Starting Triathalon

Hi guys

I'm looking at starting triathalons, i have never done one before but its something ive always fancied doing and think i may be alright at. 

I am thinking of the Liverpool Sprint Tri in July 2013.

I run and cycle quite a lot. I have run 'fun races' upto half marathon, with a best time of 1hr28. As for cycling I do quite a bit, since i was 16 ive been into it in a pretty relaxed way just social rides. Last summer i started training with a club on chain gangs which average between 18 and 24 miles per hour depending who shows up and this summer i went to france for 4 weeks in which we did around 2000 miles.

The main problem is swimming, i have my 100m badge and thats about as far as it goes. I dont even know if i would remember how to do front crawl any more. 

Any advice that you have would be very useful! 



  • well havent you answered your own post - your ok at running and biking but crap at swimming, just like most of us, you want to do a sprint and have earmarked liverpool sprint, its no good saying on this forum that you do a sub 1:30 half for fun and can average 24mph on a chain gang, most of us cant do that, so we should be asking you for advice - havent you read any posts on here image 



  • Well no, I have only been a member for around 30 minutes and thought for some strange reason that this is where you are supposed to post to ask for advice? How strange hey! 

    If you re-read the post i make it clear that im pretty happy with my running and cycling but worried about swimming and asking for advice on how to get started. 

    So before you come up with any more smart a** comments please read the post properly next time.

  • Hi Freerunner. I've been lurking on the site for the past week, and have also decided to take on the challenge of a tri next year. I don't have as much experience in the saddle, nor on runs as you as I've been sat on my arse the last 12 years since leaving the Army. But have decided to give myself a target to aim for, ie. a sprint in June next year, followed by an Oly in August if I'm still alive.

    I can only swim breaststroke, and have never learnt crawl at all. I went swimming for the first time since school last Saturday (apart from the messing about on hols etc) and surprised myself by managing to swim a mile, all be it in 4 sets of 400 metres, but hey oh, it's a start. I then signed up for adult swim lessons at the same pool and was really nervous about going, not so much fear of swimming, but more embarrassment about being a 36 year old who still doesn't know how to swim. Shouldn't have worried, 1 hour of lessons and I'm managing to swim a length using crawl image another good thing was, there were two other lads getting lessons there who were in training for triathlons too, so we got talking and picked up a lot of tips of em. Signed up for another 5 lessons now, so hopefully be moving on to drills soon and getting better at technique. I can't recommend enough about going to your local pool to find out about lessons. Also, I think some tri clubs hold swim training days, might be worth seeking some near you out. Even if they don't, they might be able to point you in the right direction.

    Good luck with your training, and hope to read of your success in the future.
  • As DK says - you're ahead of most here - certainly on the bike and probably the run too.

    As to the swimming - you need to see where you are. Go to the pool and see what you can do. It's a bit cool for open water now - the lakes open at the beginning of May now - so you're best off staying inside til then.

    Do have a go and see how it goes. Plenty of time to get a wetsuit sorted out next year. Tri clubs also have sessions where you can brush up your technique.

    Oh and there's only one a in triathlon.
  • FreeRunner13 wrote (see)

    Well no, I have only been a member for around 30 minutes and thought for some strange reason that this is where you are supposed to post to ask for advice? How strange hey! 

    If you re-read the post i make it clear that im pretty happy with my running and cycling but worried about swimming and asking for advice on how to get started. 

    So before you come up with any more smart a** comments please read the post properly next time.

    you wouldnt have got a smart arse comment if you had bothered to take in the general gist of the forum, if you wanted swimming advice you would have found the "cr@p swimmers are us thread" or any of the other newbie tri threads - well you would have done if you had spent more than 30 minutes reading a the forum.

    a book to read is Total immersion

    sites are swimsmooth and goswim


  • DK - cut the guy some slack - he's new and many newbies never read through existing threads.   and FR - smartarse comments are a fact of life around here so get used to it....  image

    and as cougs says there's only one a in triathlon - so that's your 1st lesson out of the way - spelling

    there's loads of advice around these parts on improving your swimming but it generally falls into 3 camps:

    1. get some 1:1 coaching

    2. join a tri club and go to their swim sessions

    3. do a course like TI

    there is a 4th - read the crap swimmers thread....image


    anyhoo - welcome to the madhouse - just ask away and we will advise.  smartarse comments are FOC...

  • image spellings overraited. image

    The total immersion book is a very good starting point. I'd find out where your local tri club is and see if they  do any swimming coaching as well and stuff. Best advice through is get in the pool as much as you can over winter and see what you can do.

  • I'm also starting out swimming with what i know is poor technique, I decided that until i get some lessons sorted i am just going to swim using any stroke but crawl. The thought being that re inforcing bad habbits may well be detrimental in the long run.

  • I compleately agrey Cake... 

    I swim badly, gonna get some 1:1 lessons but they can be expensive. Found a local pool that does progression classes for adults. Don't get too bogged down though freerunner you have a very solid base by the sound of it. 

  • Get in a pool and put some time in.

    Dont just do 100m front crawl as fast as you can and get out. Slow down, do drills, have set rest intervals. It will come.

  • Iron Muffin wrote (see)

    just do 100m front crawl as fast as you can and get out.


    Excellent training advice, works for me.



  • Thanks everyone for your advice, smart arse comments and all. I am going to my local pool tomorrow morning. Ill give it a go and let you know how it goes. I will also ask about 1:1/ lessons when i go tomorrow. I going to email the local club tonight.

    The sprint tri is not till next july so im not rushed. I am going to prioritise on my swimmimg technique over the winter while im doing less cycling

    Apologies for the spelling and once again thanks! Best of luck to you all.

  • Where abouts are you ?  Which club ?

  • Liverpool. The club is called mersey-tri.
  • OK


    North of the river, rather than south like me

  • Where are you from Dave?
  • From ?  or Live ?

    Chester, Chester Tri

  • Theres quite a few of us kicking around not a million miles from you.

    You might be interested in a little event we put on, not to far from you




  • He's from a very weird place indeed.

    Good luck with your training etc... FR13 - some good people at Mersey Tri.

  • Watch it Holgs!! I might be in the NE now but thats not where my main roots are fromimage

  • I'm from the same county as young Holgs...

  • First tri I did (sprint, pool) there was one chap in the slowest heat doing a rather wonky looking breast stroke/doggy paddle mashup. And a posh looking lady doing a very sedate backstroke. If your cycling and running are as good as you say, you could probably turn in a fairly respectable overall time without bothering about mastering front crawl. In fact, I think you really should do it this way, just for the comedy value of being last out of the pool then thrashing past everyone on the bike and run.

  • Hi guys. Just an update for the people that helped me or anyone else who may be interested. 

    I went down to the local pool today. It started off as a disaster. As it was my first time swimming front crawl since i was 5 years old i was very rusty. I was breathing evey 1.5 strokes and was building up so much O2 debt i couldnt swim more than 50m. I became very frustrated at myself but asked a life guard for advice. He told me to try breathing every stroke. I did it and it worked fine. I did 5 x 100m sets which killed me. I have no idea what a good swimming pace is but the life guard said the pace was good.

    I kept getting water up my nose, any pointers? Also what trunks are best? Also considering full olympic now, is that too much for a first tri? 

    I have also contacted the local club and will be joining next week. Been out running twice this week, not feeling too fit at the moment but i am hoping some of the running sessions with the club will help improve my pace. 

    Any one else planning on doing liverpool Tri? First timers? 


  • for the swimming, joining a tri club and attending their swimming sessions has been really great for me. I started out at the point you were at, although i stuck to swimming breast stroke for a while, just upping the distance. For your breathing, be sure to exhale all the time, slowly breathing out will help get rid of that CO2, reduce the boyancy of your chest (which will raise your legs in the water) and make breathing in easier. Try a nose clip, I'm supprised how few people i see using them. Try upping the distance on your swimming but make a real effort to drop the pace and concentrate on breathing out, if you are the type who likes to read about stuff the swim smooth book is really helpful.


  • hilly, you frequenting FTC for swimming now? I need to get back into it as well but getting fat and lazy. Their 50M Aldershot gig on Tuesdays is good but I thhink I prefer the Farnham pool for technical enhancement.

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