Frequently Asked Questions
"It’s my first triathlon ...."
How do I do a triathlon?
To do a triathlon you need to be able to swim, cycle and run/walk, if you are new to triathlon and have never taken part in one before but it is something that interests you, then please visit our triathlon beginner's page.
How do I enter one of UK Triathlon’s events?
This is really simple, all you have to do is choose the event you wish to take part in, then which distance you would like to enter. Click on that distance and it will take you to our secure online payment. All you need to do then is just follow the simple instructions. If you would like to post us an entry form, simply print off the entry form and send it to our office.
How should I train for a triathlon?
It is important to know that you are in a healthy enough condition to exercise and take part in a triathlon. For a beginners guide to training please click here. Preparation for the event is also important, don't train hard a few days before the event and make sure you are well hydrated (drink plenty of water!).
What is the minimum age I can compete in a UK Triathlon event?
Please see below our age group categories for our triathlon and runs:-
14 years of age for our 5k and 10k runs.
16 years of age for half marathon.
We have no minimum age for our fun runs but under 12 years of age must be accompanied at all times by an adult.
TRIATHLONS & DUATHLONS
16 years of age for our Fun, Super Sprint and Sprint distance triathlons.
17 years of age for our Olympic distance triathlons.
18 years of age for our Ultimate Half and Ultimate triathlon.
16 years of age for our Relay teams members up to Olympic distance.
18 years of age for our Ultimate Half and Ultimate triathlon Relay team members.
What will my start time be?
Although we cannot give exact timings until we have completed our start lists (approximately 10 days before your race), please click here for the 2012 start times, they will give you an estimate on where your start time will be. Note: 2013 start times will differ slightly due to varying competitor entries.
When will I receive my race number and start time?
You will receive an email 7 to 10 days prior to your event; this includes all of your race day information as well as your race number and start time. You will pick up your race bib numbers and safety pins at registration on the day of the event.
Can I wear one race number?
UK Triathlon asks competitors to wear two numbers that are clearly visible, front and back for the cycle and run of the triathlon. An elastic number belt is a great way to achieve this and save putting holes in your shirt with safety pins. You can purchase one from The UK Triathlon Store.
Can I enter a mixed relay team?
Yes absolutely, however, please be aware your mixed team are not eligible for a prize should they finish first in the all-male or all female category. To qualify for a first place prize you must have three males or three females in your relay team.
What is the difference between the fun and super sprint category?
The super sprint and fun triathlon are both the same distances but the super sprint is where competitors compete for a prize whereas the fun triathlon is purely for fun without the pressure of competing for a prize. You may not get a prize in the fun category, but you will get lots of encouragement and a fantastic finisher’s medal when you cross the finish line.
Will I need a wetsuit?
The only distances that a wetsuit are compulsory for is our Olympic/Classic and Ultimate/Ultimate half distances. Wetsuits are not permitted for pool based swim events. If you would like to hire or buy a wetsuit please go to The UK Triathlon Store.
Do I need a swim cap?
You will be provided with a swim cap at all our races. It is compulsory to wear a swim cap in the water so you can be seen easily by other swimmers and officials. You may use your own swim cap if you wish, as long as it is noticeable in the water.
Do I need a pair of swimming goggles?
It is recommended you use them, especially in our open water events, but it is your choice.
Can I use a mountain bike?
Yes, any bike can be used but it must be road worthy.
Will triathlon and road bikes make a difference?
They can make a difference but not a huge amount. Road tyres are smoother and provide less resistance and aero bars put you in a more aerodynamic position on your bike but you can retro fit both of those to almost all bikes quite cheaply if you want but it really isn't necessary, unless you want to squeeze a few more seconds off your bike time. For new bikes visit The UK Triathlon Store.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
YES, it is compulsory you have to wear a helmet in all triathlons across the UK.
Which helmet is good enough to use?
Your helmet must have the "SNELL", "ANSI" or "CE" safety mark inside it. The strap must be in working order and the helmet itself must not have any cracks on it. For helmets please visit the UK Triathlon Store.
Do you have bike and helmet number stickers at your triathlons?
Yes we do, you will find your bike and helmet stickers inside your race envelope where you will pick up at registration along with your race bib number and pins. Before you enter transition your number stickers (which must be the same as your race bib number) must be placed on your bike (in a prominent place), and at the front of your helmet.
I see on the TV people wearing really smart triathlon gear, this is my first triathlon and I don’t know what to wear?
This is really simple; you wear clothes you feel comfortable in, shorts, t-shirts, trainers. Just try to enjoy your first triathlon experience. The main thing is preparation; make sure you get to the venue in plenty of time, check to see if you have everything (you should have done that at home) then go out there and have fun. If you have forgotten anything UK Triathlon Store should have everything you need.
Is a massage necessary?
Massage is a great way of getting those muscles ready for the challenge of the triathlon and even better still to soothe and ease away the aches and strains after the event whilst aiding recovery and stiff muscles.
A massage team is available at all our events! It may be a good idea to pre book a post-race massage when you arrive at the venue, so you don't have to wait after you have finished your event.