How to go about doing a Triathlon

OK so i have done a few half marathons - done the FLM and really have always fancied doing a Triathlon (small one to start with) Fairly good swimmer (swam for North of England oh many moons ago) What sort of training would i have to do ie how many times a week would i have to swim/run/cycle? Complete beginner in this field so any tips would be appreciated and also some small events that i could enter!

Many thanks and Happy New Year to you all x


  • Lulabelle - where are you based?
  • In Lincolnshire (Stamford)
  • My mummy calls me Lulabelle.

  • oi will i though you were coming down one weekend for a bike ride??
  • thought.... thought
  • oh lulabelle in answer to your question, it really depends how long a tri you want to do, and how well you want to do

    i'd get 'the triathlete's training bible' by joe friel, and 'triathlon 101' by jon mora - great introductory books with all the advice you'll need
  • Just Jj why does your mum call you Lulabelle? I get called all sorts from Loops to Lou - that's having a name like Louise i guess!!
    Andy thanks for the tips will get the book - do you know of any small events around the country?
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • What's wrong with that? Nice father christmas hat!!!
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    just yanking your chain

    what hat?

    lulabelle, good luck and welcome to triathlon. how many times do you currently swim and run (what type of sessions)? I presume you have a racing bike?

    if your body can manage the ideal thing would be to do 3 sessions of each discipline a week and maybe one conditioning session with weights.
    the sessions to comprise: speed, strength and sitance. i prefer to skip the distance runs now (can i say that on rw forum without getting hung....hey ho) in favour of the bike. If you are going to get any decent times you need to work on the bike as your new discipline. time on the road is important. could you substitute for sunday run and maybe do a couple of middle distance runs in the week to make up for it?

    you're a very fast swimmer then - oooh can we come and watch you in your first tri whenh you climb out first with your swimmers bod!? <drool>

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Hi

    How much would cycling in the gym count on a fairly high resistance? I find fitting cycling in hard at this time of year.
    If I was to do the mini triathalon is there one that you would recommend for first timers?
  • Daz you perv! ;o)

    Vanessa I think a lot of people find going out cycling hard at this time of year, me included. You could always use an indoor trainer.

    There are loads of 'fast twitch' or sprint tri's all over the country so it would depend on where you were to what's about.

    I'm not an experienced triathlete, but there's a few on here who can give you good advice!
  • Taunton Tri 400-23k-5k is brilliant for first timers, in fact I think they also do a novices event at half the above distances. Usually held in May.
    Have a look at the 220 website for info / race dates:
  • Lulabelle

    I wouldn't worry about getting too scientific to start with. It sounds like you have the perfect base to try some low key triathlons and see if you enjoy them (which you will). As Daz says incorporate some cycling into your routine and then enter some early season sprint distance events, the Eton ones are good if you are down South, otherwise have a look in 220 magazine.

    Probably the most technical and bewildering aspect of tris at first are the transitions. Laying everything out on a towel by the side of your bike and trying to remember to take your helmet off after the bike or hopping around with a leg stuck in a wetsuit. It all adds to the fun of it. Kind of like a dressing up race at school.

    Good Luck

  • You need to practice to run off the bike. Runners often have good stamina to get them through a sprint distance tri without to much problem, though it's always a shock to get off the bike and start running.

    After the first tri you will find out your weekness and then you can start to get scientific with your training.

    If you get down to cornwall we have many short tri's with 'pool' and 'sea swims'.
    triathlons in cornwall
  • fudge link didn't work.
  • Thankyou all for your help - i do appreciate it. I have just been approached by a friend to do the speed Tri in london in July (thinking about it) - I do have a very good bike so am lucky on that part. Oh yes another thing what do you wear - do you have an all in one bit of clothing - know its a daft question but i was just curious!
  • if you're a member of a gym, try some bike run sessions. 10 mins on the bike followed by a 5 min run. Wouldn't worry too much about getting out on the bike this time of year. Most people ( men and women ) keep their all in one swim suits on, after the swim and do the bike run wearing the suit.
    Did see someone wear their wetsuit on the bike section in an ITU race on TV, the comentator, Steve Trew had never seen that done before.
  • BTW whar and where is the speed Tri in London or do you mean the sprint tri at the London Tri. held at the Excell centre
  • Lulabelle-wear what you feel comfortable in. I wore a tri swimsuit for my first one and just added a t-shirt for the bike, taking it off again for the run. My number was attached to a belt so no worry about putting it on clothing.

    Tri skinsuits are good, I've just bought an Ironman one for this season.

    Another website for events you might be interested in is
  • Man you lot are really serious about it all!!! Lulabelle, If you're Stamford, which is Peterboro-ish if Nottingham isn't too far you could try the Mansfield Sprint. Of course it all depends on a) how serious YOU are about it, b)what sort of distances you feel comfortable at (I'd recommend a Sprint (400m pool based (no wet suit required) swim, 20k bike, 5k run, or there abouts)) and c) how much money you want to burn, ie wetsuits aren't cheap if you're only going to use it once.
    It also depends on how competative you are. If you're really competative and a good swimmer, as your start time is solely based on your anticipated swim time, if you put a fast swim time on the application form (ie sub 7-8 mins for 400m) you'll be in with the SERIOUS racers, all lycra and aero-bars. If, on the other hand, you just want to have a good race for your first attempt, just put a slower swim time (over 10mins for 400m) and you'll be in with more novices and have a really fun event. Choice is yours.

  • I have the gear, but I'm not fast, just like to look the part and give the opposition something to think about! :o)
  • I don't have the gear or look the part, I just like to give the competition something to laugh at! ;0)

  • Lulabelle
    I did my first ever Tri at London last year (sprint) and loved every minute - apart from the "green tea" which is the dock water!

    gear came in all sorts of shapes and sizes so don't worry about that - comfort is the key.

    One tip - enter a single sex wave if at all possible - men can be such bullies!
  • <lucy stops lurking>

    I am currently forbidden (sensible, but strict physio) from running (next 6 months), so have started training on the bike and swimming more to keep my fitness up. I'd alway thought about getting into triathlon, and now it seems I will have done the training by the time my running legs are allowed out again.

    My sought after silver lining has materialised. Cool.

  • oh my god!

    I had my frist swim in years this morning and boy how hard is it?

    It took me 21.55 to cover 1km - i did it 25m crawl 25 breast stroke

    Hopefully will get easier if i swim once a week so i can build up to the whole ting crawl
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