Lough Key Triathlon Club December 2015

Hello and welcome to the second Lough Key Tri Club Newsletter.We wish everyone associated with the club and all our friends a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2016...

December is probably the quietest month of the triathlon year so we have afforded more room to some history of the sport in this edition along with some beginners information. Please feel free to send on this newsletter to anyone that has an interest in our club, might be interested in joining us or perhaps giving one of our organised events a go! January is often a month for new beginnings and maybe we can try and develop some new members ourselves. Therefore I encourage all members to send on this newsletter to anyone that may be interested in what we do!

Race Reports

Nice group of members braved the floods and the turkey hangover and headed out to Leitrim Village on Stephans Day and were rewarded with a lovely event. Nice 5k out and back route with the the rain staying away. We had Graham Allen, Tadhg Moran, Ashley Molloy, Dympna Kelly, Bernie Glancy and Liam Doherty all taking part with Mark on the photos and Barry Kerr cheering us on.

Christmas Party 2015

A great night was had by all on our Christmas night out. We went Bowling and then back to Murtaghs for food and refreshments. Thanks to Kenny and Siobhan for their hospitality on the night, loads of chat on 2016 plans so it's looking like a busy year ahead!!


A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon

It covers beginners training tips, equipment advise and a guide for your first triathlon. Plus I try to debunk some of the myths surrounding the very positive and sociable sport of triathlon.


There’s two school of thought when it comes to the history of Triathlon, with most believing that the modern sport of triathlon developed out of San Diego in the 1970’s. However triathlon type events took place in the early 1900’s in France, so they claim to be the first.

The sport of Triathlon that we recognise today began at the San Diego Track Club in the early 1970s as a fun diversion from normal athletics training. As is the way with these things, people got competitive and a more structured race format started to emerge. Soon other athletics clubs and individuals were competing and organising Triathlons, and the sport has continued in an unbroken line since then.

Triathlon grew in popularity throughout the 70s and 80s; and in 1989 the ITU was formed to govern the sport globally. Within only 6 years the ‘International Triathlon Union’ (ITU) had managed to gain agreement from the IOC that Olympic status would be given to sport (the Olympic distance Triathlon is cleverly based on three existing Olympic events; the 1500m freestyle swim, 40Km cycle and 10K run). The first official Olympic event taking place at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Triathlon today is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. There are over 100 national bodies funding and supporting local clubs and events. Internationally, two significant bodies have developed. The ITU mainly promotes Olympic style short course triathlon and the ‘World Triathlon Corporation’ (WTC) which mainly promotes long distance Ironman triathlon.

Triathlon Distances

There are many different distances and types of Triathlon, from children’s distances and super-sprint distances, through to the most common distances Super-Sprint, Sprint and Olympic and the longer Half and Full distances (aka Half-Ironman, Ironman).

Most races conform to these distances:

Super Sprint/Try-a-Tri – Swim 400m-500m, cycle 15km-20km, run 3-5km

Sprint – Swim 750m, Cycle 20K, Run 5K

Standard/Olympic – Swim 1500m, Cycle 40K, Run 10K.

Half/Half Ironman/Ironman70.3 -Swim 1900m, Cycle 90K, Run 21.09K.

Full/Ironman – Swim 3800m, Cycle 180K, Run 42.2K

Note: the overwhelming majority of triathlons are Sprint or Olympic distance, making up 80-90% of all triathlons in Ireland.

Ironman 70.3 Start

Triathlon in Ireland

In Ireland, Triathlon has grown explosively in the last 10 years, but the first races was way back in 1983 in Skerries, Co. Dublin and Greystones, co. Wicklow. Maurice Mullins was the driving force behind the swim, cycle, run Skerries Triathlon, while Gerry Kelly was the organizer of the bike, run, swim Greystones triathlon, which was won by Michael (Mick) Walsh, a top Irish cyclist at the time. The Irish Triathlon race calendar now has over 200 events all year round, but it’s really packed from May to September, with three or more races every weekend.

The vast majority of events have 200 or less competitors and so are small and friendly in nature.


Basic equipment required with basic costs are:

Swim: wetsuit, goggles and a hat. (basic cost ~ €200)

Cycle: Racing bike and helmet (basic cost ~ €700. The ‘cycle to work’ scheme will half this price)

Run: Road running shoes (basic cost ~ €70)

Race Clothing: the best option is a tri-suit (basic cost ~ €80)

As with a lot of sports, the whole equipment questions is a bit like the piece of string question. As this guide is aimed at the beginner, I’m recommending basic equipment, as your fitness will have a much bigger influence on performance than equipment. When you’re aiming to win races, yes that 30second gained with a aero helmet is worth it, but not at the beginners level.

Have a look at this transition photo from the Lough Key Triathlon and you’ll see that lot's of bikes are entry level road bikes costing less than €1000. The performance end of the sport in Ireland is very small.

Equipment in more detail:

A swimsuit or swimming shorts – these shouldn’t be baggy, they should fit you snugly/comfortably so that you don’t drag through the water; it makes a difference. Most or all sports shops will have swimming gear and these should set you back about €20. Popular brands include BlueSeventy, Spiuk, Speedo, Zoggs, Aquasphere, 2XU. If you are feeling adventurous you can get tri-shorts or a tri-suit which is a combination of a swimsuit with a chamois (padding) for cycling. These are great because you when you come out of the water you can get onto the bike with some comfort, and you can swim in them while training if you like.

A Wetsuit – In Ireland you will more than likely need a wetsuit to race as practically all open water races require one. For safety, speed and warmth, wetsuits are great. Plus they make you about 10% faster. The suit you rent or buy should be triathlon specific, meaning that it’s flexible at the shoulders to allow you to swim comfortably.

You can spend any amount of money on a suit but it needs to fit well…perfectly in fact. Swimming in a suit that is the wrong size is miserable; if it’s too small you will expend a tonne of energy fighting the suit, your breathing will be difficult and getting out of the suit in transition will be a nightmare (you will also probably damage the suit taking it off). If the suit is too big then the cuffs and neck will be loose, you’ll take on a lot of water, the suit will drag and you will move like a barge in the water. Take time picking a wetsuit, try on a few, swim in them if you can and pick one that gives you a good range of motion, feels snug but not too tight and is within your price range. If you’re worried that you’ll look fat/lumpy/skinny/weird in the suit then you shouldn’t; you will definitely look fat/lumpy/skinny/weird – but don’t let this influence the size you pick (seriously, don’t pick a smaller wetsuit in the hope that it’ll hold in your bits and make you look good – it won’t, and you’ll struggle in the water).

Goggles – Goggles are a bit of a personal thing. Your goggles should fit snugly, form a tight seal against your eyes and nose, and give you enough range of vision to see where you’re going. A tinted lens is useful; especially in races where you’re swimming into the sun. A lot of triathletes train and race in fairly standard goggles, but some people use more visor style goggles with larger lenses.

Swimming Hat–

Two hats for warmth, plus holding goggles in place.

Always wear a swimming hat when you swim, especially in open water. Your head gives off a lot of heat and with the cooling effect of the water flowing over your head you are literally dumping heat out of your body like a heat exchanger or car radiator. A brightly coloured (for safety) well insulated swimming hat is a cheap way to stay warmer when you swim. Top tip: wear 2 hats. Put on the thicker one first then your goggle, finally the second hat. This will stop your goggle slipping, while keeping you a bit warmer.

Runners & Running Socks – If you don’t already run then you should get your feet properly assessed at a running shop and buy the runners that are good for your feet. Spending a little bit of time at the beginning finding runners that match your foot type is time well spent. Running in the wrong shoes is no fun at all, and eventually you can do damage to your ankles, knees, hips. Do not, under any circumstances, wander into a “sports” shop (where they don’t actually know anything about sport…you know the shop) and let a sales assistant pick runners for you because they are new and cool, or pick the most expensive/most well known brand. The right runners for you will cost no more than the wrong runners.

Running socks are non-cotton socks that move smoothly inside your shoe and won’t chafe. Do not run in cotton socks. They will get soggy, clump in your shoe and form little creases – these creases will then cut your feet as you move and cause discomfort. Running socks are cheap and will save you a lot of hassle. You probably won’t race in socks (you’ll just throw your runners on and get motoring) but they are great for training.

A Bike – Practically any bike will do for your first race. Yes, you can race on a hybrid or mountain bike and you can modify practically any racing bike to make it a more efficient triathlon bike. If you’re going to use a bike that you already own then make sure that your gears, brakes and tyres are in good shape. If you’re going to buy a bike then take some time to get one that is the right size for you. Most good bike shops will be able to measure you and match the right frame size to your measurements. Top Tip: Use the bike to work scheme to half the cost of the bike. Use can offset the first €1000 of the cost of bike, helmet, shoes and other cycling kit against tax, essentially halfing the price. Ask any bike shop for details.


A few of the terms that you’ll come across and what they mean:

Transition: the forth disciple of triathlon. Getting slick at the transition from swim to the cycle called T1 and the transition from the cycle to the run (T2) is an art in its own right. Sprint triathlons are often won and lost in transition.

Remember – having a swift transition is the key to beating that person who runs, swims and bikes as fast as you!

Brick session: a cycle followed by a run session to prepare your legs for the jelly like feel of running after a hard cycle.

Tri-Bike: the top end bikes with cow horn handlebars used by the top competitors to get an aerodynamic position on the bike.





Existing Members can now renew your membership for the 2016 season for both Triathlon Ireland and the Club online via the TI website...

For insurance purposes, from January, you have to be a 2016 member to be covered for any training sessions that you take part in with the club so please renew as soon as possible.


  • Monday: Turbo @ 8pm in Leitrim Physio
  • Tuesday: Run @ 6.45am from Aura / Run Training with Graham @ 6.30pm from Aura/ Swimming Lessons
  • Wednesday: Swimming lessons 7 am / Turbo @ 8pm in Leitrim Physio
  • Thursday: Run 6.45am from aura/ Run training with Graham @ 6.30pm from Aura/ Swim lessons 9pm
  • Friday: Pilates @7am
  • Saturday: Club cycle from Esquires, if weather unfavourable Turbo in Leitrim Physio. 8am. Park Run Beginning late January (5k)
  • Sunday: Easy run in Forest park/

Contact Donal @ justtricoaching@gmail.com for information on swimming lessons

As always the best way to stay in contact about training is through the Whatsapp group, just let us know if you would like to be added to this text...................

January Race Calender

Naas Triathlon club will once again host the Butchers Block Duathlon Race Series in Punchestown racecourse in 2016. This race series kick-starts the Triathlon Ireland race calendar and is a great opportunity for anyone looking to try their hand at triathlon with a run/bike/run event. The event consists of a 3.5km run followed by a 20km bike and finishing off with the 3.5km run. The race series is held in Punchestown racecourse.

An exciting development which is about to start is the Parkrun series in the Forest Park every Saturday morning. Planned start date is the end of January so keep an eye on the Facebook page for more details. Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in

Rowing Club 5k.

Rowing Club 5k. Sunday January 10th from the Boathouse. Starts at 11am. This is a lovely race organised by our friends in the Rowing club. An unique opportunity to run down main street in Carrick and a good good early gauge of the recovery from Christmas! (Flooding/Weather dependent)

Don't panic..No Challenge Galway is not in January but a lot of members are aiming for this event in the summer. You can get more details by clicking the link below but due to the interest the club are putting together a training programme aimed at this event. Donnacha and Donal are heading up this programme and aim to have a quick meeting on the plans on Monday the 18th of January in Leitrim Physio.

These hills may or may not be in Galway!!!!

Contact...Please feel free to contact us at any stage with suggestions, ideas or observations on any aspect of the promotion of the club. I can add articles, photos, race reports and training plans to the newsletter each month along with updating the facebook page as soon as information is available. Together we can always ensure each member and as many non members as possible know what is happening in our club.

Ashley Molloy (Pro) 086 8296876/ ashleytmolloy@hotmail.com



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