TriTalk on Tour 2023

me and Mrs FB did the standard distance there a few years ago. nice event - swim is in the rowing lake (much like Dorney), pretty flat bike with only a couple of hills to worry about, and flat run around the lake.

20 mins from Calais so easy to get to.

and yes, you can use your BTF card as a day license as the event is usually permitted by FFTRI so there is a reciprocal arrangement in place to recognize each other

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I’d simplify that to one: almost everyone discourages triathletes from swim training.

It’s the standing joke.


While I agree with you and @jgav that people are weaker at swim because they can get away with it, I’ll continue to disagree with this comparison.

A course good enough where the leaders are holding 43kph would be rapid and I don’t think 30kph would be classed as a decent result, and not on par with a 65 min swim. Not when the sub-10 thread is discussing 65 being a decent target, some elite pros only swimming 55-60.

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But this is the problem, is a ~65min swim as good as a ~3h30 run leg as good as the ~5h25 bike leg? (Or whatever combination)

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If it’s not and 65 is equivalently poor to be BOP then why aren’t way way way more people swimming under 55?

Whilst it’s fun to joke that swimming is cheating, and mock the journeyers who have never swam before, do we really think 95% of the tri community are just missing a trick and leaving a relatively “free” 5-15 minutes there?

(genuine Q, despite the tone falsely sounding rhetorical/sarcastic)

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Not worked out how @Poet does his redirector threads

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I bet 5:25 bike and 3:30 run would both be top 5% … where would a 65 min swim be? Top 25%??

As a slower swimmer one of.the main issues of getting faster is that I probably need regular input from a coach. I can get faster on the bike and running mostly by doing more. Whilst that is true for swimming too improving technique as well as fitness would.make real difference to me. At least I think it would. Getting that sort of input is difficult around here.

It’s a good point.

At the back end of swimming, I’d say yes. They are missing 5-15mins for - not “free” but “risk free” training.

And in triathlon necessarily, there is going to be people who find one sport harder than others. So I guess we are saying that strong swimmers or strong runners “can” have different levels of fitness per sport and still be great triathletes.

The question though is that they can be relatively weak swimmers because of the standard distance ratios.

I think there’s a few things here but basically my answer would be yes, a significant proportion are doing just that - a lot less than 95% but a significant number. My initial thoughts on why:

  • Pacha’s point about accessing decent swim coaching - but you can do swim days/weekends, remote video analysis
  • Swimming isn’t seen as being cool, certainly compared to cycling. I mean, £30 gets you trunks and goggles, what kind of sport allows you to get good without spending £5K to look the biz … and no carbon in sight
  • For guys especially, the idea that you can work harder and not go faster (at least that’s my opinion)
  • Working on technique is less interesting than debating a tiny saving in rolling resistance or bling aero helmet
  • OW specific skills sadly lacking in the vast majority of swimmers

My own experience was that working on technique made a real difference, along with practicing swimming in a straight line and rounding buoys properly.
I’ve dug out some results to give an indication of my progress. I’ve stuck to HIM/IM distance to try to give some sense of consistency:

2001 - (HIMUK Llanberis) … 70th percentile (had only been swimming a few months)

2002 - (HIMUK Llanberis) … 38th percentile

More experienced, better wetsuit, ~5 x 30 min sessions of 1-2-1 swim coaching, OW skills work
2005 - Bala Middle … 21st percentile
2005 - Longest Day … 26th percentile

More 1-2-1 swim coaching, SwimSmooth day, better drafting:
2009 - Day in the Lakes … 10th percentile
2009 - Norseman … 8th percentile


Swimming needs a lot of decent technique. Running needs little beyond staying up right snd cycling needs little beyond basic handling skills.

I think a lot of people think they will never be a good swimmer and have to have swam from young.

I had no swimming back ground and had about 6 or 7 121 sessions. When IM fit I was doing relaxed training swims over IM distance in 57-58mins. That was off swimming 2-3 times a week.

Im sure a lot of MOP age groupers could easily cut a few minutes if they had some help and put some effort in. For anyone who has been training for a long time they would struggle to drop 5 mins off their run time so its baffling ehy more dont put the effort into the swim.


There’s a lot of other factors in play here and I certainly don’t claim to be a coach or guru just someone who has been around this for a while.
Personally I swim 65 ish minutes for IM swim to get sub 1 hour I need to gain 1 minute every 12 minutes of swimming roughly. That’s a lot! to get 5 mins in the bike I need 1 minute every hour that’s achieveable hold power over the climb into a descent, cornering, aero gain no increase in power or technique.
To get 5 mins on the run …well just keep moving through aid stations, it’s about 1 minute every 45-50 minutes of running.

However the main difficulty I have with trying to swim faster is that I have to be prepared to go slower first …….head can’t comprehend that !

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A combination of this thread and FB memories are reminding me it’s 12 years since I did ADH tri and Mt Ventoux.

This year’s race is actually next week but I don’t think I fancy the detour through France to Dresden!

Other problem is the weather is so unpredictable, baking hot when I went, mate has done it 3 times and nearly got hypothermia :joy:

Also noticed qualification for Finland 70.3 WC has started and I think my 2 upcoming races both have slots!

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Wonder how feisty Q for Finland will be. If I remember the last Euros in Nice it was nails to get a slot.


Nice took me 3 attempts and I got in with a 4:25 HIM in Elsinore. I expect Finland to be pretty tough, but maybe not quite as bad as Nice


The initial slot allocation for Finland has European races with 45 slots and US with 30.

I’m with Matt thinking it might be popular but not as much as Nice was.

I got really lucky with Nice at Edinburgh as there was a lot of slots and only about 800 finishers.

I don’t think it will be as popular outside of Europe.

Might hang about after Dresden though :joy:


Q for WC is a lottery. Kona this year is much easier than previously, double day and already had WC in St George, add on fears of recession, and zero availability of accomodation. Lots of stories about previous bookings being cancelled because prices have tripled.

I wonder whether holding a double Kona will actually result in killing off the event. The level of frustration is massive


Ref Isoman; mechanical efficiency means 2h of swimming is not like 2h of biking! In order of efficiency, Bike, Run, Swim. So that’s how it should be scaled. Total fag packet…1.5/40/10. Sh!t that sounds familiar…


Entry for IMCH has just opened up and I’m itching to pull the trigger. Had decided a few months ago to forget about triathlon with my consistent running injuries but I’d love to go back and scratch the dnf itch from 2019. Will have a think about it.


I was perving over the pictures a mate posted up on Strava

What a place for a swim and the bike and run courses look good too