Can i get some really basic advice!


I am running the London Marathon in April and am then looking to sign up for my first Triathalon later in the year to give me another target to aim at. Problem is I cant swim front crawl and I have a mountain bike - I think I can do the 10km run in under 60 mins but dont know how long the 40km on a bike takes a novice and how long it would take a crap swimmer to do 1.5km

Can anyone let me know what a basic target should be for each section please?

thanks David


  • 24 miles ??  On a mountain bike I would look to poss 2 hours quicker if you put some slick tyres on

    1.5k, anywhere around 30 - 40 mins I guess

    Best way is to look at last years results
  • Hello,

    Why don't you look for a sprint event first. Usually about 400-750 metre swim, 20k bike and 5k run. I think I'd go down that route first.

    Everyone else will tell you to just get on with entering an Ironman image


  • I've done a couple of sprint triathlons and they are really good fun and a great way to introduce yourself to the sport and the fourth discipline of the transition. Thinking of upping to standard distance in 2012. I'm a relatively good swimmer (as far as positioning goes in my last tri's) and I would be looking at around 30 mins for the swim. Saying that though, I've never swam in open water with a wetsuit!
    Times are slower on mountain bikes so I think the previous suggestion of around 2 hrs is reasonable. You can hire road bikes for the triathlon season which could be worth considering? That's what I did and then I had the opportunity to either return or buy at a reduced price at the end of the season
  • The best target for a beginner is to make it round. Don't worry about a target time, just do your best.
  • Buy a cheep road bike and look for an event in Wales in September ( Its called Ironman I think), your soon learn how to swim.

    Otherwise, get down the pool and get some lessons, you will be able to breast stroke for the swim but will take longer than front crawl, say 40-45mins, your be better off getting a cheep road bike even one thats on its last legs will go better that mtb.

    Good luck with london and see you in Wales
  • I'd see if I could get a road bike - if budget a problem, then 2nd hand will get you far more bang for buck. You could put slick tyres on your mountain bike & get a track pump to pump tyres up really hard, but you may well be able to pick up a very old road bike for not much more.

    Swimming - just get on and do it. A coach will help. It is possible to swim breaststroke, and some of the time lost is offset by the fact that you can see where you are going and will probably swim straighter. The way I did it was to start to putting one length of crawl out of every 4 breaststroke. I then gradually went down to alternating, then 3 crawl, one breast, and eventually just though sod it and swam the whole session fc. I now find fc is by far the easieast & breast much more tiring.

    Timings I wouldn't bother about too much. As has been said, just concentrate on getting round, but I'd also add make sure you enjoy it!

    Make sure you do some brick sessions in training (bike then run) because at first it feels like you are suddenly 90 years old when you try to run after the bike.

    Don't expect your run time to be as fast - I did 52 mins in my last tri, when I would have expected to do a straight 10k in about 43-44 mins. Not one person in the race did the 10k in under 40 mins!
  • If you do want timings. My first oly times were 35 mins swim (calm sea), 1:33 bike, 52 mins run. Don't forget transitions T1 2:30, T2 1:19 - this depends on the layout of the transition area as well as your performance.

    General standards in tri seem to be higher, I came about 140th out of 172, where as I'd expect to be top third in a running race. I've not checked but a big event like London Tri may have a larger bottom end than smaller races (same as FLM and GNR)
  • London is a ballot entry now.

    Get with the program - why not go whole hog and do IM Wales with us? There's  quite a few pirates who did an IM as their first ever triathlon.

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