Sport & Fitness

triathlons & me

I have always been physically active and interested in the broader issues of health and well being so when a good friend suggested I try doing a triathlon, I laughed at the idea. "There is no way I could do that!" but to my surprise I was able to do it and have continued over the years to stay physically and mentally active.

 richard and john at the end of the race What everyone asks me when I say that I am going to do, or have done a triathlon is, "I can't do that!". My answer is yes you can! Reality isn't so harsh, we've not competing as Olympians and we're not competing in the Olympic triathlon distances. If you can swim, bike and run you can do a triathlon, the question becomes can you do it in a time acceptable to you and to be happy with your performance in the event.  The easier way to begin is too register for the try a tri races.  They are shortened distances of the sprint triathlon races.

Some basic considerations:

  • Be active or plan to be, you must devote time to training
  • Get support, gather information, plan and train
  • Ask yourself why do I want to do this
  • Elite athletics and me: they in reality only make up a tiny portion of competitors
  • You're competing against people in your age group
  • Enjoy the experience but realize that there are serious folks swimming, biking & running beside you

 picture of richard running

Basic Equipment:

  • Nutrition: water, energy bars
  • Swimming: goggles, swimsuit, wetsuit
  • Biking: racing bike vs "ordinary bike", padded cycling shorts, helmet
  • Running: good pair of running shoes

The Day of the Big Event

  • Eat something and be sure you've been eating and resting
  • Transporting your bike to the race site
  • Getting there on time, know where you're going ahead of time
  • Register early, pick up your race kit before the day if possible
  • find a spot in the transition area (the earlier the better for a good location), unpack your gear then get your racing chip and your body marked with your bib #
  • Ensure you have everything such as your race number (must be shown in the front), you've been body marked and your race chip works
  • Try to relax, warm up and wait patiently for the start of the tri

On your mark, GO!

  • Swimming: water temperature, get used to crowds and don't panic
  • Transition 1, swim to bike: hit the mat, change, be quick but remember to keep breathing
  • Biking: Pace yourself, you're got over half the race still to go
  • Transition 2, bike to run: hit the mat, change, be quick but remember to keep breathing, you're gonna feel it in your legs now for sure
  • Running: Your legs are jelly but you've only got the run left now

Post Race/Understanding the Race Results

  • Congratulate yourself, you did it!
  • Cool down, replenish your liquids
  • Take on nutrition, eat & enjoy the rest of the race!
  • Wait for the posting of the race results

My Race Results (excel file)

Toronto Waterfront Triathlon/Duathlon & Give-It-A-Tri (website)
July 16, 2006 / July 17, 2005 Cherry Beach, Toronto
Swim 750 m / Bike 32 km / Run 7.5 km (06 / 05)
2006 Times: Swim 23:01 / Bike 1:12:19 / Run 42:39 / Total Time: 2:23:11
2005 Times: Swim 15:55 / Bike 1:10:42 / Run 37:41 / Total Time: 2:10:04
Guelph Lake II Triathlon & Duathalon (website)
Aug. 31 , 2002 / Sept. 2, 2000 Cherry Beach, Toronto
Swim 750 m / Bike 19 km / Run 5 km (02 / 00 / 99)
2002 Times: Swim 16:55 / Bike 1:05:13 / Run 35:14 / Total Time: 1:57:21
2000 Times: Swim 18:41 / Bike 1:07:45 / Run 34:251 / Total Time: 2:00:51
1999 Times: Swim 18:09 / Bike 1:12:18 / Run 37:43 / Total Time: 2:14:51
ITU Toronto World Cup Triathlon & Duathlon
July 7, 2001 Exhibition Grounds, Toronto
Swim 750 m / Bike 20 km / Run 5 km (results issue)

links of interest

Triathlon Series Event Information

Training & Resources

  • Trifuel was originally created in late 2001 as a personal project to aggregate triathlon training and local services information and offer it to other like-minded athletes (very good website for information) [ website ]
  • Training for your first triathlon [ website ]
  • Common questions about your first triathlon [ website ]
  • Some good general information about the sport [ website ]
  • Six Week Plan Schedule [ website ]
  • Wasaga Beach Triathlon, Photo Gallery [ website ]


This page was last updated July 27, 2006.
Your comments and questions are welcomed.
All contents copyright © Richard Hydal
University of Toronto Libraries

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