Beginner requires advice

I've been a runner for a number of years and am looking for a new challenge, so I fancy giving the triathlon a go. Any tips/advice would be appreciated, especially about how to train and which event to go for(preferably with a shortish swim as thats my weak spot)


  • You could try a sprint; the standard distance is 400m swim, 20k bike and 5k run although these distances are occasionally changed slightly to suit particular routes (turnrounds etc). Some events even cater for novices at about half the above distances. Most, but not all, of these will be pool swims which should ease you in nicely. If you've got a decent road bike great! but don't worry about turning up with a mountain bike at these events - you wont be the only one. It's not worth investing vast sums of money on bikes and wetsuits etc until you are completely smitten. Make sure you have an approved bike helmet (it's compulsory).
    There is a fairly decent Magazine called 220Triathlon which is full of tips on training, racing, equipment and events. Their website is Have a look, pick an event local to you and give it a go. Finally, be prepared for an early start 07:00 is not unheard of and can be a shock to the system of those used to leisurely 10:30 or 11:00 road race start times.
    Any questions? post 'em here. Good luck.
  • Hi Viking,
    I'm new to Tri also. I can't help you that much as I'm currently training for my first race, but there is a good web-site called which I have found to be most helpful. It has different training programmes, nutrition and goes into depth about swimming / cycling / running techniques and equipment. It's worth checking out (and has tips on transition).

    I'm in a running club and have joined a masters swimming club, and a cycling club which has beeen very rewarding and enjoyable - I'd highly recommend it as they can point out what you're doing wrong. I'm currently learning tumble-turns and fly with my new swimming buddies and it's a real good laugh - if you have the opportunity to join a swimming group take it. Being a beginner, I'm afraid that's all the advice I can give you.

    All the best with your training.

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