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.

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 ‘TRI before you buy’ session if I am not an everyone active member?

Simply tell the front desk (not the tills) that you are trying PTC and have not yet joined 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. You will be able to try two training sessions for free before joining. It will be necessary to contact the club beforehand to let us know you are attending, so that necessary arrangements can be made.

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

* 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