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Plea for help...

Hello, I’m Holly and I’m a student at University College Falmouth in Cornwall. I was hoping you lovely ladies and gentlemen could help me out with some research I’m conducting for a project about designing for triathletes. I’ve been a spectator at a few triathlons recently (Wombourne, Nantwich, Mylor, Wadebridge), and have a real interest in your sport especially as my boyfriend competes in many tris.

Basically I just want to know a little bit about you…I have some specific questions, but any information you want to give me about you and triathlons will be very very helpful!! This is what I need to know:

- A little bit of background info about yourself – age, occupation, children??

- Why did you get into triathlons? How many have you competed in so far?

- How much training do you do, and what sort of training??

- What training and triathlon products do you own? (bikes, weights…etc)

- What’s your favourite thing about competing, and what’s the worst thing?

- Why do you compete? What motivates you?

…and finally, anything else you want to tell me. Rambling on about the subject is good!!

Thankyou for taking the time to read my (rather long) plea for help! Any response you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Holly x x


  • hi holly

    im 26 and trainee accountant (hopefully will be qualified by xmas!) have done about 6 triathlons over last 2 seasons as been busy studying - 4 olympic, 1 sprint and a half ironman. training has been sporadic at best tho am aiming to take it far more seriously next yr with intention to do a full ironman

    only have basic equipment, worst thing is the training (hence lack of it!) tho will join a tri club next yr to help on that front best is the actual races
  • Holly,

    Hi I am a 34 yr old male in the first year of triathlon. I have competed in5 tris this year mainly sprints and the extreme terrain tri as well. I've switched from athletics to tri as I like the idea of multi-eventing. I am aiming to try and qualify for the age group world champs in hamburg next yr and to do A half ironman. I currently train from 12-15 hrs per week as my job as a firefighter allows this through my shifts. I am also a single parent so I do find sometimes a session will be sacreficed for my son. Equipment wise I have all the basic swimming aids, floats, fins paddles etc, a training road bike for winter and my good condition bike for racing and good weather. Also doing a few mtb races and trg over the winter period.

    I am hooked on the competing side and the trg side come to that as even after a comp I train the very next day, as I'm still amped. The best thing about competing is trying to better yourself and that I find is also the worst thing. My motavation is to train harder and benifit from the results and hopefully qualify for the Hanburg event next year.

    Also within the fire service in surrey I am starting a tri team so I have loads to motavate me and get others interested in the sport. I've had a good year with some respectable results.

    hope this helps with your research. Anything else I can help you with please get in touch

  • jazdogjazdog Posts: 223
    Hi Holly,

    Sounds like an interesting project - heres my answers

    1) 32yr old male postgrad student

    2)Got into tris for several reasons - ego (a less fit friend did one), challenge, variety of training, knee injury - I've now done six (all in this my first season)- all sprint or supersprint distances

    3)Training has varied over the year. I focussed a lot on my swimming at the start of the year as it was by far my weakest event (i was a runner) -once that was sorted I focussed on the biking. Averaged around 5-6 hours a week - long bike - longish run - swim class and quality speed/strength work

    4)Nothing special - usual paddles and floats for swimming - bike - trisuit, belt, bike shoes, trainers etc. I also have some weights and a swiss ball

    5)I love the camaraderie of competing, the challenge of putting every last bit of yourself on the line - no matter how good/bad you are... you can stand on the start line and give it your all - the worst thing is the feeling in your gut when you've given everything you've got and still have a kilometre to run

    6) I compete for the challenge.. apparently I'm a competitive person ... although the only person I compete against is myself ..... oh and my mate Terry! The knowledge that I am physically capable of doing it when 5 years ago I was 5 stone heavier, smoked 20 a day and was incapable of climbing a flight of stairs is as good a motivation as it gets. The reminder that there are those who will never be able to do it because of a permanent injury/disability also motivates me.

    Triathlon is like a drug. You start thinking I'll do this wee one just to prove I can and before you know it you are planning all sorts of mad things, sprints, olys, half IM's... even dreaming about full Ironman. You eat, sleep, breathe training, competing and more training. This forum is really a front for triathletes anonymous! [;)][:D][:D]

    Hope this helps

    Let us know your findings.


  • Rich_CRich_C Posts: 152

    Early 30,s male, married.

    Martial arts background, quit a few years competive. Former doorman/security, now work part time in retail so i can train.

    Have no desire to compete against anyone these days as thats all in the past, but desire to push myself to the extremes of what i feel i can possibly take.

    I have a huge amount of time and respect for all Athletes and love learning from them.

    I have not done a triathlon yet but am a confirmed entry in two events next year.

    Ironman Lanzarote (may 19th) A long standing dream!

    Ironman UK (august)

    Its going to be a tough year, it may go well, it may go not so well, we shall see i guess[8D][;)]

    I hope your project goes well Holly[:)]

  • HollyHolly Posts: 6
    Thankyou very much for all the replies so far. They have been very useful!

    I would like to ask another question...

    Is there aspect of triathlons you think could be improved?? This could be to do with the organisation, equipment (such as in transition areas)....etc. Anything you can think of!

    Thankyou again for your help!!!
  • jazdogjazdog Posts: 223
    Not for any I've been involved in so far except maybe for closed roads but in many senses that is impractical for amateur events.
  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    - A little bit of background info about yourself – age, occupation, children??

    - Well I’m 27 and work as a systems analyst which involves lots of gabbing and being sat on my arse all day in an office with no real natural light. No children as of yet.


    - Why did you get into triathlons? How many have you competed in so far?

    - I started doing tri’s after a pub conversation took root in my head and I found out that I had one too many injuries to carry on playing rugby as I had originally hoped. I needed a reason to get fit with a competitive edge and tri seemed ideal. I also get to satisfy the kit freak in me. So far I’ve only competed in 5 tri’s this season and one duathlon, plus a few road races and TT’s. I’m definitely looking to get more involved though.

    - How much training do you do, and what sort of training??

    - What training and triathlon products do you own? (bikes, weights…etc)

    Training has been hap-hazard and mostly as and when I’m able to. In the run up to London I was religious about it, but subsequently had to step off the gas due to work and life demanding more of my time and also reducing the actual urge I had to train.

    Typically when I was training an average day would be 30mins in the pool in the morning, then a circuits session or run in the evening, I’d also do occasional weights session or lunch time swim session. Once a week I’d also do a yoga session as well. I also try and climb occasionally as well.

    Bike sessions I don’t do enough as I choose to concentrate on my weakest events, but I do the occasional road or off road session just to keep ticking over.

    I don’t feel I have a very well planned training regime but it is very flexible!

    Kit wise I own all the basics, wet suit, tri bike, bike and run shoes, tri suit, goggles, paddles, floats, flippers, HRM, dumbbells.

    - What’s your favourite thing about competing, and what’s the worst thing?

    The post event buzz and if I’m completely honest most of my more sedentary work colleagues and friends thinking I’m a bit loopy.

    The worst thing by far is the effort headaches I get after an event, very much akin to a migraine and not at all pleasant.

    - Why do you compete? What motivates you?

    Self improvement, weight loss, look and feel better, good way to meet people and make friends. It gives me the motivation to actually stay fit making a lifestyle choice as much as anything.

    …and finally, anything else you want to tell me. Rambling on about the subject is good!!

    The hardest thing about tri I have found is remaining constantly focused and keeping the discipline to train and watch my diet the whole time. Ultimately I’m weak willed, but it is something I’m aware of and actively addressing. I want to see how much I can improve my times, with my run as weak as it is I don’t see myself being able to compete at a very high level, but I do want to see just how far I can go in the sport and what my body and mind can do when I push it. I want to do some of the serious endurance events like Ironman and legs of the Tour de France (not yet considering the whole thing…)

    Hope that helps you!



  • - A little bit of background info about yourself – age, occupation, children??

    34 yo Male, a Head of Physical Education in Hampstead London. Partner but no children.

    - Why did you get into triathlons? How many have you competed in so far?

    Got into triathlon from a rugby playing back ground. Too many injuries forced me to find an alternative. Have always been into cycling so triathlon was the challenge. I have done 2 Olympics, a off road and a sprint and a Duathlon.

    - How much training do you do, and what sort of training??

    I train six days a week and do about two hours a day. Rest on a monday. I havent got a programme as yet so do what I basically feel like or what my PE background dictates as good. Cycle 40km plus run 5km or 10km and swim 1/2 or 1.5km

    - What training and triathlon products do you own? (bikes, weights…etc)

    My bike is a quintana roo kilo and my other bike is a giant ocr 3. The weather dictates which one I use. Wetsuit. Trainers. No weights.

    - What’s your favourite thing about competing, and what’s the worst thing?

    The group you belong too. All competitors going out getting ready, the atmosphere is awesome. The worst must be the start, the nervous feeling!

    - Why do you compete? What motivates you?

    I love competing! Motivation is getting out there and chasing myself. I focus on improving my own times and positions. Challenges motivates me!

    …and finally, anything else you want to tell me. Rambling on about the subject is good!!

    I am aimimg to do the Half Ironman next year June(Entered) and maybe a year on I will do the Full Ironman distance. Triathlon has changed my life after I broke a leg playing rugby and doctors found a blood clot in my leg. I was placed on warfarin and got really fat and lazy. Now I have lost almost 13kg and I am fitter than ever. I love the sport!

  • rpopper65rpopper65 Posts: 171
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  • We really are a sad bunch of obsessional compulsive saddies!!

    I have just spent all afternoon looking at Quantanna roo bikes on the net to see what is the best deal. My wife has finally shown her true colours telling me I have become a boring b****** with a one track mind. Its all about them!!

    Anyway still not any the wiser about where to get one. It has nothing to do with my ability and everything to do with the intimidation factor of standing next to a posh bike before the race.

    Give you some info I am 35 with three kids. Have got into triathlon because I could not make up my mind what sport to focus on, that and some of my mates were doing the 70.3 at Exmoor last year.

    Training I am just getting to grips with the heartrate monitor although I still cant work out how you are supposed to keep it on while in the water. I had a maximum heartrate of 235 at one point until I realised that I must have set up a short circuit via the latex of my swimming trunks!

    Best bit about triathlon is being able to beat all my mates who can beat me at each individual sport. Worst is the stomach pains after the events.

    Training as much as poss around the ballet and swimming lessons for the kids. That and work which does interfere with the training schedule. I am a dentist in the Highlands of Scotland.

    I have taken part in 70.3, Glasgow olympic distance, Edinburgh Olymip distance, and The Big Triathlon (thats a real beauty the Run up Ben Nevis with fresh strwberries at the summit!) and some local sprint tris also.

    Bit of a gear freak when I am allowed. Sauchony shoes, O neil wetsuit, Trek bike but want a quatanna roo from Santa (belief is a wonderful thing) bought a new Marin Hard tail for the mountain races this year but still love my sub 5 (might need to go to pay for the roo)

    Spoken enough need to go and make the tea now


  • jeanmongjeanmong Posts: 23
    Hello, If not too late:
    - A little bit of background info about yourself – age, occupation, children??


    I am 39, Corporate finance, 1 5 years old boy

    Why did you get into triathlons? How many have you competed in so far?

    Mid life crisis in 2004, I decided to complete a marathon . Did it in 4:30. I was already swimming (started in 2001 because of back pain). As was bit injured after the marathon decided to do triathlon. IN between I moved to Asia ( HK ) so was a perfect environement to start . I just completed my first Triathlon inPhuket, was absolutely fantastic, perfect conditions, warm weather, fantastic landscape. so going to do the bali in june, rthen again phuket in decemer again. I'd say that initial reason was mid life crisis, but now it's a new way of living, It keeps me fit, stamina, and finalkklyits a good example to my little boy...

    - How much training do you do, and what sort of training??

    5h/week, swim, run, bike

    - What training and triathlon products do you own? (bikes, weights…etc)

    bike, and IPOD + H20 audio that allows me to swim with music!!!

    - What’s your favourite thing about competing, and what’s the worst thing?

    the FUN!...no owrst thing

    - Why do you compete? What motivates you? FUN, and also, "forces me to train...motivation: intially to complete something exceptional, now to improve myself and getting younger.. yes each year I am fiter ands my time improve

    …and finally, anything else you want to tell me. Rambling on about the subject is good!!
  • SetantaSetanta Posts: 42
    Hi Holly,


    - 36, Male, Nurse and no kids.

    - I do Triathlon because I love what the different disciplines does to you. I am into my 4rd year and competed in 18 tri's.

    - Currently I am on 6 days with some days doing 2 sessions, using Monday as a rest day.

    - All triathlon based training. I have a Giant TCR road bike and just finished building a rather mean TT bike.

    - The Adrenaline, and the worst has to be the rubber legs coming off the bike.

    - I love the level of fitness that Triathlon has gave to me, it is hard going but well worth it. The motivating factor is very simple........ Just have to look at photos of myself a few years age at 16 stone.

    don't ask a Triathlete to ramble on, we do that as instinctivly as getting up in the morning for a swim.
  • JulieMacJulieMac Posts: 30
    Wow lots of boys!!

    So a girls perspective is by now very needed!

    My names Julie I'm a 27 year old Vet nurse I 1st got in to tri March 2004 because I passed my driving test and my bum was getting big.

    I've done a grand total of 4 triathlons!! And lots of cross country 5-10k racing.

    Training consisted of Tuesday run session then swim,wed spin in the winter or 20-40k bike once the weather was better, thursday swim. The weekends would either be a race or a long bike.

    My kit is a bear mininmum road bike and swimming gear wet suit, the best thing about compeeting is the achivement just doing it gives you a buzz, maybe beating someone in your club whos at your level or a bit better. The worst thing is suffering an injury or having an off day. What drives the machine!? Its the best kind of addiction but its very difficult to give up. When you miss a session or take time off you get grummpy and feel like somthings missing and you get back to training and you hit that buzz and your world becomes good again the need to train in its self is enough motivation.

    The ramble,other plus points. It only takes 2 pints to get hammered so you allways have a cheep night out! You can eat all the chocolate cake you like, when you can't train/race you can go and cheer on your mates, every one I've met in tri has been friendly and chilled out its always a good atmosphere. If your injured you can race in a relay team, most people have a strong leg an ok leg and a weak leg as such it levels everyone out. There are races to fit every one from sprint to IM
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi Holly and everyone else,

    physical age 40, mental age very debatable,Spend all day pushing tin in a dark office,no children ,

    Whoever said tv was a bad influence watched two programmes as a young teenager first was Magnum pi (series one episode called beauty and the beast),second was watching Julie Moss? crawling across the finish line at Hawaii these started my interest in Triathlon.

    About 7 hours a week if I am really lucky with training,

    What I train with I race with regarding equipment.

    I race as a hobby to stop my weight from ballooning too much,I lost my competitive edge about 10 years ago and to finish is satisfaction enough.As a total Billy no mates I have no one to train with.As for motivation, How do we know how far to push ones self if we never go to the edge.Hope this helps.
  • TurtleTurtle Posts: 29
    Hi Holly, and everyone.

    I'm 37 going on 28, married, no kids. I live in small-town Sweden - 4 hours from any city you're likely to have heard of. I got into some Swedish endurance events a few years ago - the Swedish Classic - biking, running, swimming, cross-country skiing. Not great at any of it, but I survived. It got me into the push myself mode... looking for a bigger mountain (that can't actually fall off). One year off dealing with a heel spur. The Stockholm marathon last summer. This summer, Ironman. I signed up in December. Ice, snow, and an early overtraining-induced stress injury has slowed me down. 12 weeks to go. I have no real equipment, yet. Hoping to sort it out in April. Training's picking up. I've started biking 45km to work and since learning to crawl in January, my swimming improves a little each week. Though, I don't have the equipment for all these drills I read about. I try to focus on what I've read and seen and monitor my times over 500m. I guess that is the one great piece of equipment I do have... the Casio sports watch that my wife gave me for Christmas two year's ago. It has a lap feature, with an easy-to-press button on the face, which will save laptimes on the stopwatch. I guess I do have one other luxury. Reading a lot of these posts, many people deal with crowded pools. I recently positions from Nordic Finance Manager to IT guy. I would never have had time to train before. Now, I go swimming in the afternoon when the pool's practically empty.

    So, I haven't done any triathlons yet, but reading a number of posts and trying to learn what I can, I'll give you my perspective on the organization, etc. Ironman is a pricey event. I think it was €375, which might seem like more money to some than others. The Ironman websites - whatever location is holding one, are all different. There's no great organization to any of them. Information can be a little hard to get. I'm going to Swtzerland in June. Most of what I know comes from another responder to your post - Jon.E. My hero for providing so much information (sorry, I haven't thanked him personally, yet.) So, information.... What have the races been like. What's the weather... generally. Any of these places have people coming from all over the world and they provide generally no information that I can see. It's go Googling if you want to learn something about the place you're going to... which is how I found a piece of post and learned about the 220 website.

    From what little I've managed to read about the Swiss triathlon and some others, these people really need to learn something about logistics, coarse layout, and racing technology. I think it was Jon who wrote that in Austria, there's a place to store the bike, and a place to store everything else. At the end of the race, people have to stand in line to get their stuff - and the line goes right across the running track - total pain for anyone not yet finished. Switzerland, so I've read, uses some kind of wrist band to tell which running lap your on. I need to ask Jon for some information on this one. But, ummm... Are we going to have to stop running so someone can do something with a wristband we're wearing? In all the Swedish events I've been in, they've had a little microchip that you attach to your shoe or wear around your ankle - it stays there the whole race - it could go on for the swim-bike transition and stay there 'til you drop across the finish line.

    Well... that's my rambling for you.

    Best Regards,


    Whatever is worth doing is worth doing to excess.
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