Updates from the Club of what we are doing and/or items of interest that you need to know about.

NEW Section – meet the Committee Member

After a request to see who the committee and coaches are, we are running a series of meet the team, somehow I got chosen first! The updates are posted on the Facebook pages (members only and open), they will also be posted here, so here goes! p.s. I don’t know about the expert bit!!!

A short and sweet intro tonight to our Welfare Officer Brendan.

“I work in Special Education Needs and therefore I am very experienced in making sure all children are safeguarded. I ended up with the position in 2018 when I attended the AGM; I was only there to buy cheap kit… “

As a club with junior members as well as adults this is a really important role and we thank Brendan for continuing to take on this responsibility, we might even let him buy some kit next time.

Meet Matt our webmaster expert…

I have been involved in Triathlon for over 20 years and completed many events from small Aquathlons to recently undertaking Ironman Lanzarote three times, with all the distances in between under my belt at some point during my sporting career. My main background sport was Swimming / Water Polo which I enjoyed for many years of my youth.

I was one of the founders of the Plymouth Triathlon Club, holding various positions i.e. Chairperson, Head Coach and now Webmaster.

I’m also one of the coaching team and love seeing people achieve…

If you would like to get involved with the club committee or coaching then please speak to one of the team.

Meet the committee continues….where would we be without our Money Man John….

So this is me. I started my tri journey in 2015 at age 41 with the Exmoor 70.3 Ironman.

No idea what I was doing. No idea what training to do and certainly no idea about nutrition. After a hateful event and feeling completely miserable I vowed never again.

I had taken swimming lessons and learned how to swim at least, although not great and that is still the case.

However after this I joined the Plymouth Tri club and took on Bolton Full ironman the following year and loved it.

The coaches and friends I have got to know and share adventures with has been brilliant. I have lifelong friends now and great memories.

I eventually got good enough to qualify for Age group GB and I am super proud of that achievement.

I am now a club coach and club treasurer for the past 6 years. My competitive days are probably over due to some spinal issue’s but I love trail running and will race again I am sure for the experience.

I love watching people develop and push themselves.

So many positives in this sport although maybe not for your bank balance😂.

Anyone ever want to quiz on anything Tri i am happy to help👍

Meet the Committee – Introducing Justin our amazing race director.

“I took on the role in June last year, 2 months before last years race, we pulled it off, this year my challenge is to deliver a whole new race at a new venue, mount Edgcumbe, less than 5 months to go

I joined the club as I had done a few sprint triathlons but wanted to do a full distance event, the support I received from all of the coaches was amazing!

I’m also a junior coach and I love to help those at the very beginning of journey learn the basic skills

This year I won’t be doing any official events until after mount Edgcumbe, but I will be going out regularly with mick Brian to support him in his quest to do 52 Olympic triathlons in 52 weeks for charity.”

Robin Dijkstra is our lovely Chairperson – Robin who has been a member of the club for 1.5 years.

Doing a Triathlon has always been on my “bucket list”. During the COVID period I got really “Un-Fit”. I picked up sports again, but wanted a new challenge. I learned about Plymouth Triathlon Club and did the taster sessions. What surprised me is that “The Club” made an individual sport feel like a ” Team sport”. The atmosphere in the club, the support and guidance of the coaches and the involvement of the members were all great and really motivating.

Bit about myself;

Sorry cant help it, but I am Dutch, could have been worse if I was born in Belgium.😉

We (my family and me) moved down to the UK in 2020 for my work. I work within the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps and am here on an exchange base. Besides me both of my kids are members of PTC and are enjoying the various training elements what the club is offering.

Upcoming races/events;

Looking forward to the Team Relays in Torbay in April. Last year we competed there twice and I think its a great event to race with other club members. Definitly doing this again! Who’s joining?

I signed up for a middle distance race in May and want to do 2 or 3 shorter triathlons throughout the year. Interested in a swim run… maybe..

Thank you all for your involvement in the club, and a special thanks to the coaches who make it possible for us to train week in, week out.

I will now hand over the “Snorkel” to Matt Searl and ask him to introduce himself to the club.

PTC on Tour – Club Championships


Enter the Tavistock Triathlon to take part in the club championships 2023. With a range of races there is something to suit all abilities and the chance to pick up some extra prizes. We will be adding some categories to include everyone, so even if you don’t win your age group you could still win something.

This is a chance to get together as a club and show the other local clubs what we can do….

Enter before the 28th February to get 20% off – PLYMTRI20


Did you know that you can purchase club kit through the team app and the PTC Tri Store – either open your app and look for the Tri Store page or click here for desktop version

JAN 2023 – Coaches First Aid

You will be happy to know that you are in safe hands! Recently 11 coaches updated their First Aid training with a full day at the Mount Batten Centre. The provider was Pat from Kernow Training who gave a fun, very informative and friendly course.

If you have any training requirements then please check his courses out at Kernow Training

ParkRun takeover

Saturday 7th January saw many club members give back to the Park Run in Central Park, we like to help others enjoy sport too!

Team Park Run – Nice bobble hats!
Plymouth Hoe
Plymouth’s famous Landmark and the basis of our logo


Please expand some of the questions below to see comprehensive answers on each topic:

Do I need to join the BTF?

No, but there are some benefits of BTF registration that can be seen here.  You can join the BTF at any time as it is completely separate to the PTC membership, but being a PTC member entitles you to a 21.5% discount.

Do I need any specialised equipment?

Minimum kit requirement is:

  • Swimming – costume and goggles, and a pullbuoy and fins would be beneficial. Wet suit for open water swims.
  • Running – comfortable kit and running shoes.
  • Cycling – a serviceable bike with lights as required, a CE approved helmet, comfortable kit.

All sessions would benefit from a drink (water is perfectly adequate) and warm clothing for on completion.  The coaches can give advice on any additional kit that may help your training when you have settled into the club.

Does membership run from a set date, or from the date I join?

Your membership will run for 12 months from the date you join. Now payable either Annually or Monthly Direct Debit

How do I pay for training sessions?

Members need to install an app, ‘TeamApp’, which is phone, tablet or web based, through which sessions can be booked and paid for in advance. We are on the app as ‘Plymouth Tri Club’.

How do I get to a swimming session if I am not an Plymouth Active member?

Simply tell the front desk (not the tills) that you are a new PTC member and they will allow you access past the barrier. After getting changed, speak to a coach poolside to introduce yourself and your name will be put on a register. The coach should be expecting you as they will check the attendance on the Team App

What age do the juniors start from?

We take juniors from age 7 upwards to 19 at all levels of fitness and ability. For swimming sessions however they should be able to swim at least 100m unaided. The sessions are split into three groups dependent on ability and age from TriStart (8) all the way up to Junior (17-19).

What are the age groups and distances for the junior races?

The Olympic Sport of Triathlon is a continuous swim, bike, run race held over the following distances. Age is the age as at 31 Dec in the year of the race (Not the age on race day)

  • TriStar Start (8 Years)      50m swim, 800m to 1.5km Cycle, 600m run
  • TriStar 1 (9 – 10 Years)     150m swim, 2km to 4km cycle, 1.2km run
  • TriStar 2 (11 – 12 Years) 200m swim, 4km to 6km cycle, 1.8km run
  • TriStar 3 (13 – 14 Years) 300m swim, 6kmto  8km cycle, 2.4km run
  • Youths 15-16 years may compete up to 750m 20km 5km but will race 400m 10km 2.5km as standard
  • Juniors 17-18years may compete up to Olympic Distance 1500m 40km 10km but will race “Sprint Distance” 750m 20km 5km as standard.

The Triathlon season runs from May to September.  Look at the BTF website to see details of the South West Children’s series and to see provisional national youth and junior races.  Associated sports include the non-Olympic disciplines of Duathlon; (run, bike, run) and Aquathlon; (Swim, Run).

What does being an Active Member of the Club mean?

The Club will be a better place for all if members:

  • Take part in Club Training Sessions
  • Take part in club events both social and competitive.
  • Enter some races, hopefully where other members are racing.
  • Put forward your ideas to further improve the club at the regular committee meetings – it is your club.
  • Help organise and run PTC events – the Plymouth Triathlon needs lots of marshals and support, a great way to involve family and friends in your sport.
What type of multi-sport events are there?

Multi-sport encompasses many different combinations of swim / bike / run and more.

  • Triathlon: Swim – T1* – Bike – T2* – Run
  • Aquathon: Run – Swim – Run OR Swim – Run
  • Duathlon: Run – Bike – Run OR Run – Bike – Run – Bike – Run
  • Xterra Triathlon: Swim – Mountain Bike – XCountry Run
  • Quadrathlon: Swim – Bike – Kayak – Run
  • SwimRun: Open Water Swimming – Trail Running often multiple times

* All events will have T1 or T1,T2 and even T3,T4 in some races.  These stand for Transition 1, Transition 2 etc, but are simply referred to by their abbreviation of T1,T2. At most races the transition areas simply consist of rows of scaffolding arranged to support bikes by their saddle.  Often, you simply put your Helmet, Bike Shoes, Trainers and number belt beneath or just next to the bike – remember transition skills are often considered the fourth discipline in triathlon and this is not the area to rest. Most transitions have a very small amount of space per competitor so take only what you need for the race.

What are the typical adult Triathlon race distances?
  • Sprint: 400-750m Swim (pool, river, lake or sea) – 22k Bike – 5k Run
  • Olympic / Standard: 1500m Swim (pool, river, lake or sea) – 40k Bike – 10k Run
  • Middle / Half Ironman (70.3): 1900m Swim – 56mile Bike – 13.1mile Run
  • Ironman Distance / Ironman: 3.8k Swim – 112mile Bike – 26.2mile Run
How do I get started with racing Tri?

Join the club, come along to some sessions and find out what it is all about. We have members racing at all levels and you wont be alone, whatever your level of ability, from complete novice to experienced Team GB athlete.

How should I prepare for a race?

Training – The best place to start is simply by trying to swim once a week, bike once a week and run once a week.  Assess which is your strongest and weakest discipline then number them 1 – 3 (Weakest to Strongest). If you can add one more session a week add it to your weakest discipline and so on until you get to two of each per week, this will see you training 6 days a week with one rest day.  Recovery is of EQUAL importance to training; if you aren’t healthy come Race Day you won’t be racing.

If your technique is perfect you will be efficient in using energy and should remain injury free – a GREAT COMBINATION.  Do underestimate the importance of swim, bike and run technique and make best use of the Club Coaches to help improve.

Your training should also be 80% aerobic (able to talk) and 20% hard over the course of the week.  If you train hard all the time you will self-destruct. This also means taking an easier week every month, where you take 2 or 3 rest days and stay away from the intensity and long hours for a week to give your body a chance to recover and adapt to the training stimulus.

Depending on your background you will have a different physical ability and also technical ability in each discipline. It is important to remember that everybody in triathlon has to start somewhere.

It is a great idea to plan out your training and have a rough idea as to where you are heading; the best way to do this is to work backwards from your most important race of the year and try to build towards it.  The club offers periodisation lectures to help with season planning – keep an eye on the website.

What equipment is needed to take part in a Triathlon

BASICS: Goggles / Swim Trunks or Shorts (wetsuit for local open water swims) + T-Shirt / Bike / Helmet + Trainers… Simples. Two key additions would be a Tri Suit and Number Belt as these will save you a lot of time and also increase comfort.

ADVANCED: Goggles / Tri Suit / Wetsuit + Number Belt / Bike / Helmet / Cycle Shoes  + Trainers / Lock Laces