tri newbies

Peter Canning--from newbie to mentorSome thoughts from HEAT member Peter Canning, a former newbie…

New to triathlon? Entered a couple races and looking to improve? Or maybe just thinking about training for your first triathlon? You have come to the right place. We at HEAT are passionate about triathlon and we want all comers to join our club. Whether you are training for an Iron Man or for your first sprint triathlon, we are here to help you. Afraid you are too slow or new to the sport to belong to a triathlon club, no worries. While we have champions, we also have middle and back-of-the-packers. All ages and abilities, we share the same philosophies: camaraderie, fitness and fun. We want you in our club and wearing our colors (although it’s okay if you don’t) at the races.

Frequently asked questions about triathlon

What is a triathlon?
A triathlon is a race combining the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. Triathlons include the sprint distance (typically 1/4 to 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 5K run mile, the Olympic distance (1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 10K run) the half-ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.2 mile run) and the iron length (2.4 mile swim, 110 mile bike, 26.2 mile run).

Are there many triathlons in Connecticut?
The triathlon season begins in late May and runs through October. Connecticut is host to many sprint races,  Olympic races and half iron races. For a list of triathlons and other local races in Connecticut, click on our events link.

What are good races for a beginner to consider?
A sprint triathlon is a good starter distance. A sprint race can be found most every week during the tri-season. The Hartford Marathon Foundation sponsors a popular sprint distance race in Niantic in August, and in September they host a women’s only triathlon in Farmington. Both races are excellent venues for beginners. Also in the summer there are two popular triathlon training series. Every other Thursday night, there is a triathlon at Lake Terramuggus in Marlboro and every Tuesday night there is a triathlon at Winding Trails in Farmington. These tri-training events are cheap, low-key and attended by many HEAT members.

What is a duathlon?
A duathlon involves running, biking and running.

What is an aquathon?
An aquathon involves swimming and biking. Some triathlons offer an aquabike division to those who don’t want to run for injury or other reason.

My background is running and cycling, but am a poor swimmer, is there any hope for me of completing a triathlon?
Yes, many triathletes start out as runners and cyclists and have to learn to swim. We sponsor a winter swim series. When the weather clears, we have many group open water swims that are great practice for an event. Should you desire a wetsuit (which greatly helps bouncy and limit anxiety), your HEAT membership will get you a discount at our sponsors who sell them. We also regular post information about swimming instruction and clinics. You can do it!

Frequently asked questions about HEAT

Do I have to try out?
No. We take anyone who loves triathlon and has $40 to spare. We also take duathletes, aquabikers and people who only pursue one of the three disciplines: swimming, cycling, running.

What are the benefits?
Besides the free dry-release HEAT tee-shirt, you have access to significant sponsor discounts, free medical advice from our HEAT Medical Director, our mentor program which pairs newer members with experienced triathletes, and participation on our very active forum where you can ask questions and discuss triathlon with our membership (including some of the top triathletes in New England) as well as read and share race reports and encouragement.

Are there mandatory meetings, practices, or races?
No, but we provide up-to-date information on group swims (including open water), bike rides, and runs that anyone is welcome to attend. There are many races where a large contingent of our members participate. At club championships all members can help HEAT win through age group performance or simply by finishing the race. We also have great parties, and all are welcome to attend our BOARD meetings.

Do I have to wear the HEAT uniform at the races?
No, but we like it if you do. HEAT members wear everything from a full HEAT uniform to a HEAT tee-shirt, to a HEAT hat or HEAT socks. A benefit to wearing the colors is it is always great to hear “Go HEAT!” out on the course.

How do I join?
Memberships can be purchased online in our store or on the Join HEAT page.

If you have more questions about HEAT, please send us an email or feel free to ask anyone wearing HEAT gear about the club.