• Olympian Emma Jackson is providing top tips to triathlon newbies via Women’s triathlon website Witsup. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Thinking about dipping your toe into the metaphoric (and literal) water of a triathlon? Here’s where to start.
Erin Byrnes

13 Apr 2016 - 7:25 AM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2016 - 7:30 AM

Hit the ground running

Before you take off out the front door, take a look around online for a beginner’s program and advice on how to get started.

Women’s triathlon website Witsup is a great place to start. The site has released a series of ‘Tri Newbies’ videos, which feature Australian triathlete Emma Jackson dishing out tips for beginners. They cover a range of topics not usually outlined in beginner articles such as:

How to get comfortable with riding on the road

Running straight after a bike ride (jelly legs)

Not freaking out in the open water

Get into gear

Make sure you get gear that’s right for you. Again, this is where research comes into it. Read reviews, asks around, and try the equipment out. Your gear should be comfy, and in your price range. As cool as it might look, there’s probably no need to get a $2000 bike when you’re not riding more than 20ks, or the latest wetsuit if you’re just cutting laps of the local YMCA.

Gear includes safety equipment too - consider investing in high vis clothing, and definitely install a blinking light to the front and back of your bike.

Boring but important

Just like how your mum stopped you from getting back into the pool too soon after lunch, there are a few things you need to know before you get your tri on.

Each state in Australia has different cycling laws. For example, in NSW, QLD and SA, cars must stay at least 1m away from riders. In Victoria, no rule exists. Look up the rules in your state before you hit the road.

Insurance might be good idea. The Bicycle Network offers coverage under their membership fees as does Cycling Australia under their "Ride" basic option. 


All this sound a bit overwhelming? Look up your local triathlon club, or even swimming, running, and riding groups. They’ll be more than happy to help you find your way! 


Tri and enjoy it

There are definitely times when training’s not going to be easy. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would do it. You’ll probably launch your phone across the room when it tells you it’s time to get up for your Saturday morning ride at least once. But it’s the moments where you struggle that will make finishing your first tri all the more sweet.