advice for a novice please

I`ve applied for my first sprint triathlon in 2012, am doing the Wilmslow May Triathlon. Although I am a breastroke swimmer I can swim the 400 metres in around 9 minutes maybe less. Just need advise on the transition stage from pool to the bike. And any other usefull bits of knowledge that more experienced athletes can pass on. I`m 44, 6`2 and weigh around 94 kilos so am in reasonable shape, ran the Tatton 15km resolution race in 81 minutes so its the bike that is the worry, I have a mountain bike and can cover 20 kms in around 70 minutes.


  • Welcome to the slippery slope Carl! (unfortunate first name round these parts, unlucky! image )

    Not quite sure what you are after, but I'll throw a load of stuff at you and see if any of it is of interest...

    I have only done one pool-based triathlon so I'll use that as my basis and assume yours is similar.

    Once your swim is done hop out of the pool, give your coloured swimcap to the attendant (assuming they are using that system) and take your goggles off. You'll jog out of the pool out to the transition where your bike is waiting. (Rehearse the route beforehand and remember where your bike is!)

    Depending on what you are wearing, get dressed! No nuduity in transition, so you're going to be cycling in whatever you swam in. If you have tri shorts (quick drying lycra shorts with a small pad in for cycling comfort but not large enough to affect running) then they are the best. However they are not normally cheap so you may just want to pull some cycling or other shorts over your swimming trunks for your first tri to see how you get on? Or go old school and race in your budgie smugglers!

    Putting on clothes when wet is a right hassle, so if you need to put on a top you might want to give yourself a quick towel down (I'm assuming you are not trying to save every last second?) before pulling on a top to cycle and run in.

    Decide beforehand if you are going to wear socks. For a sprint distance most dont bother but its more comfortable with socks on. Again socks are hard to put on wet feet, so roll them down beforehand with some talc in to make it a little easier. Put on your bike shoes or trainers, put on your helmet and shades (and gloves if you are bothering), grab your bike and jog to the mount line where a marshall will tell you to get on and go catch the person infront!

    Someone will probably be along who's done Wilmslow and be able to give you more specific advice.

    If you can put some slicks on your MTB then that will save you a lot of time, as will turning off any suspension, which wastes energy on a road.

    I'm sure you'll get more advice, but feel free to ask away!
  • My first bit of advice is to learn front crawl. Breaststroke is hard on your legs and you want to save them for the bike and run (take it from someone who did breaststroke at their first tri).

    If you're worried about T1, practice it. Set your kit out in the garden and see what works and what doesn't.
  • Thanks for advise , will take everything on board, let you know how I get on. I can actually swim freestyle but looks ungainly, I swam open water so I look forward when I breathe!!
  • Pump your tyres up really hard! Seriously - get a track pump if you haven't got one.
  • Put slick tyres on your mountain bike, that will save a few minutes. Elastic laces in your trainers there's a bit more time.

    Practise transition, lay out your kit in the order you put in on, I always go, shoes, race belt with number, helmet, sunnies.

  • Always put helmet on BEFORE touching the bike.
  • thanks guys, keep the advise coming................
  • Dont worry about how you look when swimming  image
  • A sprint triathlon is balls out all the way. Too short to worry about pacing. Just go hard.
  • thanks again guys, gonna try out the new running tights tomorrow..........
  • What was wrong with trying them Christmas Day ???
  • good call Dave, had a heavy day. Ran 7 miles on Boxing Day, will run 6 today, 5 a side tomorrow night , then nthe pool on Friday.
  • Nice easy week then....................
  • Do some brick sessions....Run about a mile as a fast speed run straight off a fast 10 mile bike session. Oh it might hurt a bit image
  • everyone seems to have forgotten the best bit of advice


    And then enter an Ironman

  • thanks mate, will be on the brick sessions in the New Year, at my local pool an Iron Man has been advising me on these. I swim 50, 100,150,100,50 with 10 secs rest, repeat this 3 times, followed by 150 metres swim down which totals 1500 metres in around 40 minutes. I know the swim drills as my kids swam at National Championships.
  • Well snared SA. )))

    Welcome Carl...
  • The Silent Assassin wrote (see)

    everyone seems to have forgotten the best bit of advice


    No one ever said you were supposed to enjoy it................. That's where I have been going wrong, Now where's my knitting needles ?
  • image Dave you love it really and it's cheaper than those S&M clubs you used to go to. image
  • hoping to Cake
  • Rubbish  There are some damn cheap S&M clubs in Warrington !!!

    Well yesterday was   1hr turbo, 5km run, 45 min swim

    Monday was 7km off road race

    today   1hr turbo, 45 mins weights 30 min swim drills......

    I'll be glad when I go back to work...

  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)

    Rubbish  There are some damn cheap S&M clubs in Warrington !!!

    Isn't that every single working man's club around there? image

    Carl beware you will get talked into doing something very daft like an Ironman if you hang around here. image

  • that addictive eh???
  • Oh yes Carl its a slippery slope once you start, expensive one as well!
  • cant wait to be honest, at knutsford pool at lunch time for pyramid sets
  • pyramid sets... (This guy is a bit serious isn;t he image)
  • image Sure is nice one.
  • hell yeah, 50, 100,150,100 and 50 with 10 seconds rest, do that three times with a minutes rest in between pyramids
  • Sign him up for Enduroman quick
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