General FAQs

What are some good training books for triathlon?

Complete Guide to Endurance Training is a bit of a tri bible for kiwis and is a text for sports science university students. Jon Ackland runs Performance Lab NZ. The book focuses on training and the principles of training and explains how to write you own programmes using peak mileage weeks with microcycles etc.

Perhaps more popular is Joe Friel’s Triathlete’s Training Bible  – he’s been around for decades and knows the sport inside out.

Are there specialised swim goggles for those who wear glasses?

Olivia wears contact lenses and Zoggs Predator Flex goggles which have polarized lenses to knock out reflection. Judging by the open water start of races they are very popular.

If you want prescription goggles you could try here.  You don’t need an exact prescription so you should be able to buy them off the peg like this.

How can I improve my swimming?

You should consider some focused technique sessions with a good coach – you’ll learn the principles for efficient technique and can then do regular training sessions to reinforce your new skills. No point spending hours in the pool each week if your technique is messed up, you’ll improve a bit but will then find you start to plateau fairly soon. Rob Popper (club member) coaches via, or Terry Collins (one of our swim coaches) does regular group technique courses and one-on-one sessions.

Paying for technique sessions can be expensive, but 12 sessions @ £20 (group sessions) with some clear technique improvement to show at the end is still better value than years of pool entries with limited gains (not uncommon!). If you want to get faster you can either swim more and try to gain fitness, or improve your technique – good technique mostly sticks with you, but fitness fades quickly!

Any recommendations on a physio / doctor I should see about my sports related injury / issue?

The parameters of this question are too diverse to adequately respond here. This is a recurrent question asked on the e-group, so a good start would be to use the ‘search’ function of the e-group and look under the key word ‘physio’ or ‘doctor’.

I’d like to do an Ironman race, any suggestions?

There are scores of IM (branded) and IM distance races to choose from, many of which fill up within days of opening, which is often a full year before the race date. Important considerations are the time of year you want to race; how far you can travel to a race; how scenic / difficult a race is; price; and whether your Tri London buddies will also be racing!

Have a look here to see an in depth comparison of 25 IM branded races.

What should I pack for a triathlon?

Below is an indicative checklist put together by John Griffin:


  • Goggles (& spare pair)
  • Swim Cap (often supplied by race organisers)
  • Tri one-piece (if pool swim/no wetsuit)
  • Tri top & shorts (if not wearing one piece)
  • Wetsuit (if necessary)
  • Baby oil/lubricant for wetsuit
  • HRM strap (optional)
  • Towel (dual purpose – for marking transition & shower after if not too muddy!)
  • Race belt (Not all races allow these)
  • Stapler (can use safety pins/ some race belts have poppers & don’t require pins)
  • Safety Pins – also useful for additional securing of your timing chip.


  • Cycle helmet
  • Cycle shoes
  • Talc for cycle shoes
  • Water bottle(s), Aero bottle (for all but sprint races)
  • Mini Pump
  • Sunglasses (with choice of lenses to allow for light conditions on the day)
  • Saddle pack (with puncture repair kit)
  • Wind/Rain proof top (cold weather)
  • Gloves (in cold weather)
  • Track pump (can usually borrow this at most events)
  • Running shoes
  • Running cap (in the unlikely event sunny conditions are forecast!)
  • Carb drink (enough for pre-race, race and post race)
  • Energy bars/gels
  • Bananas


  • Race pack & directions
  • BTA licence
  • Money & credit cards
  • Keys
  • Mobile phone
  • Sun screen (in the unlikely event hot sunny weather is forecast!)
  • Waterproof / plastic bag (to keep transition gear dryish in case of rain, and for easily getting in your wetsuit)
  • Shower gel


  • Running top/fleece (for pre and post race warmth)
  • Track suit bottoms
  • Long sleeve top (cold weather)
  • Socks (pre and post race or for extreme cold weather/duathlons)