New to Triathlon?
A triathlon is a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance activities. While many variations of the sport exist, the most popular form involves swimming, cycling and running over various distances.Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed “transitions” between the individual swim, cycle, and run components.
Variations include aquabike (swimming and cycling), aquathlon (swimming and running), duathlon (cycling and running), cross triathlon (swimming, mountain biking and trail running) and long-course (ultra long distance 3-day triathlon covering 510 km in separate stages).
Within Triathlon Canada, there are many different streams for athletes to follow, from first-time grassroots programs for beginners to the Olympic Games. Exploring each athlete stream allows you to understand which applies best to you or your child/children. In turn, knowing your pathway allows you to find all the information and resources best suited to your triathlon experience.
There are two main streams for triathletes in Canada:
Dream of standing on the podium at the Olympic/Paralympic Games or other elite multisport international competitions (e.g. long course, cross)? Then Performance is your stream. Get inspired by reading about our National Teams, find out about the pathway to high-performance and learn about upcoming sanctioned events. And then get in touch with your provincial sport organization.
Have a personal goal of aiming as high as you can within the amateur world? Then age-group is your stream. The age-group stream is athletes of all ages and abilities pursuing the triathlon lifestyle. Within the age-group stream are first time participants and dedicated athletes who have represented Canada multiple times at age-group championships or are participating in sprints through to Ironmans. Check out our age-group National Teams to see what’s possible, and get in touch with your provincial sport organization to access a wide range of information such as how to find and join a local club, connect with training resources and coaches, and learn upcoming race details.
The idea that you need thousands of dollars worth of equipment to try the sport is completely false. Triathlon is for everyone. The basic equipment required is:
- Swim goggles
- Swim hat (usually provided by the race organizer)
- Bike (road, mountain or hybrid bike – as long as there are two working brakes and it is in good condition)
- Bike helmet (well-fitted with a chinstrap and in good condition)
- Running shoes
- Running/cycling apparel, including a top (all athletes are required to wear a top while on the bike and run sections)
Other equipment that is useful to have in the transition zone includes a towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a quick energy snack such as energy gels or gummy bears.
There is no need to buy an expensive wetsuit and fancy bike until you are sure you want to continue with the sport. Use what you have already or borrow from a friend and then upgrade your gear as required.
You don’t need to spend all of your free time training in order to compete in your first triathlon. Just make sure you choose a shorter distance such as a ‘Try-a-Tri’ or a ‘Sprint to Start’. Most people are able to compete by training 3-4 times a week. Be sure to train for all the disciplines and focus some extra time on your weakest sport. There are a number of online guides for starting a training program. For extra motivation and help, contact TriPEI to see if they have any training groups
Triathlon Prince Edward Island. We can. We will.