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What is a Triathlon?

A triathlon is the combination of swimming, cycling and running (raced in that order) all put together into one race, over varying distances. The swimming can be in a swimming pool where you can happily see the bottom but is often in a lake. A Lake swim is far more difficult (but more fun) as you will have to battle the elements and other swimmers and often you cannot really see where you are going!

If you enjoy running, you like to get out on your bike and you like to swim why not give a triathlon a go? After all it is just those three all put together!

How to get started

The majority of events organised for children will have a pool swim. Children’s triathlons are usually open to ages 8 and upwards, and will typically include a 200 meter swim, a 5 kilometre bike ride and a 2.5 kilometre run. Again these distances will vary depending on age so it is all about finding something that is suitable for you and your child.

To help you locate a Junior Triathlon check out Locate a Triathlon or the blog

What you need to Race

A bike and helmet, a pair of trainers, a triathlon suit or swim suit, a swim hat & goggles, a snack & drink, a race belt (optional) or safety pins.

Some useful tips

  • It’s a good idea when competing to take a bright towel & a small storage box for your equipment.
  • Make sure you label all your clothing, helmets, gloves, goggles clearly. The transition area is usually a sea of clothing.
  • A race belt is a cheap worthwhile investment. Not only does it prevent you making holes in your tri suit with pins, but it’s a lot quicker to put on.
  • Another trick is to use elastic laces in your trainers.....re-lace your trainers with these stretchy bands and there is no need to tie your laces, just slide your feet in and go!
  • Practice transitions - Try to take some time to practice the changeover at home. Lay everything out on a towel practice putting your number on, then your helmet and trainers, remembering to take your goggles off first! Then practice getting off your bike and taking your helmet off before setting off on your run.

Race day

  • Make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Go straight to registration to collect your race number and the stickers for your bike and helmet. Make sure you are clear which wave you are racing in and the start time.
  • Place your race number stickers on your bike, Helmet and attach to your race belt.
  • Once registered go straight to transition with all your equipment. You will have to wear your bike helmet to be admitted into the transition area.
  • Rack your bike in the allotted space.
  • Organise you trainers, socks?, race belt, number on a brightly coloured towel on the floor by your bike.
  • Try to notice other bikes, towels etc that are next to or near your bike to assist you in locating your equipment after the swim.
  • Try to make yourself aware of the exits and entry points to the transition area.
  • Familiarise yourself with the swim start location. Don't forget to take your swim hat and goggles with you.

Triathlon fact

Did You Know? The world's longest and toughest triathlon is the World Decca-Iron man Championships in Monterrey, Mexico. Athletes swim 24 miles, cycle 1,120 miles and run 262 miles! !!!!! Maybe save that one for next year..................