Top Tri Tips

5 beginner tips for getting into triathlon

Triathlete and Hits Radio DJ Hattie Pearson is here to share her best triathlon tips for beginners. From her top hacks for gearing up without it costing a fortune, to keeping motivated and of course, crossing that finish line...

Triathlete and Hits Radio DJ Hattie Pearson is here to share her best triathlon tips for beginners. From her top hacks for gearing up without it costing a fortune, to keeping motivated and of course, crossing that finish line, here’s the lowdown on setting yourself up for triathlon success. Over to you, Hattie. 

1. Set your goal and go smash it!

Choose an event that’s suitable for you and that you think you’ll enjoy. Book something that’s challenging enough that you’ll feel you’re pushing yourself, but nothing too difficult that you’ll end up injured because, where’s the fun in that? Find an event that’s local to you to save on travelling and additional stress. There are hundreds of events nationwide. 

After doing one sprint distance triathlon in 2021, I knew I wanted to up the distance; that’s when I applied to be part of Team Outlaw and got a place to compete in my first ever middle-distance triathlons at Outlaw Half Nottingham and Outlaw Half Holkham. I loved every minute!  

2. Beg/borrow/buy second hand

Triathlon can be — but doesn’t need to be — expensive and very addictive. I’m telling you now, because once you’re in, there’s no looking back! Starting out, you definitely don’t need all the gear. Think of people you could potentially borrow from if you don’t have specific items. There is so much second-hand kit available online too; think of all those now-unwanted lockdown purchases. You could find an absolute steal and save yourself a fortune. I did my first triathlon on a hybrid bike with a rusty chain!

3. Safety first 

Make sure you’re safe! Open water swimming comes with risks, and that’s why it’s always important to do it as part of an organised group. 

In terms of the cycling element, you’ll see bikes that are worth thousands of pounds that look like spaceships, but as long as yours is road worthy and safe, it doesn’t need to be anything special — put a baguette in a basket on the front of your bike if you really want to! Oh yeah, and don’t forget your helmet! You don’t need to spend thousands on a new bike; just hop on the saddle, give it a peddle and see whether you get the bug.

4. Group training FTW

Whether it’s your local park run, your regional triathlon club or some colleagues from work who like riding their bikes at the weekend, try to find others to train with. Triathlon is a solo sport when it comes to race day, but when you’re putting in the hours of training, you want to have fun and making it social makes it less daunting. From joining communities like 10IronWomen and Manchester Triathlon Club, I’ve made friends for life and learned so much from more experienced athletes who are willing to share their tips.

5. Smile for the camera!

Don’t worry about your time or pace on your first time out. You’re a newbie to the sport and there’s no need to put added pressure on yourself to be doing as well as Colin from accounts whose been doing triathlons for 30+ years! Bring supporters along with you. Recruit your friends or family to be there cheering you on and soak up the atmosphere. You’ve put in some hard work and the very least you deserve is a hug at the finish line and a lift home! 

Hattie Pearson is a HITS Radio DJ and an ambassador for Outlaw Triathlon. You can use her discount code  – HATTIEXOL24 – for 5% off your race entry and Outlaw will donate a further 5% to Hattie’s chosen charity, Fund Her Tri.

https://www.instagram.com/hattiepearson/

Time to Tri

Top Tips: Why it’s Time to Try a Tri

Professional triathlete and British Triathlon accredited coach, Natalie Lawrence shares five tips on how to get into a triathlon and why you might like to get started...

Fancy trying something new? Triathlons may be the thing for you in 2024. The challenge of mastering three disciplines to complete a triathlon attracts people of all ages and abilities to try the sport that combines swimming, biking and running. Getting to the stage of crossing the finishing line of this exhilarating sport involves physical and mental strength – and it’s totally worth it!

Professional triathlete and British Triathlon accredited coach, Natalie Lawrence shares five tips on how to get into a triathlon and why you might like to get started:

1. It’s a hugely rewarding achievement

Sometimes the best rewards come from stepping out of your comfort zone. Overcoming self-doubt and feeling a little scared means that being consistent with training and getting to the finishing line will be even more rewarding. For beginners, I recommend starting with a super-sprint, or sprint distance race. These are typically short swim legs of around 200-400m and they’re based in the pool or open water. See if you enjoy it before investing more time (and money) into the sport. Then you could try a longer, more challenging event. Events like the Outlaw Triathlon Series offer long distance events as well as sprints, aquathlons (swim-run) and aquabikes (swim-bike), which are ideal for a first event. Not only that, but you can watch more experienced triathletes do their thing, too

2. Make friends and discover new communities

Triathlon is a lifestyle sport that can fit into the time that you have available. Having four young children myself and running a coaching business, I schedule time for training so that I don’t feel guilty for interrupting family life. Triathlon is a friendly and sociable sport, so you’re likely to meet lots of like-minded people. Finding your tribe can help you to feel more connected and self-confident, which you can achieve by being part of a club or group, or simply just through chatting to others at events. Many of my lifelong friends have come from the sport and I continue to make new connections the more I’m involved in the community. 

3. Invest in your lifelong fitness and health 

The commitment of working towards a big goal has physical, mental, social, and emotional benefits. By spreading training across three disciplines, you create a broad fitness base using different muscles and energy systems. Spreading your time across swimming, cycling, and running also reduces your injury risk and provides an endless source of learning. I recommend strength training alongside triathlon as it is important for injury prevention, rehabilitation, and overall strength and power improvements. All this training, of course, must be supported with good nutrition and recovery. Once you’ve mastered these aspects, you’ll not only be a good triathlete, but will have improved your long-term positive health.

4. It doesn’t have to cost the earth 

Triathletes can be flashy with their shiny bikes and fancy gadgets. However, it doesn’t have to cost the earth, especially at beginner level. There are events where the swim takes place in a pool, so you just need your regular swimwear, and if you already own a bike, you have a head start. Many events can be completed on mountain or hybrid bikes. You need a cycle helmet and, of course, a pair of running shoes – but you might not need much new equipment to get started. As you progress in the sport (note: it’s very addictive), there are plenty of second-hand triathlon bargains, as well as free training advice and programmes available on the internet. When you start, the hours you put into training are much more important than the pounds you invest into gear. It would be worth investing in a coaching plan as you progress, to give you the best tools for achieving your multisport goals.

5. You are never too old to Tri 

It’s never too late to start! This is the beauty of triathlon; it welcomes and caters for all ages. Whether you’re a beginner or want to compete for your country at the world championships, there are age groups up to 90+ at all triathlon events! If you are fit, healthy and up for the challenge, there’s nothing to stop you from taking on your first triathlon. Plus, you never know who you’re inspiring along the way.

Natalie Lawrence is an ambassador for the award-winning Outlaw Triathlon Series, which features events from sprint to long-distance. She combines professional sport with being a mum to four young children and running a coaching business for all levels of triathlete: www.nlfitness.net

Why consider an ultra marathon? And how to start

Why consider an ultra marathon? And how to start

Ultra marathons are gathering popularity for good reason, though there are still some myths and reservations around the sport. Here, we explain what’s involved in an ultra and expel the one common myth that often puts people off (Spoiler: you don’t need to be an elite athlete to run one). Plus, we explore how to train for an ultra marathon and one handy hack that makes signing up for one, a whole lot easier. Lace up, let’s go. 

What’s the difference between a marathon and an ultra marathon? 

A marathon spans a standard distance of 26.2 miles; an ultra marathon is considered to be anything longer than that. Technically speaking though, ultras tend to be around 31 miles. Another major difference is that marathon runners usually check their completion times, whereas with an ultra, you can run, jog or walk at your own pace and you won’t find anyone asking “What was your time?” at the finish line. Once you’ve completed an ultra, who cares about time? Nobody – you’re a legend. 

Do you have to be an elite athlete to run an ultra marathon? 

No, though phrases like “ultra marathon” and “extreme sport” sound pretty intense, anyone can go for it. You will of course need to train and prepare for an ultra, but we’ll cover that later. What makes ultra marathons accessible is that you’re encouraged to run at your own pace; even more so than if you were running a marathon. Even elite runners turn the dial down on their speed during an ultra marathon. This provides the perfect opportunity to chat and take in the sights and scenery along the way. It’s about enjoying the route to the finish line; not the time. 

What’s so good about ultra marathons? 

There are so many reasons why people love ultra marathons. Of course, there’s the health and fitness benefits, the fresh challenge, the endorphins, beautiful scenery, new destinations and the much-loved sense of camaraderie. Not forgetting the opportunity to make new friends. Though longer in distance than a marathon, ultras offer more time to slow down, catch your breath and chat to fellow participants. 

Where do ultra marathons take place?

You’ll find them all over the world. If you’ve got wanderlust, taking on an ultra is the perfect excuse to explore far-flung destinations. From Africa to Australia and Barbados to Brazil, ultra marathons take place in some of the most beautiful locations across the globe. Of course, there are also plenty of UK-based events, from the Isle of Wight to the Lake District. Where would your dream ultra destination be? Take a look at Action Challenge for ultra inspiration.

How do you train for an ultra?

It’s a good idea to give yourself around six months to train for an ultra marathon, maybe more if you’re new to long distance running or walking. For your first two months of training, start by slowly building your distance and mileage. Avoid increasing your mileage by more than 10% each week because this can lead to injury. Around four months before the event, add one hill workout and one speedwork run per week into your routine. Two months before, add a trail run (or run on terrain that’s similar to the one at your event). Finally, two weeks before the big day, decrease your mileage by around 20% and focus on rest and nutrition. This will give your body time to recover, so you can give it your best.

How to prepare for an ultra marathon?

Once you’ve got your training plan pinned down, there are a few more key points to consider in your ultra prep. 

  1. Prioritise nutrition. Make sure you have a strong nutrition plan for before, after and during the ultra, to keep your energy levels up. 

  1. Wear your kit in. Don’t save your new gear – particularly not your running shoes – for the big day. Make sure you get plenty of wear out of your kit in advance, to reduce chafing, rubbing and blisters.

  1. Make time to rest. Your body needs to recover from training before taking on a challenge. Schedule plenty of time for rest and to get yourself in the right mindset before the big day. 

  1. Take layers and waterproofs. Make sure you expect the unexpected when it comes to the weather. Pack plenty of layers that you can slip in and out of depending on the temperature, and don’t forget waterproofs for any surprise showers along the way. 

What’s different about an Action Challenge ultra? 

Action Challenge ultra events are different to anything we’ve seen before in the world of ultras. They’re popular because the team at Action Challenge creates a fully immersive, memorable experience. Rather than simply taking part in an ultra and going home, you’ll be whisked away to some of the most amazing locations and iconic sights across the globe. Action Challenge take care of the full end-to-end organisation for you, from the ultra itself, to unforgettable sight-seeing adventures and even your accommodation. You can leave it all in their hands whilst you focus on training and preparing. Plus, by signing up through Action Challenge, you’ll be fully supported on your ultra journey, every step of the way. 

So, if you’ve been thinking about taking on an ultra marathon, this is your sign. Check out Action Challenge to find your next, fully-organised adventure. It’s really worth a look. 

Runner's wishlist

The Let's Do This team's Christmas wishlist

From swanky running socks to backpacks and running assessments, there’s no need to check this list twice – we’ve rounded up the best gifts for runners and cyclists, with a wishlist made by our team of running experts.

From swanky running socks to backpacks and running assessments, there’s no need to check this list twice – we’ve rounded up the best gifts for runners and cyclists, with a wishlist made by our team of running experts. Look no further for the ultimate present inspo from the Let's Do This team.

The ultimate running backpack - Venturelite 18

"I'm looking for a new running backpack for work and to hit the trails at the weekend and this Venturelite 18 pack looks like it covers all bases".

Oscar, LDT Team member

A triathlon-ready racebelt - Zone3 racebelt

"This is my favourite little upgrade to my running / triathlon race kit. It's great for holding my bib number so I don't have to poke holes in my favourite tops or risk poking myself with those dreaded safety pins! Plus it's great to keep my gels handy, and easy to take on/off (especially during the many kit changes during a triathlon!).

Steph, LDT Team member

Some swanky running socks - Satisfy running socks

"When it comes to Christmas presents, I love using them as an excuse to add a little luxury to 'standard' items that I use every day. And who doesn't love swanky running socks?! At £50 a pair, they are definitely on the expensive side, but they are so soft and cushioned - I'm hooked!"

Sam, LDT Team member

Marathon-training trainers - Brooks Ghost Max

I've signed up for my first ultra next year (!), so I'm really looking to up my cushioning game given all the miles I'll be doing! And the new Brooks Ghost Max look perfect for this.

Lisa, LDT Team member

Running-worthy bobble hat - Ronhill bobble hat

"I've always found winter hats to be very functional and plain – not only does this look fantastic it looks like it'll keep my head warm for days. And who wouldn't want a reflective bobble to keep you seen on dark winter days."

Sim, LDT Team member

A lux waterproof running jacket - Soar All Weather jacket

"It's dark, it's cold and there's a chance that it's raining sideways. Running in winter sucks, so if there's anything that makes it easier or more comfortable I'm in. SOAR's All weather jacket looks incredible. Breathable, warm and insulated. Sure, it's pricey but I've always found SOAR to deliver in terms of performance and durability."

Luke, LDT Team member

Personalised race-day tags

"The perect motivation when you lace up your shoes to go for a run"

Harry, LDT Team member

Cosy Running Gloves - Trailheads power gloves

"There is nothing worse than chilly fingers on a run"

James, LDT Team member

Cross Country Running Spikes - Nike Zoom Dragonfly

"It’s been very wet already for XC season and my current spikes have a huge hole in the top of them - time to be treated to a new pair!

Simon, LDT Team member

Massage gun - Recovapro SE 1.0 Massage Gun

Steph D, LDT Team member

Community-spotlight-Esme

Community spotlight No. 4 - Esme

This month we're talking to Esme - a runner from London, who rekindled her love of running in lockdown and has never looked back.

Shining a light on you – our incredible community members. We’re sharing your amazing stories, training tips, hacks and more. These inspire us all to keep showing up on the track, road, bike, or in the water.

This month we're talking to Esme - a runner from London, who rekindled her love of running in lockdown and has never looked back.

A bit about you:

What’s your story? How did you get into running?

I have a similar story to a lot of people - I started running during lockdown. I was a keen runner as a kid, competing in athletics and cross country at a regional level, but I only fell in love with the sport when I was older.

What’s your favourite thing about running?

For me, running is a huge part of my life and allows me to be a happy, functional person. I love many sports, but the runner's high is incomparable to anything else.

What’s your favourite running route? (We’re always looking for new recommendations!)

Running around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford

What’s your best piece of advice for anyone starting out with running?

Variety! It’s really easy to fall into the trap of running the same distance, at the same pace every time you lace up.

Run to how you’re feeling and don’t limit yourself to the same 5k route!

Best running training hack?

Have your running kit laid out (or easy to find) for the days when you don’t feel like it. Don’t overthink it. Just get dressed and soon you’ll be out the door.

What’s in your training belt / backpack?

I love running with a vest for any longer runs and you can guarantee it will always be filled with snacks, and an emergency packet of sweets.

Any pre or post-training rituals?

I’m still working on my post-run routine and I am by no means perfect at it but I do have a couple rules. E.g. don’t sit down when you get back from a big run or you won’t be moving for a while.

You and events:

What event(s) are you most looking forward to doing next?

My next big event is UTS (a UTMB race in Snowdonia). I’ve covered the distance before, but the biggest challenge will be the elevation — over 3000m 😳

If money and distance were no object, what event would you love to take part in?

If money were no object, I would gather my friends and set off to run around the coast of Europe, just for the adventure. I'd love to see how far we'd make it and raise money for charity along the way.

Best event you’ve done?

My favourite ever event was Cambridge Half! It was the perfect race for me and I achieved a big personal best as a bonus.

Quick-fire round:

Best running song?

Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen

Favourite pre or post-run snack?

Pre-run: Bagel, peanut butter and a banana.

Post-run: Protein shake and anything / everything in the fridge.

Morning or evening run?

Evening

Trainer of choice?

Vaporfly 3 Nike

Best running product or accessory?

The COROS watch

Music, podcasts, or nothing at all?

Nothing at all!

Favourite supporting exercise for running?

Calf raises

Favourite running app?

Strava

Describe your ideal rest day in emojis… 3,2,1, go!

☕🚶🥐🐶🧑🍳🛏️

In one word, what motivates you?

Achievements

Community Spotlight No. 3 - Alex

Shining a light on you – our incredible community members. We’re sharing your amazing stories, training tips, hacks and more. These inspire us all to keep showing up on the track, road, bike, or in the water.

This month we're talking to Alex - a marathon runner from London, who's love of the sport has seen him travel all over the world from New York, to Berlin, Copenhagen and beyond!

A bit about you:

What’s your story? How did you get into running?

I was a strong runner in school and so decided in 2009, after uni, I'd run the London marathon. Having run 1:30 at the Silverstone half, I assumed I'd simply double that at London. However... it was MUCH harder than I anticipated. In hindsight, I didn't know how to train. It took me 4hrs and 27mins - the most painful of my life. From there, I became obsessed with wanting to better my time. I've always been driven by this pursuit of improvement. When I moved to NYC, I found my running home with the Henwood's Hounds Racing Team and my coach (still to this day) John Henwood, who changed everything. I was encouraged to push myself and learn from faster runners. I eventually managed to break 3hrs in 2017, a full eight years after my first stab at the marathon. It taught me the value of patience and showed me how long you sometimes have to wait to reach your goals.

What’s your favourite thing about running?

I love the mental and physical freedom I get from running. It allows me to disconnect from the world and process what's going on in my life. I enjoy the comfort of running through familiar places, mixed with the excitement of exploring local areas I’ve never seen before. Plus, physical movement always makes me feel great afterwards.

What’s your favourite running route? (We’re always looking for new recommendations!)

Hampstead Heath - iconic! It offers amazing views of London and makes me feel great about living here. It's rugged, beautiful, hilly and challenging.

What’s your best piece of advice for anyone starting out with running?

1. Go slowly. There's often pressure to meet certain goals or feel like you should reach a milestone, but I think it's important to go at your own pace.

2. Love the process. There's more to running than smashing your personal best on race day. No one is making you run – it's your choice – so make it enjoyable.

3. Don't compare yourself with others. You're where you're meant to be. It could take years to get where you want to be.

Best running training hack?

Shorts with a discreet pocket – good storage is key. I like the Tracksmith Half Tights.

What’s in your training belt / backpack?

GU Energy Gels, phone, keys

Any pre or post-training rituals?

A pre-training coffee, always. Then post-training, another coffee, and a lemon drizzle cake (provided I've earned it!) I look forward to my Saturday morning run because it often turns into a coffee meet-up with a mate. No demands or requirements – just time to catch up after doing something that's good for us, and that we both love.

You and events:

What event(s) are you most looking forward to doing next?

The London Marathon and Berlin Marathon. I'm also looking forward to the Battersea or Regent's Park run series with Run Through – these are good for speed, as they're nice and flat. Plus, Parkrun – a reminder of the running community's beauty and welcoming nature.

If money and distance were no object, what event would you love to take part in?

The Tokyo Marathon – it's part of "the big six", that I'm still yet to do.

Best event you’ve done?

The Copenhagen Marathon. As a runner at this event, you feel like a celebrity in the city. The whole city is overtaken by race-day participants and you wear your medals with pride afterwards, no matter where you go. I visited a fancy restaurant after the race with a mate who had also done the marathon. We went in our kits with our medals on – something I don't think you could do in London, but in Copenhagen, you can on marathon day!

Quick-fire round:

Best running song?

"You & Me", by Disclosure

Favourite pre or post-run snack?

Lemon drizzle cake

Morning or evening run?

Morning, every time.

Trainer of choice?

Nike Vaporfly

Best running product or accessory?

Garmin watch

Music, podcasts, or nothing at all?

Nothing at all!

Favourite supporting exercise for running?

Weights

Favourite running app?

Strava

Describe your ideal rest day in emojis… 3,2,1, go!

📺 🛌 ☕️

In one word, what motivates you?

Progress.

Autumn Training Tips

Autumn Training Tips

The days are getting shorter, mornings are cold and evenings are rainy, so we can lack motivation to get out the door for our daily dose of exercise. Here are our top 5 tips to keep your training going in the right direction!

The days are getting shorter, mornings are cold and evenings are rainy, so we can lack motivation to get out the door for our daily dose of exercise. Here is Olympic marathon runner and Runna coach Steph Davis' top 5 tips to keep your training going in the right direction!

1. Invest in Winter kit

Running in the rain and cold is hard at the best of times, but even less fun if you don’t have the right kit to protect you from the elements. Running kit to keep you dry and warm is imperative. A pair of gloves, some warmer socks and a few lightweight waterproof layers is really useful - you never know when you will be caught in a downpour!

2. Tell a friend / find a training buddy

You’ve just finished work, it is dark and raining. It is so tempting to head home, have a nice dinner and cosy up in front of the TV. If we arrange to meet a friend for a run or commit to going to a club session, it holds you accountable. We don’t want to let others down so by committing to a day and time, we won’t procrastinate or convince ourselves not to go. Even if your friends won't run with you, you can still tell a friend about the run you are planning to do. You’ll feel better for doing it when they ask you later how that run went… 

3. Cross Train

There will be days where you just can’t face going outside for your run but you can still get in a good workout. Over the winter, you can add variety to your training by swapping some of your runs for cross training in the gym. Activities such as swimming, cycling and elliptical trainer will keep your fitness levels up and shelter you from the rain and cold.

4. Sign up for an event

An event in the diary gives you a reason to resist the temptation to snooze the alarm clock and brave the cold and dark mornings. Finding the determination to push through a tempo or interval session can be hard at the best of times, but with a race fast approaching, we have something to aim for and a purpose for pushing through the session. Here are some of our top events for 2024.

5. Find a training plan

Deciding what training to do today can be the hardest part. If we can’t think of anything, we might end up doing nothing. By signing up to a training plan which sets out each run for you, you don't have to think about how far and what sort of run to do - the work is done for you. This will keep you on track with your training so that when summer rolls around again, you are ready to set all new PBs.

p.s. grab 2 weeks free with Runna, the No. 1 rated training app, with the code LETSDOTHIS.

Join now.

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Rainproof your run

Rainproof your run Explore the six key pieces that’ll turn wet weather runs into a breeze. From water-resistant headphones to a wet-wicking cap, nothing can dampen your stride with these in your kit.

As we prepare to transition between seasons, the weather never fails to throw a curveball. With rainy days on the horizon, we’ve rounded up the top six training pieces that’ll waterproof your routine.

Brooks Ghost 15 GTX trainers. Upgraded with waterproof materials, this even lighter-weight GTX version of the ever-comfortable Ghost 15 trainer blazes through drizzle and downpours alike.

Sealskinz Waterproof running socks. Keeping wet feet, blisters, and frostbite at bay, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without ‘the sock that started it all’ during downpours. Each one is hand-tested to confirm it stands up to tricky weather conditions.

Brooks Canopy jacket: A jacket that’s windproof, rainproof, lightweight, and easy to pack away can be a tricky balance to strike – this one ticks all those boxes and more, as it stows away into a built-in backpack. It promises not to add weight or restrict movement.

On Weather Vest. When you can’t rely on the climate, you can always count on this weightless vest, which promises to weather-proof every run. Its lightweight design makes this a dependable alternative to a rain jacket throughout those Indian summer runs.

Ciele GOCap Elite waterproof cap. Performance and protection unite with this any-weather cap, which is packed with waterproof properties. The COOLmatic fabric helps to regulate your temperature, wicks away moisture, and enables rapid drying – all in one seriously cool design.

Shokz OpenRun headphones. Offering IP67 water resistance, eight hours of non-stop listening time, and crystal-clear sound quality, getting caught in the rain is a pleasure with these headphones in your kit. 

Ask us Anything

Ask Us Anything Edition 02

From duathlon recommendations, to race day shoes, breathing techniques, bike repair courses and more, here is what you've been asked us this month.

From duathlon recommendations, to race day shoes, breathing techniques, bike repair courses and more, here is what you've been asked us this month.

p.s. please click here if you want to submit your own question.

Question | 1

Do you know where I can find a list of in-person (not online) basic bike maintenance classes? I'd just like to learn how to look after my bike properly, and check it is safe every time I go out. (Chloe, The Midlands)

Answer | 1

Great question. Admittedly none of the team actually live up in the Midlands currently, however we have done some research and found some options below that are local bike shops offering a variety of bike maintenance courses for different skills.

  • Birmingham Bike Foundry - a great small class option for covering the basics (which seems to answer your brief!)
  • Future Cycles Training in Leicester: - these look like they offer a great range based on different levels so you can always do more with them as you advance
  • Women in Tandem - While this isn't a course but a network of women who are into cycling, they offer a variety of  free 'Dr Bike' sessions where I'm sure you could learn how to fix any issues your bike has.  


From Lisa, Let's Do This team member, seasoned runner and aspiring cycling enthusiast

Question | 2


I am keen to avoid swimming! Can you recommend suitable duathlon events for me - First timer - so sprint event preferred initially, ideally with closed roads or v minimal traffic for the bike element near London [Mark]

Answer | 2

I think a great option will be Dorney triathlon/Duathlon - it's a great location with the iconic Dorney lake (famed for rowing in the 2012 Olympics) which sees both the run and cycle happen within the grounds (so no traffic)! There are plenty of options to compete with both the standard and sprint distances and even a relay if you wish to team up and tackle the disciplines. They also have swim/bike options and the full triathlon to really complete the menu for all things multi-sport!

From James, Let's Do This team member and seasoned triathlete

Question | 3

Hi - I have a question about breathing and running. What’s the best breathing techniques for long distance running? I.E. half marathons. What exercises can you do to practice this? Thank you

Answer | 3

For breathing keep it rhythmic and regular -breathe in for two steps and breath out for two. So it’s a constant in in, out out. If you start panting or irregular breathing then you won’t get the oxygen in.

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner / triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 4

When training for a half marathon do I need to incorporate additional protein into my routine? If so, when is best / any brands you recommend? [Emily, Surrey]

Answer | 4

When doing any training, the 'gains'/'improvements' come from your recovery. When you exercise whether that's running, lifting weights, cycling etc your muscles get broken down and the key component in their repair is protein. This doesn't mean you need to be smashing protein shakes every time you work out or even every day but a good rule of thumb is to eat around 1-2g of protein per kg of bodyweight. Personally, I'm 62kg and all I do is ensure I have 20-30g protein in each meal (through meat/fish, beans, lentils, scoop of protein powder in my morning oats etc) and that works for me. On an extra hard day I might have a recovery shake that has 20g protein but it's not the be all and end all. Best tip: fuel your body properly with good, whole foods, lots of carbs, plenty of fruit and veg etc - now is not the time to be trying any sort of fad diet!

Please note I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician, this is just my advice from years of training for triathlons, running, hockey etc. Please speak with your GP or registered dietician if you are going to be making any drastic changes to your diet

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner | triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 5

Do I need to buy a separate pair of trainers for race day? How much of a difference will they make? [Sara, Dorset]

Answer | 5

Rule number one in racing - nothing new on race day and this includes clothing, footwear, food and drink! However, it is recommended to have a separate pair of race trainers for race day only and even a 'shoe rotation' during your training. Each time you wear a pair of trainers, it compresses the foam and insole making it less absorbent to the impact when you are out running which could in turn lead to greater risk of injury. You need to give your shoes time to relax after each run.

Personally - I have a few pairs of shoes I use in my rotation;

Saucony Triumph 20 - slow, long runs

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 - tempo efforts

Saucony Pro 2 - track or interval/max effort work

Nike AlphaFLY (carbon plated) - race day only (I always wear for an effort 5k before I race in them so they're not brand new on race day).

Each brand of shoe has their own version of the Saucony ones listed below - Brooks, ASICS, Adidas, Nike etc. It's about finding the right shoe that works for you. Now I admit this might be a bit on the extreme end of shoes and you can easily do your training in one pair, you just need to find the best 'everyday trainer' from your preferred brand.

To go back and answer the question properly, no you do not need to buy a new pair of trainers for race day but, it will make a hell of a difference on tired legs if you have fresh shoes! Barely used foam and padding and a lighter shoe will give you a spring in your step and it'll help stop your legs feeling as tired at the end of the race. If you opt for a carbon plated shoe, you could be looking at anywhere between 2-5% faster - there's a reason all the top athletes and professionals choose these types of shoes for race day!

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner | triathlete-extraordinaire

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