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London Olympic 1st timers

Hi all

Are there any London Olympic 1st timers out there ??

This is my first year in Tri and I was wondering are there any others just as apprehensive as me??

I can feel the nerves already as I jump into the dock to swim to the starting area !!! Thats before swimming 1500m.

My current training mottos are "complete .... not compete" !!! and 1 I saw in the magazine on a Ironman bike course "pain is temporary, pride is forever" (I used that hiking Half Dome in Yosemite last year).


  • dsk699dsk699 Posts: 20
    I did London as my 1st Tri in 2005. I remember being really nervous, but as soon as I started the swim it was one of the best days training I've done. So much support from spectators really pushed me on- especially the run- and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Had a bad injury year last year so wasn't able to do it, but I'm all booked in this year.

    You'll love it I'm sure!

    Good luck

  • DamianDamian Posts: 11
    Hey there ... I'm a first timer too. Saw the Windsor Triathlon on the telly last year, and it looked fun ( obviously challenging ) so I decided it would be something to train for ( and to have to properly train, rather than sweating out a hangover on Saturdays in the gym )

    Anyway ... I haven't bought a bike yet, but IronJohn and Co have been really good in offering top advice ... ( I'm currently having an internal Campangolo. vs Shimano 105 debate - 5 weeks ago would have thought this was an resto debate - Italian or Shushi ! )

    And I can only do the breast stroke properly.

    I reckon I'll be absolutely planking it come the day, but itching to get the kit and get going

    Question : Does anyone have a view on the packages that SBR do ? Looked OK pricewise .. just wondering whether the bike ( Scott Speedster S60 was any good .. the guy at the Tri show y'day said it had Shimano 105 set, but it didn't look like it to me )

  • DamianDamian Posts: 11
    BTW ... signed up for Olympic London Tri ... I just want to finish without being a casualty !
  • SiHSiH Posts: 5
    I've signed up for the London Sprint, and even the 750m swim is not sounding good at the moment! Got plenty of time to train though....
  • Hi rj1265. I'm a first timer in the London Olympic this year. I took up running last year and did the Dublin Marathon in October. Then I went to Club La Santa for some warm weather training and ended up trying their novice triathlon that they do over there (400m, 15.2km, 4.4km) - thoroughly enjoyed it so decided to set the challenge for this year to be the London Olympic. I'm hoping to do at least 1 sprint before August - I'm more concerned about the transitions and getting my kit sorted out at the start. I guess once you get going all those nerves go and you just get on with the task in hand!! Keep us posted with your training progress. I'm currently sitting out a very annoying foot injury but managing to cycle and swim.
  • JasonBJasonB Posts: 303

    I have entered the London Tri as a Newbie. Although I have entered the Norwich Olympic Triathlon the month before to gauge where abouts I am.

    Even reading blogs about the London Tri makes me nervous. I hope who ever is broadcasting allows for extended highlights as I crawl across the finish line.

  • CenCen Posts: 10
    Hi rj,

    I'm entering London as a first timer. Havent' done any tri-races before so hope to do Blenheim sprint in the run up and maybe another. Wen't along to watch last year and atmosphere was quality. I expect I'll have a fair few friends come down to watch (/laugh at) me and take advantage of the bbq in the central bar (can't remember the name) so a practice before is all the more important!

    Damian - I got one of the package deals from tri uk in yeovil. It's a treck from London (where I am) though. They do do mail/internet order but glad I went there to try on the stuff. Found it to be far and away cheapest all encompasing option when I was buying (sept/oct last yr). Don't know about the Scott I'm afraid (although can't see mention of 105 on the SBR website where the bike is sold seperately also).
  • DamianDamian Posts: 11
    Looks like I won't be gentle when I lose my Tri cherry ( be gentle with me - its my first time ! )

    Cen ... thanks for tip on Tri UK .. I'll look them up ( I reckon you're correct about the Scott )

    JasonB ... I've emailed the organisers .. to ask will they send a search party if I haven't finished by 10pm !

    Catwoman ... I'd be very interested in any feedback you had about Club La Santa ... I think a visit ( to this place or similar ) could be beneficial

    Thanks in advance ... DL
  • Damian, I really enjoyed the Club La Santa experience. I went on my own and opted to have an apartment to myself which made it quite expensive. If you want to save a bit of money you can opt to share with 1, 2, 3 others - maybe even more if you fancy it!! However, I still met plenty of people through the events I did. There is so much on offer if you want it. In 1 week I windsurfed, surfed, 1/4 marathon, swam, aquathlon, dualthlon, triathlon, cycled, aerobics classes.....there really is so much to do, you want to do it all. I tried to do it all but my body was crumbling by day 4! There were people of all abilities there too, so even if it's your first time at a sport (as it was for me in the triathlon) you don't feel like you've just come along to make up the numbers. I was disappointed with the accommodation - it's VERY basic. There are 3 levels of accommodation and I went for the middle level - which I think looks the same as the basic apartment but is away from the noisy parts of the complex. However, if you're going there for the accommodation, then you should probably go somewhere else. If you want to be active for a week and not get bored, I would definitely recommend it. I would probably go back again. Cat.
  • DamianDamian Posts: 11
    Excellent Cat .. thanks for the reply. Question : Are you part machine ? At the moment I couldn't run a bath, never mind what you did ... Seriously impressed. I reckon I'll need to get someway fit to get most from it ( otherwise be frustrated or injured or both ! ).

    Good head up on the accomodation. Will be going on my own, so have to see how much of other people's smelly gear I could put up with ;o)
  • London was my first Olympic last year (did Blenheim as a warm up - excellent for the confidence). I'll be there again this year, plus trying out a couple of other triathlons to add variety. It's an excellent event - there's no way you'll allow yourself not to finish, it just feels like an achievement waiting to be finished. And the swim's not as bad as I feared, you just need to start at a sensible pace and speed up later if you feel like you have enough fuel. The extra 750m in a sprint is not really any harder than the first 750m. You're in such a rythym by then that you just keep going - I'm certain that the second half of my swim was far faster than the first half.

    Good luck all

  • Hi other newbies.... I've done one sprint last August and loved it so much that i've entered London (Oly) and Blenheim (Spr) to act as a first outting in open water prior to London...... However have picked up an injury (broke my hand coming off my mtn bike), so it's 50:50 if i'm going to be ready as am still in plaster been banned by the quacks from doing anything... so and likely to be for a while yet - still looks like there's an oly distance in Windsor at the end of Sept so that's my back up plan!!!! Either way the idea is to survive with a smile! [:)] Happy training !!
  • rj1265rj1265 Posts: 70

    Good to see there are several nervous newbies like me

    My first event ( I will refrain from calling them races .... yet!!) is Cleveland Sprint 400 pool, 20km, 5km in May , then either Sunderland or Ripon before London. A 100mile cyclosportive in June - 7hr endurance test !!

    Went to the pool last night and didn't drown !!! -- 100m freestyle , 500m breaststroke and drank half the pool... Aquasphere Eagles are great but my freestyle breathing awful!!

    Last 10 days training 2 x 5Km Runs , 2 Brick Sessions ( 70mins Bike (Turbo) followed by 3Km run), 1 40Km bike ride, 1 turbo session (60 mins), the swim above..., 2 REST days - 1 of which was at TCR :-)

    Bought wetsuit / trisuit / numberbelt + some other training essentials.... equipment wise ready to go.... time to hone the body :-)

    More swim sessions required !!!

    This will like my training blog !!

  • I too am an Olympic virgin although hoping to do Blackpool b4 London to find my true capabilities! Am terrified already. Haven't even got my wet suit yet. Good luck to all of us!!
  • Hi All!

    I did my first (and, not through choice, last) olympic tri in London 3 years ago. I found it amazing. The run especially. I have always been a good swimmer but never a good runner so the 10 km run sounded mammoth to me.

    Once I got going on the run it felt easier and easier, especially because of the atmosphere at the London event.

    You will all enjoy it and you will find that finishing was never as hard as you expected. You will also find that the bug will bite you and you can't wait for your next event.

    After a few years out of the game (for reasons out of my control) I am now looking forward to getting back to competition again. I can still feel the buzz of the London Tri even now in New Zealand.

    Go hard, try your best and I guarantee that you will not be dissapointed.

    Good luck to you all and I envy you for being able to do it!!

  • rj1265rj1265 Posts: 70
    Hi All

    A quick update:-

    Training - not enough swimming [;)]

    Wednesday = REST

    Thursday = 1 hour Turbo (75% MHR) followed by 3 Km run / jog

    Friday = 30 mins Core workout (Gym Ball , Ab Roller)

    Saturday = 65Km (2hrs 10 mins) at <80% MHR

    Sunday = 25Km (including 2 x 90m climbs ave 10% grade) 45 mins

    Sundays Run or Swim got postponed therefore:-

    Core + Swimming tonight

    Started listening to my HRM now ?? training much better and overall speed better (not blowing up on the hills). Can go further both run and cycle without blowing up but keeping the same or better average speed.....

    Algarni I am already bitten by the bug..... the scary part is that I will want to go longer than Oly distance. I am more of a diesel than a turbo petrol engine. I can go long and steady.... roll on 70.3 / IM .... when I can swim the distance.

    Mental Note :- More swimming sessions required [:)]

    Keeping training and enjoying it .... only 25 weeks to London (50 swim sessions @ twice a week !!)

  • [:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)].... got my hand out of its plaster cast today..... so hopefully if i can get going again London Oly is back on for me..... Hurrah!!!

    It must have been my red wine, cheese and chocolate diet the last 6 weeks that's help it all mend [8|] ....

    Lucky it's nearly shrove tuesday so i can give it all up and get back to some training - here's to finishing!!!!
  • i'm doing the sprint distance at london for the first time this year. quite frankly pooing myself about it deep down but looking forward to it at the same time. i'd consider myself a fairly decent swimmer when fit, but i hate open water swimming so that's probably going to be the worst bit for me.

    i've loved cycling for years (thanks to stephen roche in 1987) but i'm a bit rubbish at it, apart from going up hills which isn't much use in london. not a big running fan, but that's probably because i have to train in the dark at the moment and it'll get a lot easier when it gets a bit lighter in the evenings and i don't have to wear a headtorch while i'm running to see where i'm going.

    really looking forward to august though. all my friends and family think i'm mental, but nevermind...

  • glencglenc Posts: 8
    Hi All,

    I am also a first timer to Triathlon's, and fairly new to getting off my backside, so entering for the Olympic distance this year is already giving me butterfly's!

    As far as training - Last year bet ween May and December I went from bugger all for 15 years to 8 miles cross country in a great off road race called the GRIM 8 in Aldershot Hants. Nothing quite like running through waist high freezing wet ditches, running through ponds etc in the sand to keep you going! I did this as part of my plan to do one big event for charity each year. Last year I managed to raise just over £700 for Cancer Research which my workplace matched. This year I want to double it, so have set my eyes on the London Tri Olympic [:D] Everyone reckons Im loopy, but I am keeping the people who sponsosred me last year up to date every month with my progress towards this years challenge, then will hit the with a sponsor me email using the justgiving website.

    So far my training this year consists of swimming 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri 1500m, running to or from work one day (Tues or Thurs 6 miles then riding the other way back on a mountain bike. Im looking to get a decent bike soon for practicing more on the bike sie of things. I also go for a long run at the weekend too over the army grounds round here in Aldershot (about a 6/7 mile run up and down the hills with the dogs.

    As the nights are now getting longer, Im looking forward to getting into nighttime running too as for me, with a wife and 2 kids, its the best time - go out about 8, 9pm. I do try to avoid as much tarmac as possilbe as Im 6ft 7 and quite big built (16 stone) so roads / pavement kills my knees.

    In terms of events this year Im doing the Blenheim, Michelob Ultra, South Coast, a couple of other sprints and the pier to pier sea 1.4mile swim event run by the Heart foundation in July.



  • Hi, Well, I’m another first timer for the Olympic distance traitlhon in London. From current standing things are looking a little daunting, my pool session this evening was terrible, 20 odd lengths of the 33m local pool took me about ½ an hour thanks to all the stops I took (I can usually pump away for around an hour of breast stroke, all be it at speeds that’d make a tortoise feel speedy). My running is as at a state where I was recently overtaken by the slowest member of the Serpentine running club and left having muscle spasms in her wake (after around 2 miles) and as for the cycling; well, when I can afford to get a bike I’ll let you know how that goes. All in all things are grim, for the last few hours I’ve been mocked mercilessly by the locals in my pub (they say they’ll sponsor the ambulance that needs to rescue me from the swim stage). Still, it’s a few months till the off.. who knows, I might manage to set a few stone by then, and get fit enough to sustain more than a jog for a minute or two.
  • rj1265rj1265 Posts: 70
    Hi GlenC

    Like you I am 6ft 7" and heavier @ 112 Kgs ( thighs like tree trunks - cycling in the Hilly NE !! ). I saw an article in 220 (cannot remember the edition) , it was in the Q&A section regarding something called the 'Ironman Shuffle', obviously I am not built for running speed, the article mentioned talked about not 'bouncing' as you are running at but still run at a reasonable pace... I have found this very useful since it reduces the impact on my knees and hips when running on tarmac. I am never going to run 5K in 20 mins or 10K in 45 mins. So as long as I can run the distance ( without stopping and walking ) and finish without needing to visit to the local A&E I will be happy [:)][:)][:)]
  • glencglenc Posts: 8
    I have seen that advice as well about the bouncing aspect. One of the useful things at the triathlon show at Sandown the other week was the free running gait analysis. The standard advice for people of our height / size is that we need shoes to combat overpronating as this is what heavier runners do. Well I can now officialy declare this bo110cks. After analysis by Nike at the show, my running style is neutral, and the suggestion was to go for neutral well cushioned shoes like the Nike Vomero. Not sure if this helps you, but I have been running with overpronating shoes so far, so it may well be worth seeing if you can get your running style checked. I still think that off road running / training is better for me though as I am still trying to lose the weight and I just dont get knee pain when running off road.

    And in terms of going the distance without stopping - not me. [;)] I like the motto around here for new triathletes regarding complete, not compete. I dont know why, but when I run I tend to need to stop for a breather about every 2.5 miles, with one quick one after the first mile. Initially this was crushing me as I thought you have to do the whole thing, no stopping and that somehow I was a failure. In fact I now think this is a good thing, as with this strategy, I broke my 4 mile 'barrier' and now up to 9 mile runs, with breathers at 1, 3.5, 6, 7.5 then 9. The way I look at it - I just want to finish, I dont care If I have to stop every mile, crawl or drag myself across that finishing line, as long as I do it on the day at olympic distance ,I will be one happy man, and hopefully raise a shed load for charity. [:D] My first big lesson was learning that I cannot compare myself to anyone else in the race, on these chat boards etc. I have my own strengths and limitations. I just want to have fun, do something that I never woud have dreamed of 9 months ago, and do my family proud through trying my best. With that approach I finished the Grim 8 last year, and I WILL finish the Olympic distance Michelob this year, and I will be grinning all the way [:D]
  • Hey GlenC - totally concur with your thinking.... completing the thing is what is to be proud of. Everyone has their limitations and/or restrictions and anyone you competes to complete the darn thing is a top type of person in my book. Personally speaking if I manage to swim in a straight line it'll be a miracle (just got out of plaster cast and currently keep dreaming of swimming in circles [;)], training starts again next week!!!!)

    As Yoda would say.... strong the force is in all of us - realise it we must - umm yes

  • CenCen Posts: 10
    rj1265 wrote:

    Went to the pool last night and didn't drown !!! -- 100m freestyle , 500m breaststroke and drank half the pool... Aquasphere Eagles are great but my freestyle breathing awful!!

    glad it's not just me. i'm sure i used to be able to swim and breath at the same time. pool time has definitely just jumped to the top of my needs list!

    Does anyone know of any good newbie friendly tri's before Blenheim (ideally open water) near London? Sprint (or super) would be ideal... thinking I'm going to need the practice!
  • rj1265rj1265 Posts: 70
    Hi all

    Monday Morning - Another week flies by !!

    Hope everyone's training is going OK

    Last weeks training was:-

    Monday - Swim 700m ( Made up of 6 lengths Breast Stroke , 2 FreeStyle) - Didn't drink as much of the pool, must be an improvement

    Tuesday - 5Km Run, Fast Jog really 28mins

    Wednesday - Active Recovery 45 mins Turbo Session HR < 60%

    Thursday - 5Km Run, Fast Jog really ~ 28mins

    Friday - Turbo Session 70 mins , (15 mins warmup, 45 mins of increasing resistance , 10-10-15-10, 10 mins warm down)

    Saturday - 85Km Bike ride (3hrs 10mins) , Swim (2hrs after finishing bike) (600m using same 6BS,2FS again better technique on FS, cramp cut short session)

    Sunday - 4Km jog followed by Rest, Rest, Rest

    This weeks improvement - breathing and swimming FreeStyle at the same time.

    Lessons learnt, swimming after bike ride not good !!!

    Lesson to learn ---- relax when swimming

  • WellaWella Posts: 188

    I recommend the Cannons St. Albans Tri taking place in June. It was my first tri last year and its a sprint distance. The facilities are great as the swim is in the Cannons health club. The bike and run course is good as its reasonably traffic free. The roads aren't closed but they are pretty quiet on a sunday morning. All in all I though it was a really well run race. Its also fairly close to Romford so the travelling shouldn't be too bad.

    I'm doing London for the first time and will use St. Albans as part of the training.
  • sisi Posts: 6
    I'm a first timer to triathlon and thought the olympic distance would definitely be a bridge too far for me this time, so I'm going for the sprint. I felt pretty good about it, until i read this thread now I'm nervous, I guess there is a lot to be said for ignorance [8|]
  • For Sprint triathlons before Blenheim you could try the 20 May Eton super sprint (almost a sprint!) which is filling up fast, or the 27 May crystal palace sprint triathlon if you're in London. Websites are:


    (Eton super sprint)


  • rj1265rj1265 Posts: 70
    Hi Si

    Good luck with the Sprint are you doing any others before ?? -- I have signed up to a couple of local events (to get used to the swim start , I think thats the most scary part, before London)

    This is my first year too in triathlon.. I thought that the London Oly distance would be a challenge ( I want to do a 70.3 or IM [:D] - there is a dream)

    . The thought process was , I could swim 20 years ago, I currently ride more that 100 miles a week, I can walk the 10K if need be. Therefore, if I get out the water OK I will finish [:)] , after my first couple of swim sessions that looked highly unlikely... I couldn't remember how to swim 50m of FS - let alone 1500m. I seemed to thrash about like a fish in a net whilst drinking the pool!! Happily 4 weeks later I am up to 800m mixing Breast Stroke and Free Style (100 BS , 50 FS) without drinking the pool [;)], head down & breathing to the left and right on alternate 50 m, bilateral breathing will have to wait !!

    As I have said before I am no racing snake, my previous sporting life was rugby (No.8) and Offshore yachting - I just love a challenge, the thought of crossing the finish line in London and the sense of pride I will have in myself keeps me going ( I really dislike running) when I want to stop and not bother with that training session.

    Good Luck to all.


  • WellaWella Posts: 188
    I posted my entry for Eton yesterday (sunday race as saturday is sold out).

    Fingers crossed that there will be spaces left. Anyone else entered?
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