Frequently-Asked-Questions---Starting

With a triathlon, comes three different sports and three different categories of questions (four if you include transitions!). We’ve outlined some of the more common questions we’ve been asked as coaches. If you think something is missing, let us know and we’ll post it up!

The beauty of triathlon (especially the Gatorade & Active Feet Triathlon Series) is that there is a distance to suit every level of fitness. You don’t need to have a training background, nor do you have to be super fit. As long as you are comfortable that you can complete approximately one hour of moderate exercise, then you are ready to take on a race!

Race distances start at 150 metres swim, 7km cycle and 1.2km run. That’s all you need to start your triathlon career!

Learn more about our beginner training programs.

As experienced and professional coaches, we often hear this and more often than not, the person regrets taking this approach.

If you put off training now to gain some fitness, then you are only losing the chance to learn loads from our sessions and actually gain fitness QUICKER than if you were exercising by yourself.

Triathlon can be an expensive sport! When you walk through the bike compound at your first event, you’ll see bikes worth more than some people’s cars!

Luckily, beginners can get away with the bare minimum and still complete a race. Some people simply want to tick a triathlon off their bucket list, whilst others will become immediately hooked.

We strongly suggest holding off on investing a lot of money into the sport until you are really sure this triathlon is for you.

CLICK HERE to read about all the equipment you need to get started straight away.

Don’t despair – this is very common. As coaches, we frequently run learn to swim, one-on-one sessions and technique-based swim squad sessions.

You may need to join one of our learn to swim clinics to learn before you join our main squad sessions so you will feel comfortable, but touch base with us first just to make sure.

At all times we will ensure you are swimming with people of similar level of ability. Plus, you may not actually be as bad as you think!

You are NEVER too old – what’s that saying? You are as old as you feel?

Tri-Alliance has athletes ranging from young teenagers up to 65 years young. Races have age categories 65+, so as long as your are in good health, have regular medical check ups and your GP gives you the go ahead, then there is nothing stopping you!

We’d love to have you part of the team!

Absolutely not. In fact, many of our athletes have come from non-sporting backgrounds. Whilst feeling confident in all three discipline is an advantage.. even excelling in swimming, cycling or running – there is no requirement to master all, or even one prior to joining.

We are so confidence in our knowledge and expertise in the sport of Triathlon, that we’ll get you ready to race in no time.

Join our free Try the Tri program to have you race ready in six weeks, or simply jump into becoming a social or short course member.

If you’re just starting out, you may want to consider a ‘fun’ or ‘mini’ triathlon. These distances are roughly 150-300m swim, a 7-10km cycle, and a 1.2-3km run – which is more achievable than you may think.

If you feel like more of a challenge, Sprint Distance may be more appealing. Sprint distance incorporates a distance of approximately 600m swim, 20km ride and a 5km run.

But if you feel you want to tackle Olympic Distance, or step right into training for a half or full ironman, get in contact with us and we’ll help you get there.

In our free six-week program, we run four sessions per week for our try-the-tri program. And we encourage our beginner group to get to around three sessions a week to quickly develop skills across all disciplines.

Our Social/Fun Triathlon Training Program is a great way to train socially with a group of other like minded people. This program is ideal for those who would like to experience triathlon without a large training commitment. This is also a great way to meet people and train for fun and fitness.

Our fun and and social environment at training sessions will have you wanting to come back for more – so trying to limit yourself to three sessions a week might be your biggest challenge!

If you feel you are really wanting to get serious about Triathlons, join our short course or long course programs and enjoy attending unlimited coached sessions each week.

A triathlon wetsuit can cost anywhere from $200 right up to $1,0000, so it’s a pricey investment. The good news is, you don’t have to have one, particularly if you’re racing in either a fun/mini distance.

However, if you intend on getting serious – a wetsuit will help you stay warm in longer swim distances, and the buoyancy will make most amateur swimmers swim better.

At Tri-Alliance, for just $50 you can even rent one on race day from our friends from ORCA – and that’s a good bet if you only plan to do one or two triathlons.

If you can see yourself staying engaged in triathlon longer, the cost of a wetsuit makes sense and as a Tri-Alliance member, you’ll receive 20% discount from Orca, plus an extra $50 discount if you’ve already hired one of their wetsuits at a recent race.

If you’ve got a bike, you can race. Whether it’s a Road Bike, TT Bike, Mountain Bike or Hybrid Bike, so as long as it’s safe (we recommend taking it to our partners Giant South Yarra for a discount on a service) – you’re ready to go.

However, if Triathlon is something you’re serious about – an entry level Road Bike or TT Bike will be more than adequate.

Whilst a flash, expensive bike might cost you during the initial lay-out, those dollars pay off over the long term, as you’ll go on to ride it for thousands of kilometers in subsequent years in both training and racing.

Your best bet is to wear a Triathlon Suit, better known as a ‘Tri-Suit’. A Tri-suit is something that you can wear throughout the swim, cycle and running leg and is maximise for comfort as well as quick-drying (and enough comfort for the bike leg, too!).

We recommend picking one up from our Tri-Alliance TriShop and look the part with team TA at your next race.

When it comes to other race clothing and accessories, the following is recommended;

  • A wetsuit if you’re competing in Spring, Olympic or Long Distance
  • Goggles and your race-designated swim cap
  • Comfortable runners (sox are optional)
  • Bike shoes depending on your type of pedal
  • Hat or Visor to keep hair and sweat out of your face
  • Sunglasses to keep sun of your eyes and for any airborne objects
  • Multi-sport Watch to help you keep track of your time

We hear this question all the time, and the short answer is – whatever you’re comfortable in.

When you exit the water, you’ll have a quicker transition if you quickly wipe your feet on a towel and jump straight into your cycling shoes or joggers without sox.

However, if you can’t bare the thought of cycling or running without sox, then it’ll pay to have a slightly longer transition to wipe and dry your feet sufficiently enough so that you can whack your sox on, followed by your shoes and exit transition.

PRO TIP: if you choose not to wear sox, put talcum powder in your shoes prior to your race to soak up moisture quickly – making your cycling and running leg more comfortable without sox. Just make sure you’ve practiced wearing your joggers and/or cycling shoes without sox so you don’t get any unwanted blisters or sores.

Have any other questions for us?

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