First tri : Blenheim

Signed up for first Tri in May, any tips help on swinging training not a great swimmer, confident on run / bike.


Urm… I’d like to say Hammerer might be able to offer a few tips… but I think you need to check your spelling before I say that too loudly… :joy:


Great start :see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil:


There are much better swimmers here than me, who will give better advice on training, but my main tip would be to make sure you’re comfortable in open water before race day. Blenheim is quite early in the season so I’d try and get started in open water as soon as they start April/May next year.
My club runs an open water race every year and it still amazes me how many people turn up having never done it before.

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Welcome and well done signing up for your first tri, there is lots of great advice here, and don’t be too intimidated by some of the conversation and threads. We represent all abilities, some new triathletes and some who have been competing for decades.

It’s also great to see someone who is starting with a shorter distance, rather than leaping straight to Ironman, which is the current trend.

In terms of swimming, its a 750m swim, so plenty of time to get swimming up to a good enough standard to complete. The challenge will be how you react to open water, most people, even strong swimmers, find open water a little intimidating the first couple of times, so you need to try to get some practice in as soon as lakes are warm enough.

A good place to start is to join a local tri club, most are friendly and not filled with super fit athletes. Tri Clubs normally run a couple of coached swimming sessions per week, and have 3 or 4 lanes for different abilities. At this time of year, they will be focused on technique.

If a tri club is not available, have a look at Swim Smooth online.

Even though you are happy with bike and run, make sure you do some bike run sessions (Brick), after a bike ride, go straight out for a couple of KM run… your legs wont like it at first. At this time of year an indoor turbo trainer is a great training aid, especially when coupled with Zwift or other apps

I’ve done Blenheim (as has the wife for her first) It’s a great race and the swim there isn’t too bad, clean water and no weed to battle with.

What’s your definition of ‘not a great swimmer’? Can you swim any front crawl? Can you swim 100m FC? Can you swim 100m in 1.30/2min/3mins/4mins?


After a long time away (15 years) I have also entered my first race next summer, I chose London.

I echo what others have said, open water swimming is daunting, even a strong pool swimmer will struggle first time out. So start planning to be out in open water as soon as its practical.

Its also worth mentioning that wearing a wetsuit makes a significant difference to your swim, so plan on having to adapt a little when you start wearing it.

Can do 100 m in about 2 min, may be little less, have completed 6 Wolf runs, swimming in that was a lot shorter and no wet suit, so not totally unsure, just don’t back myself on long swim with lots of other people and possible chaos,

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100m in 2 min is not a bad starting point. There will definitley be some technique improvements in there for sure. Its not easy to tell what you are doing wrong without seeing you swim, try and find a coach who does 1-2-1 sessions. I have had a handful with mine and they have turned me from a practical non swimmer to a pretty good front pack swimmer.

For lots of people and chaos there are a couple of things. Firstly get some open water experience in advance. In the race itself, hang back at the rear and to the side, let everyone race off and start in your own time. It wont affect your overall time that much and it will mean clearer water.

Not looking to break records just want to complete the event and get one under belt so can compete in others, any tips on picking up wetsuit without breaking bank to get going with


First up dont stress and enjoy the experience. . Id say get yourself down to a local club and usually the coaches can help and you’ll be pushed by swimming with others and be part of a great community. Most clubs are friendly, some aren’t but generally all comers are accepted and welcomed. If you are in south london area i can do 121 (other coaches are available countrywide) but I always say get into a club. It’s cheaper, meet other experienced athletes where you’ll get great all round tips (and some rubbish ones :joy: ) and you get so much more from the sport.

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2nd hand. My first wetsuit was £50 from eBay. It lastest me 2.5 seasons before one of the seems gave way.
Triathlon is a sport that a lot of people take up, buy loads of kit, then give up and flog it all on ebay so bargains to be had.
Also look out for black Friday deals and the Huub clearance sale. Wiggles’ DHB brand so a wet suit, no idea what its like but 70 notes is good value|sP56aFlmm_dc|mcrid|295270493439|mkw||mmt||mrd|100387272uk|mslid||&mkwid=sP56aFlmm_dc&pcrid=295270493439&prd=100387272uk&pgrid=58893990883&ptaid=pla-520614559827&gclid=CjwKCAiAws7uBRAkEiwAMlbZjm8VKYa_TSUlWSB7CRxKtGgrzmXHZDeg6x13LnKGjFKfWOP8cGt7khoCgFsQAvD_BwE

ETA - remember to use the affiliate links if buying from wiggle :slight_smile:

The Mrs just got the female version of this and it looks decent quality for the price.

Hello Terryox

I am about the worst triathlete going, and I have completed it twice. I had iirc never done a lake or any type of open water swim before it. Don’t fret about the swim. If I can do it you can. It’s a great race, enjoy it. Get in the water, swim, you will soon be out the other end.

Hi i have only done blenheim myself last year and will also be there this year for my second ever race.

I am not the best swimmer either and i just did 1 swim a week (rarely 2) for about 18 weeks prior, then did 2 swims in a local lake to test wetsuit.

I think i did the swim in 18 mins, and to be honest it was such a good atmosphere it felt like 5 mins.

I am a complete novice but i would just go at 80% what you can in the pool and save it for the bike, i just figured the difference between a hard swim and a casual swim is a few mins? can pick up a lot more time on bike and run. I also found that a lot of people went out really hard and gassed out , so come the last turn it was such a bottleneck i couldnt maintain my pace and lost a few mins anyway.

But thats just me , im happy to be corrected as i am new :slight_smile:

Meant to say, while I never noticed, too busy slogging my way around the course, my family tell me that there are plenty of people pushing their expensive looking bikes up the final incline by the car parks. No idea how they coped with the hill at the other side.

It’s a good race, well organised, and fun. Don’t stress about it.

Added…what I am trying to say here is that if you train for it you can do it, don’t let it scare you. If I could push my 20 plus stone through the course :running_man:‍♂ you can too.