What is triathlon? How does it work? Can I do it?

If these are the questions you are asking yourself then the UK Triathlon Race Series is for you. We provide fun but challenging events for all abilities, from complete first timers to the experienced triathlete at a range of venues that include indoor pool, outdoor pool, sea and lake swims. Our aim is to encourage everyone to experience the wonderful world of triathlon and make it fun and rewarding for all competitors. Whether competing for charity, a personal challenge, to lose weight, boost confidence or get fit our triathlons guarantee a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Although the thought of it may be terrifying a triathlon needn’t be quite so tough! Your first triathlon needn’t be such an arduous feat. The triathlon consists of a swim, bike and run. Three disciplines to test every ounce of endurance and mental toughness. A triathlon is not that hard to prepare for. A “Fun” or “Sprint” distance triathlon is popular as a first initiation into triathlon.

Following the beginners training tips will give you the confidence and endurance to help you through the event.

What equipment is needed to take part?

  • Swimming costume or trunks (wetsuit is only compulsory for the Olympic & Ultimate distances)
  • Swimming goggles (optional)
  • Bike (you can use any bike as long as it is road worthy. IMPORTANT! Make sure the brakes on your bike work well and make sure you look at the tyres and test to see if they are rock hard. A top tip here is, the higher the pressure in your tyres the more likely you are to avoid punctures and the faster you will go due to less rolling resistance)
  • Helmet (you must wear a helmet during the bike section of a triathlon as it is compulsory, NO helmet, NO triathlon, so make sure your helmet is comfortable and tight fitting)
  • Trainers


I see other competitors with special shoes on their bikes; do I have to have those on my bike?

No you don’t, it is not essential to have proper cycle shoes with special pedals at all, as you get into triathlon a little more seriously they will help your speed immensely. However, if you are not used to them they can seem tricky at first. My advice is you get toe cages for your pedals and cycle in trainers. This way you will be able to get your feet in and out easily and have the ability to go harder up any hills. If you don’t have any of those things, don’t worry, there are 100’s of people taking part in our events who just have pedals on their bike.

I see other competitors wearing tri-suits; do I need one?

No you don’t. A tri-suit can be worn for the whole triathlon i.e. you can swim, bike and run in one, however, most first timers opt for utilising what they already have so complete the swim in a costume/trunks and then change into shorts & T-shirt or similar for the bike and run sections. Whatever you choose to wear for the bike/run will be left with your bike & helmet at bike transition.

What are the distances?

The distances vary depending on which event/venue you choose. Please see below;

   Swim  Bike  Run
 Fun/Super Sprint  200m  10-20km 2.5km 
 Sprint   400-750m 20-25km  5km 
 Olympic & Relay     1500m  40km  10km 

What happens on the day?

Please click here for our step by step guide on what happens on the day…