Help for lady embarking on 1st sprint triathlon

Hi  I apologise if I'm about to ask some really daft questions but here goes....

 Ive decided to enter my first triathlon (been running for a few years done several half marathons and one full, not very fast but enjoying it all the same)

Im confident I will be able to cover the required elements with the time I have for training but Im totally clueless about a few basic things regarding kit...

 I was not intending to buy a wet suit as the swim is in a pool and I'm only giving this a go to see if I like it.  So if we assume im going to swim in a normal sports costume what would be the best way to transfer onto the bike/run stages ? 

Do I pull on a pair of cycling shorts and off I go?? what about (ehh hem) my sports bra ? (essential bit of kit for me)  or if I did dig down the back of the sofa for change and invest in a some kind of tri suit would it give the support needed for the upper deck ?

 Do I need to have anything special for my feet ? I assume I just pull on the trainers onto wet feel following the swim so do you put anything in them - like talc for instance?

Sorry this is so basic but as I've said - I am totally clueless and I dont know anyone who's done a tri before


  • Hi MM and welcome to the wonderful world of tri

    We'll have you signed up for an Ironman soon

    Below is a link to the PSOF guide to sprint triathlons

    PSOF Sprint Tri

    This should answer most of your questions

    the most import thing about doing triathlons is ENJOY IT

  • Brilliant link - thank you so much thats answered just about everything image

  • MM, as regards kit to wear, I'm a top-heavy  woman too and I did quite a few sprint races before I bought any specific kit. I found wearing a swimsuit (bit smaller and tighter than normal) over the top of thigh length lycra shorts did the job - you don't want to be struggling to pull a shirt on over wet chest and arms, believe me it can get stuck in all sorts of ways! Prior to buying a proper number belt I just used to use a piece of elastic with my number pinned to it - in fact when I began in tri, the organisers gave out bits of elastic at registration. Definitely talc inside the socks if you wear them, if not talc the inside of your running shoes instead. And practice the bike-to -run transition a few times before your first race, it will be well worth it. Running "off the bike" feels like your legs are mired in cement until you get used to it, so don't leave it until race day to try this out. Good luck and have lots of fun....let us know how you get on.    


  • Thanks for the tips KK and IW.

    I will definitely come back in July and let you know how I get on and will be practising the bike to run transition as suggested. Im actually quite excited about having a go now.


  • Hi Minnie, I started sprint tri's last year, did three then signed up for the ironman distance outlaw in Notts this year. You will love it, great fun mostly always very well organised and all the competitors be it very good athletes or complete novices are all very helpful and kind. It's a great sport to be associated with. Good luck. Horse. 
  • Cheers for the encouragement Horse.

    I went for my first 'trial' swim this week just to see how long it would take to cover 400M. First time doing proper swimming ie lengths for a VERY long time (id say about 10 years) OMG its harder than I remembered.

    I think a few swimming lessons might be in order. Good news is I can only improve !

  • HI MM - I would wear a sports bra under your costume - think lots of peeps do. I always wear two sports bras when running to keep em well and truly tethered!
  • Hi Minnie,
    I couldn't possibly comment on the bra issues! Ha
    Last year I couldn't swim 50 metres front crawl without gasping for breath, I was plodding on doing breast stroke. About 11 or 12 minutes for 400m, I did the Carpenray sprint tri 500m swim in 16mins not good at all.
    I hadn't swam since infant school thirty odd years ago, apart from a dip in the pool to cool down on hols.

    Some people can swim others have to really work at it. I'm one of those who have to really work at it. There is loads of great advise on the net, swimming videos and blogs.
    I spent loads of time in the local ship canal (Salford Quays) open water swimming last summer.
    Been in the local pool during the winter, swimming front crawl with a pull buoy, trying to simulate wet suit swimming conditions. I'm up to 1.5miles in 55mins now so going in the right direction.

    I'm not sure how much tri suits cost for ladies, but I know fellas suits can be very expensive. More miles do a range of decent none expensive suits, tops and shorts if your just dipping your toes in to start with. May be worth a look! image
    Best wishes horse. X
  • Hi Debster - Yes I think I will deffo be popping the shock absorber on under my swim wear. Glad I wont be the only one laying the support garments !

    Horse. Well done on the swimming that's a great improvement. My first 400M took 18 mins (blush). Thanks for the tip about More Mile(s) I just looked them up and the prices are good. I scared myself when I saw some suits on Amazon for over £100, crikey, for that price I'd want it to have an outboard motor !!

    Just wondering, do the tri suits give you more buoyancy ?
  • Minnie, I'm not aware of any tri suits that aid buoyancy, the new speedo bodysuits do but they are very expensive. Like pro prices, you might need a sponser. Ha best wishes horse.
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