Four common triathlon myths busted

20 March, 2017

Four common triathlon myths busted

Don't think you're ready for a triathlon yet? Getting yourself to the starting line can be easier than you think. We debunk some of the top reasons holding many of us back from taking the plunge... 

I NEED LOTS OF FANCY KIT AND EQUIPMENT

Admittedly, it can be easy to accumulate a lot of new gear as you start getting into triathlon for the first time, but this doesn’t have to be the case. With just a few pieces of kit and equipment essential to take part, you may be surprised to find that you already own the majority of the things you’ll need! To help you make sure you’ve got the essentials, our simple list of beginner friendly equipment will help you get to the start line without too much shopping.

GOGGLES – Most people have a pair of goggles lying around at the bottom of a sports bag, and they’ll help you to see where you’re going in open water. Not got a pair? They can be picked up easily from your local leisure centre for less than a tenner.

WETSUIT – Because the swim section of the event takes place in open water, it’s compulsory to wear a wetsuit. A swim-specific suit is much more comfortable than a general water sports wetsuit, and provides you with extra warmth and buoyancy. For information on wetsuit hire, please email leeds@britishtriathlon.org.

SWIMWEAR – You’ll want to wear something under your wetsuit, because you’ll be taking it off in front of others in the transition area. A swimming costume (and maybe a sports-bra if you want extra support) or pair of tight fitting trunks will be just fine.

SHORTS AND T-SHIRT – Once you’re on dry land, you may want to put some warmer clothes on before you head out on the bike. Lightweight shorts and a t-shirt can easily be popped on top of your swimwear, and you’ll find that you dry off pretty quickly once you hit the road on two wheels.

BIKE – You’ll often see seasoned triathletes flying around on lightweight road bikes, but it’s perfectly acceptable to use a mountain bike or hybrid bike if you wish. The only stipulation is that it is in a roadworthy condition, so we would strongly advise testing the brakes, tyres and tyre pressure beforehand, to ensure you stay safe.

HELMET – It’s against the rules to take part in a triathlon without wearing a helmet, so make sure you pick up a good fitting one if you don’t have one. They won’t set you back much, and everyone will be wearing them, so don’t worry about looking silly.

RUNNING SHOES – For your final leg you can continue to wear the same shorts and t-shirt from the bike, as well as the same pair of shoes. These don’t have to be top of the range, and we would recommend that you don’t buy a new pair just for race day – as this may result in blistering and chafing.

EVENTS ARE EXPENSIVE TO ENTER

Generally, the longer the distance, the more an event will cost, although this is not always the case. GO TRI events are specifically targeted at first timers, and generally cost less than £25 to enter. Still think this is a lot of money? When you enter a triathlon you’re getting three events for the price of one, so think about spreading the cost between each of the three elements.

I’M NOT FIT ENOUGH

Triathlon has been thrown into the spotlight in recent years by the likes of the Brownlee Brothers, but it’s not just for super fit elite athletes. Just like a fun-run, most of the competitors on the start line are just there to have a good time, and get satisfaction from simply crossing the finish line.

Our GO TRI event on Saturday incorporates short, manageable distances, and with just a few weeks  of focused exercise leading up to the event even the most unfit can get themselves to the finish line.

I’VE NEVER SWUM IN OPEN WATER BEFORE

Fear not, the thought of getting into the open-water needn’t be a scary prospect. The GO TRI event caters for those wanting to swim as little as 200m, which is the equivalent to 8 lengths in an average sized swimming pool. Breaststroke is fine if you’re not up for putting your face in the water, and there’ll be plenty of people taking the swim stage nice and easy.

Plus, your wetsuit will give you extra buoyancy, meaning if you start to get panicked you can simply lie on your back and take a few deep breaths before carrying on with your swim.

A series of novice friendly GO TRI open water swim famliarisation sessions will take place in the lead up to the June event. More details are to be released in due course, but to find out more please email leeds@britishtrialon.org.