niggly aches and pains - EXPECT THEM... In particular shin spilints.. lots of people claim "shin splints" when in actual fact its just muslcels they aren't used to using coming into play... Obviously if the pain is extreme and/or continues unbroken for more than a couple of weeks - something is amiss... but ehn you first start a different sort of training you have to allow the body time to adapt and it is natural to have a few niggly aches and pains...
  • Thanks for the advice.

    I like the idea of taking it slow so along with a decent pair of shoes hopefully I'll be competing next year. So far the training has well and truely taken a hold and I seem to be enjoying the new level of fitness so lets hope.....

  • Rich_CRich_C Posts: 152

    Decent running shoes can be found for less money than you think these days too.

    Saucony do some great shoes in their range that start at around 20 quid and offer great cushioning and tech that make your run far smoother. No need to spend the Earth to get rid of those shin splints[;)]

    Regards, Rich
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