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Another noob..........help me succeed!

Hi all,

I am completly new to this (and exercise generally!) but after having been going to the gym for 3 months, i want a goal to achieve and a new hobby. With this in mind i will be entering the sprint tri-athlon in London Aug 4th (i think). I pretty unfit (6ft 3 and 19st!) but i am determined to succeed but i need to start now.

The main problem is i don't know where to start (i believe this may be it though!). I have looked at equipment and my gosh its expensive, what would i need and where is the place to get it (i do not have a lot of money) without having to shell out thousands. What sort of training program should i start with?

Someone give me a kick in the right direction....

Many thanx and i hope i can help other people in my my position.

Cheers Gavin


  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Hi Gavin

    I did my first tri 5 or 6 years ago, again with excess weight and no athletic background. The essentials are goggles, wetsuit, bike (any sort as long as it's roadworthy), helmet, trainers and safety pins (for pinning race numbers on). I'd hire a wetsuit (or do a pool-based tri). I would also invest in a cheap trisuit or trishorts (and a t-shirt to go over if needed) because that takes alll the hassle out of the what to wear/transition problem.

    There's loads of other things you could get, but you can add those once you get the bug.

    Be warned - tri is addictive!

    Good luck
  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    pacrfish wrote:

    Be warned - tri is addictive!

    Good luck

    blimey ... is it ? but it seems such a friendly place .... i would be mad to carry on & risk an addiction - thanks Pat I feel safer already.

  • WellaWella Posts: 188

    I hate running and thanks to triathlon I'm now doing a Marathon.


    Pat's list is spot on and that's the gear i started with, minus the wetsuit. My first two tri's were pool based so I didn't need one although I did buy a trisuit. Make sure you shop around on the internet as you can pick up some great deals for your first bits of kit. There are some not very well known sites out there that offer really good savings especially at this time of the year.

    If you decide to get a wetsuit there are many ex-hire suits available at knock down prices.

  • The big is the main thing for me. On the london Tri website it says it must meets british standards. I couldnt find what this meant can anyone give pointers on this and what sort of bike i need. I cant really spend and more than £200 at the moment on one.

    thanx for you help!
  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    GAvin !!!!!!!!!

    PAt & Wella were on the right right lines ... no need to go mad buying loads of kit right away. If a bike is deemed roadworthy ie it has functional components (brakes gears etc) lights mudguards are not necessary, then it will be more than adequate for your first tri. you will see little old granny bikes ..yes with wicker basket moutain bikes barbie bikes allsorts. Most peolpe (me included) used a mountain bike first time round and did quite nicely thankyou with it beating many people on flash carbon tri numbers. Its the engine what makes it go more than what its made of.

    If your budget is a bit tight maybe you could borrow a bike & use your money to buy trainers & run in a pair of shorts & t-shirt / vest. By doing a pool based swim you will also avoid need for a wetsuit. Have a good look on eBay .. always a few things on there.

    And lastly remember its January .. you are basing you ability to undertake London Sprint which is in August on your current fitness & ability rather than after 7 months off training.

    Have you looked at joining your local tri club - good source of help with training & stuff
  • pacrfishpacrfish Posts: 266
    Mad - like the new 'picture' for 2007. Think there's a few guys on here who could join 'Triathletes Anonymous' - you for Chairman maybe??

    Gavin - if you don't have a bike borrowing one would be good - rather than spending your money on one you'll want to change next year (when you really start getting addicted!). And I bet you'll not want to wait till London in August for your first tri ....
  • n1ck bn1ck b Posts: 27

    Where are you based. Many local Tri clubs have pool based events in the early season. do a couple of these and london will not be so daunting.
  • Based in Northampton so will look about for a club. Scared of dying in the race so thats why i want to do the first in August to give me time to get fit.

    So any bike will do? I thought it had to be a proper road bike made from space shuttle material costing thousands. Is it ok to use a mountain bike?
  • If you are going to use a mountain bike get those knobbly tyres off and put a pair of skinny ones on – you will not be able to go ultra skinny as on a true road bike but speak to a decent bike shop and they should tell you how narrow a tyre the rims on your bike will take. Also whack the pressure up to the max shown on new tyres. As rest said hire wetsuit you can get an idea of price from-

    Triuk £25 + £10.49 postage - 1st MARCH- 14th SEPTEMBER 07

    They also hire bikes at £100 http://triuk.com//index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=157&category_id=6&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=26

    £25 + £10.49 postage - 1st MARCH- 14th SEPTEMBER 07

    They also hire bikes at £100

    Tri and run £40.00 for the whole Season (from January 1st - September 30th 2006) http://www.triandrun.com/page.php?id=8
  • n1ck bn1ck b Posts: 27

    I'm northampton based also. Try the following web site www.justracing.co.uk

    It's local racing, first race on 22nd April at Duston school(near sixfields)

  • n1ck bn1ck b Posts: 27

    sorry wrong web address

    try www.justracinguk.com


  • Jon thanx for the advice on the wetsuits i will do the first one (£25) which seems good value and i can keep if i like!

    Nick thanx for finding that info! I wasnt planning on doing one before hand but now you mention it......! I think i will reassess my fitness situation in April and see how i feel.

    Now found a training plan on the internet after cross ref them from some books i got from the library so will keep you updated with my progress! 1st session was today and went well.

    I am quite excited!
  • LeighLeigh Posts: 2
    Gavin, et al,

    I was having a dive around the internet this morning to try and find a good forum on Triathlons so that I could post the same question as Gavin!!

    I'm new to the whole thing myself and a few pals and I think it will be a great challenge to do a sprint this year - we're looking at one in April.

    I was concerned about the kit as searching on the internet bought up only bikes made by Nasa and costing thousands. But now I'm quite happy that my trusty mountain bike (with skinny(ish) tyres I might add [:)]) will be more than enough for the event. Would cycling shoes be a good investment, or should I just stick with my running trainers?

    My big problem is my swimming. I've never been a strong swimmer and am considering getting some lessons to point me in the right direction.

    Where did you find the training plan Gavin? I've had a hunt around and the best I can come up with is:- http://www.netfit.co.uk/triathlontraining.html

    Thanks again Gavin for the post and thanks everyone else for your replies!


  • For the weight training section i would recommend a class called body pump down you local gym. i find the reps covers most of the core muscle groups.

    Here is the link to the training guides. Not sure how i found it as if you go through the front page i cant find these but the link should sort you out!


    The plan i choose was this.


    As i have till august (believe me i will need it far too many pounds at the mo and far too unfit) so will rereat month one and then 2 too make sure i lose the weight first then develop the fitness side of things. I subsitute the long bike for a spining class and fit in weights around the shorter sessions. Will also start going to Body pump and Body Balance (like yoga tai chi etc).

    I welcome any thoughts on the plans...
  • I recommend going down the library (i am in northampton so if ours has yours must have!) and looking for any relevant training books. The one i got was [color=#0066cc]Starting Triathlon - Mark Barfield[/color]. Tells you a lot about the sections and training (doesnt really give you a coursethough). It also confirms the theory in the previous programmes of week one - start, week 2 - increase lengh by 10%, week 3 - increase by a further 10% and then in week 4 decrease back 25%. then the start of the new month continue from the previous week 3.

    seems to make sense to me so giving it a go. But i am open to being told otherwise....
  • Leigh

    Total Immersion give a few freebie swiming guides away -


    also sneaky search in Google gives you - http://www.totalimmersion.net/pdf/tsme_download.pdf

  • SimmoSimmo Posts: 5
    Hi rungavinrun

    I'm in exactly the same position as you - entered the London Sprint (as my first attempt at a tri) and slightly nervous about the whole thing. I'm jumping on the noob band wagon a bit (and I'm sure it's been asked on this forum before) but coming out of the water and getting on the bike - what's best to wear?

    I was planning on tri shorts that I've already bought and either a cycling shirt or a running type top - what do experienced people recommend?

  • LeighLeigh Posts: 2
    Great work Jon !! [:)]


  • Hi Simmo,

    As I'm sure you already know, wetsuits are compulsary in the London Triathlon but wearing tri shorts underneath the wetsuit is ideal. Be aware that at London you must take your wetsuit off as soon has you exit from the water and put it into a large plastic bag (provided)which you then carry whilst running up a set of stairs and into the excel centre to your bike. You will probably be dry by this stage and so can just pop your cycling shirt/running top on and crack on with the race. Good luck and enjoy.
  • i popped this on another thread but still worth a look. For a good looking noob tri setup go to tri uk wesite. they do a good beginner pack with OCR3 bike, new pedals, bike shoes, full wetsuit, full tri suit, googles and cycle helmet for 500 quid which seems quite good to me.
  • SimmoSimmo Posts: 5
    Thanks Dave - until I actually do one, the whole transition thing is almost as nervewracking as the event itself!
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