This past Sunday we held our Beginners Training Day, which takes place around 5 weeks from the Joey Hannan Triathlon. It is geared toward beginners who are registered to do the Joey Hannan Triathlon, but this year attendees included people who just wanted to see what all this triathlon fuss is about.
We had athletes from Waterford, Kerry, Clare, Tipperary, and Limerick, 30 people in all. The day started at 9:45 with sign-in – most people even remembered that the clocks went ahead overnight! All athletes were colour-coded in groups (yellow-pink-red-green) based on their own estimated times.
The swim went on first, with some participants swimming in a 50-meter pool for the first time. Although it was daunting for some, everyone rose to the challenge. The swim session started with a warmup, followed by an explanation of the pool etiquette by swim director Eugene Keane. Those new to triathlon learned how the swim start is organised and what to do if the legs are getting tapped off of you. This was followed by how to get the turn right and fast and then how to get out of the water as fast as possible. It was a lot to take on for the first time and this was just the swim section, with transitions, bike and run to come. We included time for discussion before or after each part of the day, to allow athletes to review routes and ask questions.
At 12 o’clock it was bike time and what a day for a bike ride. Again groups were sorted by colour based on race distance and estimated cycling times, resulting in four groups out on the road. After a light lunch, we ran the race route in the surrounding of the UL campus, over the Living Bridge and down to the UL Boat Club passing the 4G pitches and over the University bridge looking down the Plassey River – a beautiful run it is.
The last thing to happen was the transitions and this was a quick show as by now athletes were starting to get tired. With the help of Philip and Anthony it went quickly and all the athletes tried the mount and dismount with different results.
Days like this cannot happen without the help from club members and they came through – to all the LTC members who came and helped out I thank you from the bottom of my heart. So after a hard day and a lot of work it was home and happy for the new group of triathletes. I will see you all on the last Sunday of April for race day.
- Mark Dempsey