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Thinking about taking the plunge... not to mention the pedal and the stride? Here are 10 compelling reasons why triathlon training and competition will not only improve your overall fitness level, but also bring a host of other benefits…

words Marc Abbott pictures Rolf Brenner/Corbis



It’s an all-encompassIng workout Triathlon demands

great core strength allied to the need for muscle power in different areas of your body for swimming, running and cycling. For swimming, think upper torso and especially your shoulders; for cycling and running, you’re looking at giving your lower half more of a workout, developing solid glutes, quads and calves.


You’ll become a more complete athlete There’s

very little chance of being either fit or well-rounded enough in your previous training to be a first class swimmer, cyclist and runner before you take up triathlon. The challenge of triathlon training is to develop strong points and work on weaknesses.

| outdoor fitness may 2013


You can experIence the thrIll of competItIon And

the nervous excitement that comes with every race start! Many people choose triathlon as the sole source of their racing fix. From dodging the elbows and feet of fellow competitors as you enter the water, to the road race conditions of a cycle leg, pitting yourself against others in one of the ultimate endurance sports is rife with friendly rivalry, camaraderie and sheer, gritted-teeth exertion. It’s a rush.


You’ll avoId InjurIes

Triathlon ensures you mix up your training, doing different drills to exercise different parts of your body, with the added bonus of impact-free swimming and cycling as part of your regime. Dividing your

training between three disciplines helps to avoid over-training and injuries associated with over-use of particular muscle groups. It’s a much better balance than simply being a swimmer, cyclist or runner.


You’ll become more flexIble The varied nature of

your training will naturally loosen up your joints, particularly in the shoulders (when did you last see a cyclist making obvious use of their arms in race, unless they were lucky enough to win?). Triathlon’s holistic approach to training and conditioning enforced on a triathlete breeds whole-body flexibility.


get Your motIvatIon back Feel like your training is stuck in a rut? Tired of the same run or the over-familiar bike ride?

The idea with triathlon training is mixing it up, in the pool and on the road. And if you fancy a day off, there’s always Pilates or other core work. Your training options become massively increased in variety, which, as we all know, is the spice of life.


there’s safetY In numbers

Compared to cycling time trials or 10k running races, you’re unlikely to find yourself dropped by the pack and racing on your own. This means you’ve always got someone around the same pace as yourself to race against, and you’re also arguably less likely to throw in the towel.


You can start small and work towards epIc goals

From the beginner-friendly super-sprint distance, via an Olympic distance race and all the way

‘From the beginner-friendly super sprint all the way up to the Ironman discipline, there’s a triathlon to suit your level of fitness’

up to Ironman (a whopping 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile ride and topped off with a marathon), there’s a triathlon to suit your level of fitness.


You’ll never stop learnIng To become a

triathlete means accumulating a new set of skills. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never get bored of your sport. Ever tried getting your feet into cycling shoes that are already clipped into your pedals, while riding? Ever tried to park a bike, swap your shoes and get running in the quickest time possible? The skills required for triathlon are quickly learned, and easily honed, but in this world of marginal gains you’ll forever be striving for a competitive advantage in transition.


You’ll become a part of somethIng Many of

us thrive on a feeling of belonging; not only will taking up triathlon give you that sense of brotherhood (or sisterhood), but it will also open the doors to meeting hundreds of likeminded people at clubs and races.

may 2013 outdoor fitness |


Sort your Swim

A plunge into open water can be a daunting prospect, so here’s how to practise plus what to expect on race day An open water sprint triathlon swim is generally 750m and will take anywhere from eight to 30 minutes. The distance may not be huge, but this is only the start of the race so you want to exit the water feeling fresh for the rest of the race. In training you should combine a mix of endurance and speed sessions as well as technique drills which you can do in the pool. Try these workouts, with their drills explained.

Front crAwl technique

Dribble drills: drag your finger tips over the top of the water. This makes you swim with a high elbow. Fist drills: swimming with a closed fist encourages you to ‘catch’ the water with your forearm

Speed drillS (1,900m totAl) Warm-up with 50m full stroke, 50m dribble drills (see above), 50m fist drills (see above) and 50m full stroke. Set A: 10 x 100m Swim these at a high pace, have 30 seconds rest after each 100m. Set B: 10 x 50m Do these at maximum pace, they help to develop your speed. Take 30 seconds rest after each 50m. Cool down: 200m full stroke front crawl.

endurAnce drillS (1,400m totAl) Warm-up with 50m full stroke, 50m dribble drills, 50m fist drills, and 50m full stroke. Main set: 4 x 250m front crawl. Swim these at a steadier state, concentrating on maintaining good technique. Cool down: 200m full stroke front crawl.

Swim tipS > Try to practise in open water a few times before race day to gain confidence.

> Wear an extra swimming hat if you feel the cold.

> When you get in the water, do some front crawl drills to warm up.

> Make sure you start off at the front or back of the field depending on your ability.

> Know the course! Make sure you know

which buoys to pass on the left and which on the right. > When you exit the swim you might feel light headed as you have been horizontal for a while, so walk a few steps as you start to undo your wetsuit zip. Once you feel ok start jogging to transition 1 (T1) while pulling your wetsuit off your arms. > When you get to T1 pull your wetsuit down as far as it can go and pull each leg out one at a time. This can be tricky so practise at your open water training sessions.

practise taking off your wetsuit before the race

may 2013 outdoor fitness |

7 3

reSolve your ride

Strict rules apply to the cycling section of a triathlon, so read on for how to get in shape and what to expect on race day When you arrive at the race you’ll see all kinds of bike bling... thousands of pounds of bike equipment, all shiny and carbon! However, it’s not necessary to have the best kit for a great race. Any bike is suitable for a triathlon provided it meets the regulations (front/rear brakes). If you want you can easily add clip-on aero bars to any bike, which will allow you to ride in a more aerodynamic position, potentially speeding you up, or at least saving you energy! Once you’ve got your bike ready for racing you’ll need to position it in the transition zone. Don’t worry about your bike getting nicked, transition will be well marshalled and you will only be allowed to retrieve your bike with your race number. Usually the organisers will have numbered racking, so you place your bike at the corresponding number. Be careful in transition as it may be possible that other waves will have started, so there could be competitors racing. When you enter transition 1 after the swim and arrive at your bike, as soon as you have taken off your wetsuit, the first thing you should do is put your helmet on. You must do this before touching your bike. If your helmet isn’t on and you remove your bike from the rack you may receive a time penalty. This also applies when re-entering the transition zone after the bike leg – do not remove or unbuckle your helmet until your bike is securely racked. There are two methods to getting your bike shoes on. The first and easiest is to put them on in transition, run in them to the mount line at the edge of the transition zone, jump on and clip in. The second, harder, quicker method is to have your shoes already clipped in to your pedals, and fasten them to your bike with an elastic band. This way you simply put you helmet on, run with your bike barefoot, jump on and put your feet into your shoes while cycling. This is faster, but it does require a lot of practice for it to work well. Whichever method you opt for, you cannot mount your bike until you are over the mount line (it will be an obvious well marked line out of T1 and marshals will be there) and when you return into T2 you must dismount before the mount line. During the race itself you need to be aware of drafting. Most races don’t allow drafting, because riding in a competitor’s slipstream gives you an undue performance advantage. For this reason there is a notional ‘box’ measuring 3m wide by 7m long behind a rider. You are allowed 15 seconds to overtake an athlete, but if you spend longer than this

within the ‘box’ you may receive a drafting penalty, typically two minutes. One key issue for the ride is to make sure you go the right way! It sounds easy but I’m sure some athletes (including me) have experienced that awful moment when you you think ‘why haven’t I seen another competitor, have I gone wrong and how much further do I go before I turn back around!’. The organisers will have put out arrows at junctions, and may have marshals too, but the responsibility lies with the athlete. Try to know the course before the race as it will remove some of the pressure experienced on race day. Finally, make sure you keep taking sips from your drink bottle and if you want to use energy gels (with or without caffeine), take them after 5-10 minutes of starting the bike section. Practise using one type of energy brand in training so you know you can tolerate it during a race - the last thing you want is unpleasant tummy troubles!

“You must put your helmet on before touching your bike. If your helmet isn’t on and you remove your bike from the rack you may receive a time penalty”

dismount before you enter transition 2

may 2013 outdoor fitness |



Run foR the line

there’s just 5km to run in a sprint triathlon, but how do you ensure smooth, fast progress towards the finish line? As soon as you have racked your bike, get your running shoes on as quickly as possible (elasticated laces make this a lot easier) and make sure they feel secure and comfortable So, you’re through transition 2, starting to run the 5km. How do you feel? Normally 5km is ok – tough, but ok. However, triathlon is different! As soon as you start running you feel an odd, jelly feeling in your legs, as if they’re controlled by someone else. Don’t worry, this is normal and athletes of all abilities will experience it to some degree. To combat ‘jelly legs’ incorporate ‘brick’ sessions into your training. Once a week add a shortish run (20 mins) on to the end of your bike session. You’ll become more accustomed to the feeling and how to

effectively manage it during a race situation. In a race, think about your pace. You’ve already swum and cycled and now you’re running 5km! So start comfortably and if you feel good then increase your pace. Ideally you want a negative split, where your second half of the run is quicker then the first. To help with this, you need to know the course. Is it one lap or two, where is the turn point? This information will give you useful markers during the race. Importantly you also need to know where the finish line is. As you approach the finish think about the feeling of elation you’ll experience as you cross the line. Use this to push yourself, digging deep into your reserves to achieve your best possible time.

“As soon as you start running you feel an odd, jelly feeling in your legs, like they’re controlled by someone else. Don’t worry, this is normal”

10 6

| outdoor fitness may 2013

tRaining foR a 5km Run Fartlek session

> Warm-up for 10 mins at an easy pace.

> Do some technique drills (high knees, short fast steps, strides).

> Run for 30 minutes (changing your pace - hard, easy, flat out sprint, at random intervals and work hard up any hills). > Cool down with an easy 15 mins jog.

Pyramid speed session (easiest on a running track)

> Warm-up for 10 mins with a gentle jog.

> Run 400m at 80% maximum effort or just below race pace, then rest (either walking or complete rest) for 1-2 mins, then run 600m at the same pace, rest, 800m, rest, 600m, rest, then a final 400m. > Cool down with an easy 15 mins jog.

rich Sumpter, hooked on triathlon

Anxious about your first race? Follow our advice below for a smooth debut

my FirSt triAthlon Coach and elite triathlete Rich Sumpter recalls his first race

whAt to do on rAce dAy everything you wanted to know, but were too embarrassed to ask!

The day you have been training and preparing for has arrived. Here are some helpful tips to make your first triathlon go smoothly (in fact, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first triathlon or your hundredth, these tips might come in handy!).

1 2 3 4

Make a checklist of the kit you will need and double check it the night before. Check the website of the race for any last minute alterations and to find out registration time and your wave start time. For pool sprint races the waves will be spaced according to your swim ability, for open water sprint races it will be a mass start according to age and sex. Arrive at the venue with plenty of time. You don’t want to add to your nerves by rushing around, and it always takes longer than you think to register, leave your kit in the transition zones and get changed into your wetsuit. Register and collect your numbers and stickers. For open water races you will be given a swimming cap that you must wear. Usually you will put a numbered sticker on your cycling helmet and one on your bike. You will also have numbers for your tri-suit/top or you can use an elasticated number belt.


Go to transition to rack your bike, place your bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses and trainers next to your bike. If you leave your bag in transition make sure it isn’t in anybody else’s way and leave all race kit in transition – you can’t take anything from spectators during the race.


Place your helmet on your bike, straps undone. Leave your cycling shoes next to your bike (or clipped in to your pedals if you are more experienced). Your water bottles, bike pump and spare inner tubes should already be securely fitted.


Leave your running shoes next to your bike, laces undone (or use elastic laces to speed up transition).


Have a look around transition and make a mental note of where you have racked your bike, and where the swim/bike/run exits and entrances are.


Either put your wetsuit on in transition or put it on at the swim start about 20 mins before your start time (it takes longer than you think to squeeze into it!). Don’t forget to take your goggles and swimming cap with you.


Race hard and remember to enjoy yourself. It’s meant to be fun!

“Many years ago I used to be eight stone overweight. I decided I wanted to ‘have a go’ at a triathlon and lost a fair bit of weight in the process. “My first triathlon was an experience. It was so early in the morning, facing the cold, dark water, my first thought was - what was I thinking? I had to ask a fellow triathlete how to sort out my kit in transition and how to attach my number to ‘the elasticated number belt thingy’. “I looked like a teddy bear in my wetsuit and I spent at least 5 mins in transition 1 putting on socks and cycle gloves. I even had a little snack to keep me going while everybody else around me was leaving transition as quickly as they could. I remember the feeling when I came off the bike into transition 2 and thought I wouldn’t be able to walk let alone run 5km! Yet 1 hr 30 mins later I was hooked! “From my first race, triathlon became a way of life. Even now I still get the same excitement before a race, the shock as the cold water enters my wetsuit and the joy of finishing. No matter what age you are there is always an individual goal - and the water is still cold and dark!”

Rich Sumpter coaches at the new tri:aveyron training centre in southwest France, helping athletes of all abilities to work on their technique and fitness... and recover in the sun! Sports science testing and altitude training sessions are also done at the on-site lab under the guidance of Beth Damms MSc (di p) Exercise Physiology. Find more details at

may 2013 outdoor fitness |


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BEGINNER’s GUIDE TO TRIATHLON “If you’re traInIng early mornIng, perhaps a pre-work swim, eat something simple before you go such as a couple of slices of toast, a cereal bar or a banana. You’re looking for something that is easy to digest,” says Dr Currell.

“eat as soon as PossIble after

training. The sooner you can eat the quicker you will recover, which is key for triathletes looking to train again later in the day,” says Currell. He recommends milk and a piece of fruit as an ideal post-training snack that combines both protein and carbohydrate.

“A lot of sportsmen and women don’t get enough protein at breakfast, so consider eating a boiled egg or an extra yoghurt” “DIvIDe your meals Into thIrDs

– one third unprocessed carbohydrates (such as brown rice), one third protein and one third fruit, vegetables or salads,” advises Currell. “You need to consume about 20g of protein per meal, which is an average chicken breast or a pint of milk. Certain amino acids are ‘essential’ because your body cannot make them, but if you eat anything that comes from an animal, fish or dairy the food will contain all the essential amino acids.” He adds that a lot of people, including sportsmen and women, don’t get enough protein at breakfast, so consider eating a boiled egg or an extra yoghurt.

stick with familiar products on race day

“you Probably want to eat about

three hours before the start of a race to let the food pass through your digestive system. You don’t want it bouncing around in your stomach,” says Currell.

“hyDratIon Is ImPortant, but the amount you sweat is individual,” explains Currell. “Weigh yourself before and after training and the difference in your weight in kilos is approximately the volume of fluids you have lost in sweat. If you are training or racing, aim to replace one-and-a-half times the volume you have lost, but over a couple of hours, not immediately.”

“DurIng a race only sugary

carbohydrates and fluids can have a positive impact on your performance,” says Currell. He recommends consuming 60g to 70g of carbohydrate per hour, which is the maximum your body can absorb. To put this into context, a medium banana (7 to 7¾ inches long) contains about 25 grams of carbs, while most energy gels contain about 20g of carbs, so you would be looking to take three gels per hour during a race. And remember to stick with familiar products on race day – your stomach may not agree with a new gel and you don’t want to find out in the middle of the bike ride!

Picture David Lee / Alamy

the rule of thirds for the ideal meal - one third protein, one third carbohydrate and one third vegetables

may 2013 outdoor fitness |


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TRIATHLON BEGINNER’s GUIDE After a half-mile swim, Helen Jenkins is visualising her transition routine to get on the bike as quickly as possible

LeArn tHe etiquette “triathletes are a friendly bunch but it is always good to follow basic etiquette to keep everybody safe. if you’re overtaking someone on the bike, shout: “Passing on the right.” And during the run, don’t cut a corner and risk tangling with other runners’ legs. Give competitors space and wait for your moment. if you act politely, you’ll make a lot more friends along the way.”


| outdoor fitness may 2013







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EVENTS Tempted by triathlon? Here’s a selection of shorter distance races to give you a great taste of the sport. We’ve also asked Outdoor Fitness readers what they wished they knew when they did their first triathlons... you’ll find their pearls of wisdom over the next few pages



RUN 2.5km

Super sprint







Sprint distance




Standard (Olympic) distance




70.3/half-Ironman distance




ITU long distance O2




Double Olympic-distance

ITU long distance O3




Triple Olympic distance


Ironman is a Long-distance triathlon organised by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC)

Full/long/Ironman* distance



14 APRIL Bustinskin Osprey Sprint Triathlon Portland, Dorset 300m swim, 22km ride, 5km run £35

5 MAY Dorset Try a Tri Colehill, Dorset 250m pool swim, 10-mile bike and three-mile run £40

5 MAY Liskeard Triathlon Liskeard, Cornwall A sprint distance, pool-based triathlon £25-30

5 MAY Steyning Triathlon


Steyning, West Sussex Swim 400m in the indoor pool, bike 20km and run 5km or choose the ‘Long Triathlon’ distance £44 or £48

6 MAY May Day Tri Winchester, Hampshire Swim 400m in an indoor pool, cycle 16km and run 4km or choose the novice course (half distance) £25 or £35

12 MAY Buckingham Triathlon Buckingham, Buckinghamshire A 400m pool swim, a 20km bike and a 5km run £39

18 MAY Eton SuperSprint Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire A 400m open water swim, 20km bike and 5km run £62

19 MAY

25 MAY

The Bradford on Avon Triathlon Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire These sprint and standard distance triathlons will feature a swim in the River Avon £41 or £48

Salty Sea Dog Triathlon Boscombe sea front, Dorset A sea swim starts this sprint triathlon race £26

19 MAY

Arundel Triathlon Arundel, West Sussex Swim 400m in a pool, ride 20km and run 5km £44 or £48

The Primera New Forest Triathlon Beaulieu, Hampshire A 1,500m swim in the Beaulieu River, cycle 35km and run 11km along the river and through boatyards £75

19 MAY Salisbury Fast Twitch Triathlon Salisbury, Wiltshire Swim 400m in an indoor pool, bike 19 miles and run four miles. £34-£49

19 MAY Roadford Lake Tri Okehampton, Devon Sprint and standard distance races, starting with a lake swim then a ride over Dartmoor £49

25 MAY Stithians Lake Triathlon Festival Redruth, Cornwall Sprint and standard distance races £32.50, £45

25 MAY Dorney Tri Challenge Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire Race sprint, mid and Olympic distances. Or try the supersprint of 400m swim, 20km bike and 5km run £62, £65 or £70

26 MAY

26 MAY Millfield School Tri Street, Somerset A pool swim and closed-road ride – ideal for novices £33, £89,

27 MAY Westonbirt Sprint Triathlon Westonbirt, Gloucestershire Swim 400m in an indoor pool, bike 24km and run 5km £39

29 MAY USN Dorney Lake Evening Triathlon Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire Race after work at this sprint distance triathlon £45


“Concentrate training on your weakest discipline...” gary house MAy 2013 outdoor fitness |






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“No matter what happens, you can always complete it” Lewis Bertranshelton 2 JUNE Cranbrook Sprint Tri Cranbrook, Kent The 400m pool swim is followed by a challenging but scenic 20km bike and a gentle 5km run £40

15 JUNE Votwo South Cerney Triathlon Lechlade, Gloucestershire 750m lake swim, 20km bike and 5km run £55

16 JUNE Brett Ashford Triathlon Ashford, Kent Choose from a 750m lake swim, 20km bike and 5km run or a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run £35-£55

16 JUNE Falmouth Triathlon Falmouth, Cornwall A sprint distance, pool-based triathlon £30-35

2 JUNE Fambridge half Iron Triathlon Fambridge, Chelmsford, Essex Swim in the River Crouch £93

2 JUNE The Primera Swashbuckler Triathlon Bucklers Hard, Hampshire Swim 1.9km in the Beaulieu River, cycle 80km in the New Forest and run 22km along river footpaths £125

4 JUNE The Bridge Aquathlon Dartford, Kent A 750m swim and 6km run £12

8 JUNE Upper Tamar Lake Tri Kilkhampton, Bude, Cornwall Sprint and standard distance races £49,

8-9 JUNE The Blenheim Triathlon Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire 400m lake swim, 13.2km bike and 3km run or a 750m lake swim, 20km bike and 5km run £71 or £79

Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire Novice, sprint and challenge distances £62, £66 or £71



The Bridge Open Water Triathlon Dartford, Kent Choose from super sprint, sprint and standard £40-£57

Thame Triathlon Thame, Oxfordshire A pool-based sprint distance triathlon £41



USN Dorney Lake Evening Triathlon Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire A sprint distance race on flat terrain £45

Maldon Triathlon Maldon, Essex Sprint and standard distances £61 or £71.50



Eastleigh Open Water Tri Eastleigh, Hampshire Sprint, novice or ‘swicle’ – 400m swim and 20km bike. £25 or £35

USN Dorney Lake Triathlon Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire Super sprint, sprint and standard distances £37, £47 or £57


USN Dorney Lake Evening Triathlon Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire A summer evening sprint triathlon £45

Worthing Triathlon Worthing, West Sussex A sea-based sprint distance race £44 or £59

2 JUNE helston Triathlon Helston, Cornwall A sprint distance, pool-based triathlon £25-30

Penzance, Cornwall A lido-based super sprint triathlon £15





Toshiba Windsor Triathlon Windsor, Berkshire In addition to the Elite triathlon taking place, this event also offers sprint and Olympic distances £86 or £90

South Coast Triathlon Seaford, East Sussex A sea-based triathlon £50, £55 or £60


Canterbury Sprint Tri Canterbury, Kent A 400m pool swim, 20km bike and 5km flat run £40

“Make sure your brakes aren’t pinching... I was bloody knackered!” ryan Whatley


27-28 JULY

The Stowe Triathlon Stowe, Buckinghamshire Sprint and standard distance triathlons £57 or £62

London Triathlon London A wide variety of distances in the Docklands. £76.50 to £128.50

Salty Sea Dog Triathlon Boscombe, Dorset Here’s a sprint course with a 750m sea swim £26

23 JUNE Marlow Sprint & Olympic Triathlon Marlow, Buckinghamshire These races start with a swim in the River Thames £60 or £70

23 JUNE henley-on-Thames Triathlon Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire Pool-based sprint and super sprint triathlons £50

23 JUNE Penzance Super Sprint


14 JULY Bodmin Triathlon Bodmin, Cornwall A sprint distance, pool-based triathlon £25-30

14 JULY Shock Absorber Women-Only Triathlon


“Open water swimming is a contact sport! Do your goggles up ultra tight and don’t take any gadgets in with you that could be knocked off. But my main advice is don’t take it too seriously” Kathy Findlay

27 JULY Salty Sea Dog Triathlon Boscombe, Dorset A sea swim kicks off this sprint course triathlon £26

28 JULY Westonbirt Challenge Triathlon Westonbirt, Gloucestershire Swim 500m in an indoor pool, bike 30km and run 8km into Westonbirt village £44

4 AUGUST The Owler half Tri Ashford, Kent There’s a sprint distance available at this new event £42, £95

MAy 2013 outdoor fitness |










Best on Test 9/10 Aspire review

Vanquish 9/10 Review 2009

Aspire Wetsuit


Aspire 10/10 Review 2012

Aspire 2012 Awards

Aspire 10/10 Review 2010


Read all reviews online at

BEGINNER’s GUIDE TO TRIATHLON 11 AUGUST Truro Triathlon Truro, Cornwall A sprint distance, open water triathlon £30-35

18 AUGUST henley-on-Thames Triathlon Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire A Thames-based sprint distance race £45 or £52.50

21 AUGUST USN Dorney Lake Evening Triathlon Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire An evening, sprint distance triathlon £45

24 AUGUST Salty Sea Dog Triathlon Boscombe, Dorset Sea swims start sprint and super-sprint races £26

25 AUGUST Tunbridge Wells Sprint Tri Tunbridge Wells, Kent The 400m pool swim is followed by a 20km bike and a flat, off-road 5km run £40

1 SEPTEMBER Reading Triathlon Reading, Berkshire A sprint distance race with a lake swim £55 or £60

7 SEPTEMBER Salty Sea Dog Triathlon Boscombe, Dorset Choose from the sprint distances of a 750m sea swim, 23.5km bike and 5km run or the super sprint of a 375m swim, 11.7km bike and 2.5km run £26

8 SEPTEMBER Diamond Tri Dorney Lake, Berkshire Novice to Olympic distances available £60 to £99

8 SEPTEMBER The VLT Andover, Hampshire A 600m pool swim, 30km cycle and 7.5km run £35 or £45

7-8 SEPTEMBER XTERRA England Championship Triathlon Weekend Vachery Estate, Surrey Sprint and standard distance off-road triathlons £45

11 SEPTEMBER USN Dorney Lake Evening Triathlon

Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire An evening sprint distance triathlon £45

15 SEPTEMBER hSBC Duathlon & Triathlon Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire Three distance triathlons as well as a duathlon £50-£79

15 SEPTEMBER Ringwood Triathlon: The Return Ringwood, Hampshire A 600m pool swim, 28-mile bike and a 10km run £55

15 SEPTEMBER Votwo Padstow Triathlon Padstow, Cornwall An Atlantic swim starts this sprint triathlon £tbc

21 SEPTEMBER XT Triathlon & Duathlon Camberley, Surrey An off-road MTB and trail run triathlon £20-£55


“Practise your transitions, in the back garden if you have to! Your neighbours might think you’ve gone mad, but it will be worth it on race day” stuart amory


12 MAY


The Markel Castle Triathlon Series Hever Castle, Kent Sprint, middle and Olympic distance triathlons £55-£75

Wilmslow Triathlon Wilmslow, Cheshire This sprint triathlon starts with a 400m pool swim £42

Fritton Lake Triathlon Weekend Fritton Lake, Norfolk Sprint and super sprint distances available £35, £45


19 MAY


Sibblyback Triathlon East Cornwall A sprint distance, open-water triathlon £30-35

Sprint & Super Sprint Triathlon 1 St Neots, Cambridgeshire Swim for 400m, bike for 8.5km and run for 2.5km or upgrade distances to 750m, 25km and 5km £35 or £40

Big Sow Triathlon Market Bosworth, Leicestershire A 1,500m lake swim in Bosworth Water is followed by a 40km cycle and a 10km run round the lake £65

26 MAY


Grendon Triathlon Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire 750m lake swim, 20km bike and 5km run £49

Little Piglet Market Bosworth, Leicestershire 750m lake swim, 21km cycle and 5km run £45

27 MAY


Leicester Sprint Triathlon Leicester, Leicestershire A pool-based sprint triathlon featuring a 400m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. £34

The Castle Triathlon Series Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire Swim in Deer Park Mere Lake, bike round Bickerton Hill and run through the estate grounds of Cholmondeley Castle. £55

29 SEPTEMBER USN Dorney Lake Triathlon Dorney Lake, Windsor, Berkshire Super sprint, sprint and standard distances £37, £47 or £57

6 OCTOBER Ferndown Try a Tri Ferndown, Dorset A 400m pool swim, 11.5-mile bike and a 5km run £40

13 OCTOBER Wadebridge Triathlon Wadebridge, Cornwall A sprint distance, pool-based triathlon £25-£30


12 MAY Stratford 220 Triathlon Stratford, Warwickshire Both sprint and super sprint distances £50

2 JUNE Bosworth Triathlon Market Bosworth, Leicestershire Novice, sprint and standard distances £42, £47 or £57

2 JUNE The Go Green Cheshire Triathlon Nantwich, Cheshire Aimed at all abilities, from novice to pro. There will be both sprint and super sprint triathlons available. £50

23 JUNE Corby Triathlon Corby, Northamptonshire Choose from novice or sprint distances. £41

30 JUNE Oakham Sprint Triathlon Oakham, Rutland A pool-based sprint triathlon. £32

MA y 2013 outdoor fitness |



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Leicester Time Trial Triathlon Leicester, Leicestershire A 650m swim, 10-mile time trial cycle and 5km run £30

Blithfield Triathlon Blithfield, Staffordshire Swim 750m in Blithfield Reservoir in this sprint £45



Norwich Triathlon Norwich, Norfolk There’s a sprint distance at this city event £43 or £48

POWERbreathe Desford Triathlon Desford, Leicestershire A pool-based sprint triathlon £32

11 AUGUST Cambridge Triathlon Ely, Cambridgeshire A 1.5km lake swim, 40km bike and 10km run £40

11 AUGUST People’s Triathlon Whitchurch, Shropshire Super sprint, sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons with an open-water swim in Dearnford Lake £55 or £60


14 JULY Buxton Triathlon Buxton, Derbyshire Swim 400m in Buxton pool, cycle 21km around the Peak District and run 5km £42

14 JULY Foremark hall Triathlon Foremark, Derbyshire 400m pool swim, 20km bike and 5km run £40

15 JULY Victory Triathlon North Walsham, Norfolk 300m pool swim, 17km bike and a 3km run £35


“Don’t unclip your helmet until you have racked your bike!” richard hine 21 JULY City of Birmingham Triathlon Birmingham, West Midlands Open-water triathlon offers super sprint, sprint and Olympic distances. £50, £55 or £60

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire Super sprint and sprint distances. £50


5 MAY horwich Triathlon Horwich, Greater Manchester A 500m pool swim, 40km bike and 8.6km run £40

6 MAY Ashington Sprint Triathlon Ashington, Northumberland The 400-yard pool swim is followed by a 20km bike, and a 5km run £30.95

6 MAY Cyclesense Tadcaster Triathlon Tadcaster, North Yorkshire Swim 500m, bike 14km and run 7km £45

BCT Sprint Triathlon Wombourne, Staffordshire Swim 400m, bike 20km and run 5km off-road £27.50-£30

19 MAY


27 MAY

Brockley Triathlon Brockley, Northamptonshire An adult novice triathlon plus junior races £32

Wetherby Triathlon Wetherby, West Yorkshire Swim 1,500m, bike 42km and run 10km £45



Broxtowe Sprint Triathlon Bramcote, Nottinghamshire A 400m pool swim starts this sprint triathlon £14.50-£22

QE2 Sprint Triathlon Ashington, Northumberland This sprint distance triathlon is a World Championship qualification event £39.95

1 SEPTEMBER Waveney 2 Triathlon Bungay, Suffolk Swim 400m in Waveney Valley Pool, bike 20km and run 3.2km on an undulating, out and back course £32

8 SEPTEMBER Leicester Time Trial Triathlon Leicester, Leicestershire An open-water time trial triathlon with a 650m swim, 10-mile time trial cycle and 5km run £30

Keswick Triathlon Keswick, Cumbria Both super sprint and sprint distances £41 or £47

16 JUNE Coniston/Grizedale Mountain Bike Triathlon Coniston, Cumbria Swim 1,000m in Coniston Lake, mountain bike 28km through Grizedale Forest and along the North Face Trail and run 9km along trail paths £45

7 JULY Northumberland Triathlon Druridge Bay, Northumberland

Choose from sprint or standard distance triathlons, starting with a swim in Ladyburn Lake, then cycling along the coast £39.95


“The night before, talc your bike shoes and trainers and check your bike doesn’t have a puncture” scott Moore 7 JULY Tri Windermere Windermere, Cumbria Swim 1,500m in Windermere, bike 43km across challenging Lakeland roads and run 10km £63.50

21 JULY The Castle Triathlon Series: Castle howard Castle Howard, North Yorkshire Sprint, middle or Olympic distance triathlons each with a lake swim £55-£75

27-28 JULY Castles Challenge Triathlon Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland The sprint distance triathlon will feature a sea swim, an out-and-back bike course and a beach run £35 or £52

28 JULY Leeds Xpress Triathlon Leeds, West Yorkshire A 400m pool swim, a 22.6km cycle followed by a 5.4km run £42

28 JULY Redcar Sprint Triathlon Redcar, North Yorkshire Swim 750m in the sea, bike 20km on closed roads along the seafront and run 5km on flat seafront. £43



20th Derby Triathlon Derby, Derbyshire A 400m pool swim, 18km cycle and 5km run. £40

“Transition and nutrition are the other two disciplines. And when you get off the bike, don’t walk – run!” Ben Prior

19 SEPTEMBER Warwickshire Triathlon

MAy 2013 outdoor fitness |



Loch Carron Triathlon Loch Carron, Ross-shire Sprint and middle distance races £32.50, £90

Tata Steel Man Port Talbot, Glamorgan Standard distance triathlon with open-water swim £40-£45



Durty Triathlon St Mary’s Loch, Borders A 1.5km swim, 30km ride, 10km run. Sprint option £40-£46

Rhyl Triathlon Rhyl, Denbighshire New sprint and standard-distance triathlon £62



Castle Semple Triathlon Festival Clydemuirshiel Regional Park, Renfrewshire Sprint and standard distance races £32.50, £45

Mumbles Triathlon Mumbles Bay, Swansea A 750m sea swim, 21km bike and 2.5km run or go for the longer 750m swim, 32km bike and 5km run £40



Wensleydale Triathlon Hawes, North Yorkshire A 2km open-water swim, 42km ride and 20km run £40, £50

Buttermere Triathlon Buttermere, Cumbria Swim 1.5km in Buttermere, bike for 44km and run for 13km £39




South Manchester Triathlon Wilmslow, Cheshire Pool-based sprint triathlon £42

Port Edgar Triathlon South Queensferry, Edinburgh A sprint distance triathlon £32.50

14 AUGUST Clitheroe Triathlon Clitheroe, Lancashire A 400m pool swim, 30km cycle and 6.5km trail run £40

18 AUGUST Lakeland Triathlon Bassenthwaite, Cumbria Swim 1,500m, bike 40km and run 10km £40-£56

18 AUGUST Macclesfield Triathlon Macclesfield, Cheshire Pool-based sprint triathlon £42

1 SEPTEMBER helvellyn Triathlon Ullswater, Cumbria Swim one mile in Ullswater, cycle 38 miles and run nine miles up Helvellyn £65

1 SEPTEMBER Newbiggin Sprint Triathlon Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland A world championship qualification event £39.95

8 SEPTEMBER North West Triathlon Nantwich, Cheshire Sprint and super sprint triathlons £50


8-9 JUNE

22 SEPTEMBER Teesdale Sprint Triathlon Barnard Castle, County Durham Swim 400m, bike 28km and run 5km £34

6 OCTOBER Oulton Park Autumn Duathlon Oulton Park, Cheshire Run 4.3km, cycle 21.6km and run 4.3km or run 8.6km, cycle 38.8km and run 4.3km around the race circuit £42

10 NOVEMBER Whinlatter Duathlon Whinlatter, Keswick, Cumbria A 6.5km trail run, 15km MTB ride and a 5.5km run. £27-£43


20 APRIL Forest hills Triathlon Aberfoyle, Trossachs Sprint and standard distance races starting from Loch Ard £32.50, £45


11-12 MAY

Leeds Triathlon Leeds, West Yorkshire True Yorkshire grit is needed to deal with these challenging sprint and standard distance races £62

Ardgarten Triathlon Festival Ardgarten, Argyll Sprint, standard, middle and iron distance races. £32.50, £45, £210

| outdoor fitness MAy 2013

Craggy Island Triathlon Isle of Kerrera, nr Oban Open water 600m swim, 12km ride, 4km run £34-£40


21 APRIL Amman Valley Sprint Triathlon Ammanford, Dyfed 400m pool swim, 10-mile road bike and 5km run £30

19 MAY Slateman Triathlon Llanberis, Gwynedd Open-water swim, set in the heart of Snowdonia. Sprint and full distances available £49.95 or £59.95

19 MAY Llanelli Waterside Spring Triathlon 750m swim, 30km bike and 5km run £40

29 JUNE Llandudno Sea Triathlon Llandudno, Conwy Choose from sprint or standard distance races £62

29 JUNE TriExercise Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire Swim 1.5km in the sea, bike for 43km and run for 10.6km £49

1 SEPTEMBER Llanelli Standard Distance Triathlon Llanelli Swim 1.5km, bike 40km and run 10km £45

21 SEPTEMBER The Gower Triathlon Port Eynon, Swansea Swim 1,500m, bike 37km and run 10km. £45

21 SEPTEMBER Brutal Extreme Triathlons Llanberis, Gwynedd Middle, long and double iron distance triathlons that also include an ascent and descent of Mount Snowdon. £110-£335





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– it’s about the d a ro e th or e ik b e th In the water, on ght nutrition ri e th e, u iq n ch te d oo G fundamentals. mpete. co to th g n re st t n a st n and the co Helen Jenkins

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