Beginner needing some advice

Hi, I am a complete beginner who has always wanted to do a triathlon but i don't know where to start.

Currently i run 5k (11 min miles), 4 times a week and have increased one of the runs to 10k every other weekend.  I swim once a week (occasionally twice) just swimming lengths of front crawl and have a road bike that i go out on and cycle about 15 miles.  I would not say i am very good at any of them.

Is there a training book you would recommend?  Should i be looking at joining a gym (can't really afford that but would) and how long should i start training before an event?

Thanks for your help


  • Hi Lisa,

    You don't need to join a gym, just need a bike and some running shoes, what sort of events are you looking at entering?

    For sprint distance you are doing enough, I entered my first one last year with hardly any preparation just to have a go and got through ok, from then on I was hooked.

    You don't have to be any good at anything not many of us are image

  • Thank you that is really reasurring.  I was thinking of a sprint distance and starting off in a pool based swim.  I am going to watch a local event in September to get a feel for it.

    I worry most about my running as i am not that good at it and as much as i wouldn't care about time i wouldn't like to be last. 

    Did you follow a plan or just go for it?

  • Lisa - have a look at this - it may give you a few more clues.

    And don't worry about being last - most triathlons go in waves, so spectators never know who's leading and who's last. The important thing is to enjoy it!!

  • I didn't follow a plan, and still don't, I try to but I loose interest halfway through, I either make it too hard or too easy, I have done 3 sprints and one Olympic and have just started taking training more serious

    The Link Rafiki has posted is a great help, and the lovelly people on this forum have great advice and support..

    I would just do a bit of what your not so good at, its swimming for me so I focus on that and run a bit and bike a lot image

    You should enter in September, don't watch, you'll be fine, go for it image

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    you are doing enough to be able to do the one in September - why not enter and have fun and see if you like it? Then you have all winter to get serious about training if you find you are hooked and want to do more next year. If it is a pool based one then the waves are normally worked out by swim time so that you are swimming with people that swim at the same speed as you, so it is a good idea to time yourself over the distance (normally 400m for a sprint) so you don't end up either stuck with folk that are much slower or much faster than you. If you are pretty fast at swimming you might want to put a conservative time so that you are not in with all the speedy competitive types for your first one if that would intimidate you

  • Thank you, i looked at the link from Rafiki and it was a great help.  I am not sure about this September as have a couple of weeks holiday coming up.  Maybe i am just making excuses and will seriously think about it.  I am just worried that i am no where near fit enough and would hate it.  I will think about it though as i know i can easily run the distance and swim.  Maybe my cycling is not that strong but could work on it.

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    what distance is the bike for the one in September? if it is a sprint tri you will be ok. 

  • I think you've made the first important step - you've changed your name! You'll be wearing black and yella before you know it!

  • i was in a similar position to this last year until i watched my brother do our local tri. then he went and lent me andy holgates book which just gave me the push i needed. im now two sprints down training for an oly and i havent looked back. im in agreement with the sign up, do it, enjoy it and go on from there. 

  • Andy's book is brilliant. Well I think it is I've been staring at it for a couple of years and not actually read it yet but it's from his blog that know is goodimage. It will brain wash into doing something stupid like a IM.

    As above I would just enter a race and see if you like it before doing anything else. If you want to get a good training book once you have done that these are good.

    For swimming

    For tri

    But to be honist I won't get them just yet if you have any questions even if you think they are slightly daft I would come on the threads and ask. No such thing as a daft question only a stupid answer.

  • do it do it do it do it do it do it image

  • Ha, i am really thinking about doing it and yes i change my name as every one calls me dilly dally!

    The bike ride is 18 miles and i average about 15 at the moment in 60 mins (I am a girl incase that time is very slow!). 

    I have also contacted someone who does the tri every year for her advice on what the course is like.  i am very tempeted. 

    Thanks for the advice on the books i will defo look at them and think the advice to not read them till after trying the first one is a good idea. 

    Love the do it do it do it - no pressure or anyting!!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha

  • If its any consolation, 15 mph was my training speed for most of the year this year and I just completed my first ironman, so yes, just do it!! image

  • If I can still do tri with a titanium hip joint, then anyone can! Go on and do it, it's fun and you'll wonder why you didn't start before.

  • 15 mph isn't slow, It's not as fast as the racing snakes but your not thinking of getting into team GB yet are you? Oh and less of the just a girl lass. The ladies around here are harder and better than the blokes anyway. image

    What race is it anyway? You might meet some of the people posting at it. If your luck it will be Brit and if your unlucky might be me.

  • Do it, Do it, Do it, Do it image  *jumps off the bandwagon* 

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