Latest articles, Triathlon

Think triathlon is for the toughest of the tough – you’re wrong.

There is no doubt since the arrival of the Brownlee brothers the popularity of triathlon has exploded.
The number of people now taking part in the sport has grown by almost 40 percent since 2014 and almost half of these are women.
Despite having a reputation for being only for the toughest of athletes, triathlon is surprisingly accessible. One reason is the Go-Tri series where participants can take part in a real triathlon with significantly reduced distances.
Four lengths of a pool followed by a 10k bike ride and finishing with a 2.5k run are the usual distances.
I did a Go Tri last year – I’m a very average runner, a better swimmer and I struggle on a bike but I really enjoyed the variety it offers.
My training involved a coached swim session at my local pool once a week which I do anyway along with at least one run of about five miles, again this is something I usually do within a week.
However for the bike part I reluctantly got on my bike the week before, went to the bottom of my road and back and crossed my fingers on the day. Not an advisable strategy.
At the event everyone sets of in small groups so there’s no concern about being the last one over the line and everyone was hugely supportive.
I enjoyed the swim, struggled through the bike section, although did better than I thought, and managed the running but was flagging by the end.
Taking part has definitely given me the confidence to move up to a sprint distance triathlon and also has driven home the need for structure training.
However if you have always fancied dipping your toe into the world of triathlon but have felt a bit intimidated, Go-Tri is the perfect way to do it. Fun, challenging and bound to get you hooked on the sport.

Equipment needed

Tri-suit: I did my first triathlon without one but definitely regretted it. I then bought one from eBay for £10.

Bike: The cost of some bikes is eye-watering but a decent road or hybrid bike can be bought second hand for a reasonable amount. Most local bike shops sell second hand bikes at a fraction of the cost of a new one and at least you will know they are in good working order

Footwear: Invest in decent trainers – running is the last of the three events and you want to be comfortable.

Top tips

Most people worry about the swimming – but you don’t necessarily have to do front crawl. Many people do breast stroke particularly at the Go-Tri events.

Transitions – its worth practising these. Going from the bike to the run is very strange and takes a bit of getting used to.

If you’re completely new to running try the Couch to 5k, find a club or a Park Run – the distance is perfect and it is great to run with others in a supportive atmosphere.

Useful links

Go Tri

Couch to 5k

Park Run

Training Plans
2020 Training is a Triathlon magazine that offers a range of free training plans from sprint distance right up to iron man

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