FAQ’s

  • How do I decide whether to join Year 1, Year 2 or Year 3 of the Masters Programme?

Each Year Group is set up to be relevant to athletes with different levels of experience and training for different distances. Year 1 Masters is for those athletes doing their first sprint distance or standard distance. Year 2 will improve your performance over standard distance or prepare you for your first middle distance or 70.3 race. By Year 3 you are ready to become long distance triathlete or reach your best performances over shorter distances. Year 3 is the right level of preparation for triathletes with potential for Age Group qualification over standard distance or if you are doing your first long distance event.

You can view more about the specifics of the Year Groups here and you will also be able to click through to each Year Group to get more details.

  • I want to join the Masters Program but I'm not sure what I should put on the Order Form?

When you have decided which is the most appropriate Year Group to join (and if you need any help you can always email us at office@thetrilife.com) then you are ready to join.

As well as the standard "about you" information, the order form also requires you to put in the date of your first and second priority races this year.

For Year 1 your first priority race should be a sprint or standard distance race that is more than 12 weeks away.  Your second priority race should also be a sprint or standard distance.  If possible, there should be at least eight weeks between the two races.

For Year 2 if you are focussing on standard distance then your first priority race should be a standard distance race that is more than 12 weeks away.  Your second priority race should a middle or standard distance.  If possible, there should be at least eight weeks between the two races.  If your priority is a middle distance event then please put that as your race one.

For Year 3 is your priority is a long distance race this year the your first priority race should be a long distance race that is more than 12 weeks away.  If competing over standard distance at a high level is your focus for this year then please make your first race a standard distance that is at least 12 weeks away.  You should aim for a minimum of 4 weeks between priority races.

There is a space on the form to tell us the name of the races and this is really helpful information for us to have, so if you have booked your event, please do let us know which one it is.

There is also a comment field.  Please use this space to tell us a little more about you and your season ahead so that we can ensure that your program is as suitable for you as possible.  You can tell us anything in here! It can relate to your health, your fitness level, your work schedule, your holiday plans, your available time.... Anything that you think might be relevant to you being able to complete your training.

  • What are the options of triathlon distances?

Long distance - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run
Half distance (often called 70.3) - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run
Olympic distance - 1500 metre (.93 mile) swim, 40k (24.8 mile) bike and 10k (6.2 mile) run
Sprint distance - generally about half of an Olympic distance race, so 750 metre swim, 20k (12.4 mile) bike and 5k (3.1 mile) run
Super sprint distance - about a quarter of an Olympic distance race, 325 metre swim, 10k (6.2 mile) bike and 2.5k (1.5 mile) run

  • What distance should I choose?

Whilst you need to take into consideration your ability to handle the bike and run distance, your deciding factor will likely come down to the length of the swim.  This is generally the most challenging part of the event and you need to be sure that you can handle the distance that you have opted for, bearing in mind that the conditions (if open water) will be vastly different from a swimming pool.

If you're new to triathlon, start with a sprint or super sprint and work your way up through the distances as you become more experienced.  You may reach a distance that you're totally happy with, perhaps Olympic or half distance, and decide that whilst you don't want to go for a longer distance, you do want to keep improving upon your time for each discipline within the event.

      • How do I join the Masters Facebook Group?

When you join the Masters Program you will get the opportunity to join the Masters Facebook Group.

You can find out more in our post "How To Get Involved In the Facebook Group".

      • Is there anything you recommend in order for me to make the most of my membership?

The Masters Program is much more than just a pdf training plan delivered to you monthly, so why not take a look at "How To Make The Most Of Your Membership".

  • How much time will I have to spend on training?

The amount of time spent on training will depend on the level you are at and the distance you are training for, however as a guide, Year 1 training will be from around 4 hours per week, Year 2 training from 6 hours per week and upwards and Year 3 will be working in the 8+ hours per week training bracket.

  • Should I join a triathlon club or is it better to train alone?

This is entirely personal choice.  There are those that are for and those that are against being part of a club.  There is an interesting article on Tribesports on the Advantages Of Joining A Triathlon Club which you may find interesting.

  • I want to join but I have a busy career / social life / family commitments - is this the right program for me?

Everyone has a busy life and there is never enough time to fit in everything you want to do, but there are many ways to train smart so that you can fit your training around your work / family / social commitments.

 Check out 5 'I Can't Do a Triathlon Because...' Myths Busted.

  • Will I need to buy a lot of expensive equipment?

No.  Simple answer.  You may find that as you get more into the sport you want to spend more money on better equipment and gadgets but to start you need trainers, swimwear and a bike.

Athletes already active in the sport, may want to take a look at "Tri bars, low-profile bikes and aero helmets".

  • Will I need a wetsuit?

If you are taking part in an open water triathlon in the UK you will need a full length wetsuit.

If you are in your first season of triathlon then it makes a lot of sense to hire your wetsuit rather than buy it. There are a number of companies that allow you to hire for a season and then return.

You may want to have a look at our article "Wetsuit design – what will make me go faster?" 

  • What sort of bike should I have?  Can I get by with my mountain bike?

You can do a triathlon on a road bike, mountain bike or hybrid bike as long as it is roadworthy - loads of people do their first triathlon on a mountain bike. Obviously a road bike is going to be faster so it depends on what your objectives are – do you want to complete or are you going for the win?

You may also want to consider getting a turbo trainer for those times that it's not possible to train outside.  Our article "Looking To Buy Your First Turbo Trainer?" may be helpful.

  • I have lots of questions that are relevant to me - will someone be able to answer these for me as they arise?

Yes! There are many ways that you can get your questions answered.  You can email the coaches on office@thetrilife.com and they can either email you back or can arrange a convenient time to have a phone chat with you.  Additionally, posting in the Facebook Group is the ideal way to get a question answered as it will be seen by your peers (who may already have the answer for you) and it will also be seen by the coaches.  Plus every question that is answered in the Facebook Group has the potential to help someone else within the group.

  • I have a question!

If you have a question that you want answered but also think we should include in our FAQ's then please do email it to us on faq@thetrilife.com.  It may be that the question is specific to you (we have recently had questions on modifying training plans, swallowing water when sea swimming, using camel packs when racing...) in which case we will ensure we answer you directly, however if the question and answer will benefit everyone, then we will answer you directly and add the details to this page.