Just a nother newbie

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08/03/2013 at 10:19

Hi all,

   Right, this year is the year of doing a Triathlon for me. However I keep bottling it because I dont want to make a fool of myself.

Anyway there is a nice sprint Tri In Sherborne in August which I think I can crack.

I however have some very green questions.

Can you only use front crawl for the swim?

Am I going to hold anybody up swimming IE how is the swim set out usually?

What on earth would I wear to compete? Are the all in ones necessary? If not what are the alternatives?

Plus I have a very cheap road bike I am just worried I am going to look a bit daft compared to 1000£ bikes etc

I just want to complete a Tri there is no way I will compete with the top guys etc

Any thoughts much appreciated

cougie    pirate
08/03/2013 at 10:22
Can you only use front crawl for the swim? Apart from back stroke - anything goes.

Am I going to hold anybody up swimming IE how is the swim set out usually? Sounds like open water - start at the back or expect to be swam over.

What on earth would I wear to compete? Are the all in ones necessary? If not what are the alternatives? Wetsuit if outside ? Then you can change if you want - or pick up a tri suit - its up to you.

Plus I have a very cheap road bike I am just worried I am going to look a bit daft compared to 1000?? bikes etc ??1000 bikes look cheap ! But really - dont worry - just tell yourself how much faster you'd have been if only you'd bought that 6k Cervelo. So long as the bike is safe and roadworthy - nobody cares.
08/03/2013 at 10:28

+1 with cougs

as for kit, for my 1st tri I wore a pair of lycra running shorts for the swim (sea - was warm enough for no wetsuit which was good as I didn't have one!) and then put a running vest on in transition.  did for me OK

if it's a pool swim, you can swim in swim trunks and then change in transition - but using lycra shorts (padded or unpadded) makes it easier.

and don't fret if you're a breaststroker - I've been beaten by one in a race swim!!  but generally crawl is the fastest stroke so if you get hooked, learn it!

08/03/2013 at 10:28

Cougie, so just so Ive got this straight. If you buy one of these 'trisuits' ........ does that mean you go swimming in them, hope straight out of the water, then throw your shoes on and off you go on the bike ........ there is no other things to 'change' or anything? You do everything in the tri suit with nothing but shoes to change?


08/03/2013 at 10:29

DF3 - yes

08/03/2013 at 10:31

Hmm .... interesting, so that begs my next question, why on earth would you bother with anything BUT a trisuit? Why would you voluntarily put something else on that means more faffing around the changing area and losing more time?

WildWill    pirate
08/03/2013 at 10:35

On longer races some people prefer 2-piece. This makes it easier if you need to use a portaloo etc

also if racing long distance ... it comes down to what your comfortable in .... there's little worst than have a long way to go when you are not comfortable

Or if it is really hot / some people like to put fresh top on (can be refreshing) for the run where tight areo fit is not as important

08/03/2013 at 10:47

+1 with WW - it's personal choice

you are allowed to swim in a 2 piece outfit (shorts and top) but many prefer the freedom of just wearing the lower half in the swim and then put the top on in transition - although most struggle with this when they have a wet body!

08/03/2013 at 12:05

Thanks for all the info.


I'm just trying to keep costs down really. If I like it then you spend a few more quid etc.

So first stage I think is 400m pool swim. If I went down the lycra running shorts route for instance would I continue to wear them  for the bike ride I think its only 20k and whack a Vest on for that? Then coming to the run I suppose I change my cycling shoes over to running shoes and off I go? I think its only a 6K run

08/03/2013 at 12:16



Trisuit issues - on longer races you may need to stop and it takes longer to get this off than just whipping off your shorts.


Some people find them very revealing and just cannot stand the thought of wandering around in a one-piece.   I have an ongoing argument with one lady triathlete who thinks they are the devil's work but personally I think they are great and very forgiving of a less than perfect figure.

Edited: 08/03/2013 at 12:17
08/03/2013 at 12:24

So what would you say the split is in terms of people who use one piece vs 2 pieces ...... Im assuming its not 50/50 ..... ??

Also lets say we go with the two piece option, so youve got your bottoms on in the pool swimming away, you come out of the pool, you then presumable throw the top on for the bike ride, then take the top off for the run and put a vest on or something ....... so basically you are in your shorts the whole time, but its just you wear the top part for cycling only, then a shirt or vest for the run leg? 

Is that how it works with a 2 piece option?


08/03/2013 at 12:42

As an occasional triathlete, who is loath to spend money on things that I only use occasionally, I have a pair of tri-shorts, which are like lycra cycling shorts, but with thin, quick drying padding.

I swim in these, with no top, then pull on a running vest before I get on the bike.  I choose my loosest vest as they are quite tricky to wriggle into when you are wet.

I also wear socks for the bike & run stage, but this is personal preference.

08/03/2013 at 12:45

ahh cool, cheers Lou.

It does seem the most sensible option (unless of course its cold, then I cant imagine riding around at speed with a loost vest on would be much fun!)


Dave The Ex- Spartan    pirate
08/03/2013 at 13:42
It all depends on the length of the race..

Sprint or Oly. I wear a tri suit and no socks

HIM I wear tri shorts and Monaco

IM I wear speedos under my wetsuit, change to bike shorts and bike top, and then run shorts and run top both bike & run with socks

All about comfort for the longer distance
cougie    pirate
08/03/2013 at 15:00
Putting a top on when youve been in the water is a bugger. I'd go one piece just to avoid that.

Something like this is only ??30 or so - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005QP28J0/?tag=hydra0b-21&hvadid=9582564309&ref=asc_df_B005QP28J0

You can always wear it as a base layer for going out cycling after.
Or Eurovision parties. Whatever.
WildWill    pirate
08/03/2013 at 15:01

running tops are also looser and can cause a bit of drag on the bike


08/03/2013 at 15:03

plus would I be right in thinking if you are just starting out, you probably arent likely to need a toilet mid race, so therefore especially when you are only just starting out, it would be easier to just to use a tri-suit until you got more experienced, saw what other people were doing and then go from there.

Im thinking less equipment and 'stuff' is less things to remember and go wrong.

08/03/2013 at 15:07

All Great stuff

Lou I think I prefer that option to be fair. Ill have a look for some cheapy shorts. Just going to be weird cycling with a soggy Ar**

cougie    pirate
08/03/2013 at 15:11
You really don't notice it. Or maybe I spend so long in T1 that I've dried out ?
08/03/2013 at 15:23

Do Tri shorts come with padding

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