10 questions I have for people who actually know things about triathlon

As I am sure I have mentioned before, I will be participating in my first triathlon on the 25th May (if any of you are at Thames Turbo, come say hi, I’ll be the one floundering around in the swimming pool and forgetting where they put their bike)

I’m no stranger to duathlons now and have learnt a lot along the way but the swimming part does add an extra element of complication to the matter. Which is why about 9 of the questions are related to swimming. Note here that I am also doing a pool swim, so I have avoided the other 1000 questions I have regarding open water, people kicking you in the face and how to actually put a wetsuit on. I could (and will) google these questions and ask people in my club, but it actually has helped me to write them down…

  1. What is the best hairstyle? This sounds like a ridiculous question but is genuinely legitimate. For running, I usually look like a pineapple. For duathlons, I either French plait it (stressful, tired arms) or a low ponytail (gets annoying when running). WHAT DO I DO FOR A TRIATHLON?!
  2. Why is swimming so hard? I can run quite well and I can cycle quite well but swimming is just horrific. Also, why does my swimming pool not have a ‘average’ lane – too many really slow and really fast people means I either crash or get crashed into.
  3. Do I have to wear a swimming hat? Answer to this question will also impact question 1. Also will mean I need to buy a swimming hat.
  4. Do people tumble turn? (Must note here, I cannot tumble turn)
  5. Can I practice swimming in my tri shorts and top in the pool? Will people think I am weird/will Virgin Active kick me out? I am used to marathon ‘practice everything like you would on the day’ so it seems odd not to tri (HA look at me) it.
  6. What do you do about a sports bra? Are there special quick drying sports bras? Or should I just chuck on a tonne of Vaseline once I am out of the water and hope it doesn’t chafe? I can’t not have a sports bra, soz.
  7. How quickly will my tri shorts dry? I know the padding is light, but how light?
  8. Can I dry my feet? My feet are gross and they will get more gross if they are wet and shoved into socks….hang on a second, does putting on socks take up too much time? Do I have to talcum powder my feet and scrap socks? (although 100% sure I am not in the kind of category where ‘putting on socks’ is deemed as a waste of time)
  9. When is an appropriate time to actually turn up with tri bars i.e. how good to I have to get in order to avoid ‘all the gear no idea’?
  10. When (‘if’ would be more optimistic) I get a puncture, do I just sack it off or try and repair it? Note, I have not been practising my speed-pumping, plus I haven’t ever had to use my CO2 so actually don’t really know how to do it.
  11. And an extra number 11…..TT starts at some ungodly hour. I will have to leave home at 5am probably. How many alarms do I need to set to avoid getting a DNS, let alone a DNF?!

Hopefully in 4 weeks time I will be able to answer my own questions….but until now, please help! Any other newbie questions I should be asking?

4 thoughts on “10 questions I have for people who actually know things about triathlon

  1. These are all valid questions. I’ll help with the ones I can.

    2. Swimming is hard because it is unnatural. Most new swimmers have difficulty with the breathing. work on breathing and body position first.
    3. If you are required to wear a swim cap, it will be provided by the race.
    4. You don’t have to do flip turns. Most of the swimmers will probably not do them either.
    5. Maybe try your kit once in the pool. Don’t use it all of the time, as the chlorine will wear it out.
    7. If it is warm your shorts will dry fairly quick. Your shorts being a bit damp won’t bother you.
    8. Yes put a towel in transition to dry your feet. Socks are a personal choice. it you don’t mind the extra 30 secs to put them on, then wear them to avoid blisters.
    9. Start practicing with Tri bars now. Use them in a race when you are comfortable handling the bike. They will ultimately save you time and energy on the course.
    10. if you are not skilled changing tire, then wait for race support to help, or pick you up. On a short race fixing a tire will kill your time anyway. On longer races I carry a tube and co2 so I don’t get stranded.
    11. Two alarms, but you will be so hyped you may not need them.

    Happy training, and best of luck with your race. If you have any other questions, just let me know. There is also tins of info on my site for new triathletes.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome – thanks Shawn! I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised that the breathing does get easier (gradually!) because I am not used to having my breathing dictated by my body position rather than the other way around!!

      Love the site – some really useful bits and pieces.


  2. Pingback: Race Report – Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon | These Girls Do

  3. Pingback: 2015 – a wrap up | These Girls Do

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