New to Tri Report from Joanna Doran

In News, Race Reports by Joe Johnson2 Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Joanna’s report and I’m sure you will too. The obvious enthusiasm is absolutely contagious..  Enjoy.


Ten weeks ago as we stood in the upstairs gym at Base 2 Race I hoped I would finish the New to Tri programme with a better consistency to my training and a bit of a better swim (quite the task!). Little did I know all the other benefits that would come hand in hand with the great programme that Deirdre and the team at Belpark had put together – including an awesome, encouraging atmosphere and some great new friends. I had decided to take part in the Belpark New to Tri programme as I completed the Try a Tri in Athlone and Gaelforce West in 2016. This was my first taste of triathlon and adventure racing and I definitely got the bug, deciding to join a club this year and learn a bit more about triathlon.

The learning began from day one of this programme!! That first day we had an introduction to the programme and Deirdre and Linda gave us our 10 week training programme culminating in our very own, or exclusive if you will, Super Sprint Race! Then it was time to head outside for a run session with Gary. I’d never had run coaching before and it was great to see the different drills and the benefit they have to your running gait. Also quite amusing to me at the time was the fact that we were expected to have different paces for different distances – I literally have one gear, one! Having only completed one try-a-tri, I had no clue what ‘Race Pace’ was! This session was a good way to get to know one another and it was also good to see that we all had similar concerns (mainly swimming – myself included!).

Wednesday nights became swim nights in Terenure and we were soon ‘sprinting’ up and down the pool. Highlight for most of us had to be the weeks we got to do a diving start for our sprints…amazing how excited we all got at the prospect, it was like being back in school with our instructor jumping for cover from the belly flop splashes (mine!).

We also got to take part in the regular club training activities such as Thursday running with Emmet in UCD, the Sunday club spins and the brick sessions where you combine cycling and running.

The day of the race had a great atmosphere with loads of Belpark members turning out to support and marshal the race. They were great support and had loads of tips for us as to how to set up our transition areas and how to handle the different parts of the race. Everyone really enjoyed the day and we were all delighted to have the first race under the recently purchased race belt! Did I mention there’s lots of gear to buy, well, there is! But hey, that’s one of the great attractions of Triathlon. We all love new toys!

All in all, it’s been a great experience. We had a great group of people on the programme. Everyone has a great attitude and we all help each other out. Not only did we get to have our own training programme, by also jumping in with the seasoned Belparkers on club training, you really get to learn how those that are better than you approach that part of the sport. The Phelps’ in the pool, Froomes on the Sunday cycles and the Sonia O’Sullivans at Thursday night running. All are only too willing to give helpful advice. So, thanks to everyone for the great craic over the last few months, to Deirdre and all at Belpark for the time and hard work invested into our group. If you’re reading this and thinking of giving it a go, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve now joined the club and have the Club Tri-Suit to prove it, which I look forward to wearing in the many more races we’ve signed up for!

Additional note from New to Tri participant Roisin Meehan:

“The whole lot was a highlight really – meeting all the fellow new to tri-ers, getting in a pool for the first time in years and discovering I actually like swimming, getting out on the bike on some lovely sunny Sundays (coffee by the sea in Bray was a highlight), running laps around UCD.

The 10 weeks passed so quickly and if someone has said to me in Jan I’d be found in UCD every Friday at 7am swimming about 1km I’d have thought they were mad. I think the point I knew I was hooked was when I was running around Terenure College car park at 10pm on a Wednesday night, soaking having just got out of the pool – and I was totally enjoying myself! I’m a tri girl now!

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