We have provided answers to our most frequently asked questions below.  Hopefully you will find what you are looking for, but if not, you can ask us a question using the enquiry form.

I’m new to triathlon. What does it involve and what can I expect from Hot Chilli Tri Club?

Triathlon is an exciting multi-sport involving swimming, cycling and running (other variations include duathlon: cycling and running; and aquathlon: swimming and running).

Triathlon is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the UK, with people of all ages and abilities participating in it as an active lifestyle activity as well as a highly competitive sport. Hot Chilli Tri Club is a community club, open to all, to which you will be welcomed and be able to share a great deal of fun and experience in this vibrant and active sport!

I haven’t done a triathlon yet. Can I join?
Yes! You don’t have to race, you can just train and be part of this great sport. If you want to take part in a triathlon the club will encourage and support you in getting to and completing your first race. Everyone was a beginner once – and some more recently than others – so there are plenty of people in the club who understand where you’re coming from.
How much training will I have to do?
This very much depends on what your aims are! Triathlon races can be as short as an hour or as long as 17-hours and beyond. As a member of the club, head coach Richard will be happy to give you general guidance and the sessions are varied and structured across the year taking into account weather conditions, safety and build towards the race season for those who want to race. As a club we do not insist that you join any of the club sessions or that you train in all three disciplines – though you’ll probably get the bug and want to!
Do I have to race?
Not at all. As a club we aim to encourage participation and enjoyment of the sport and to do this in a friendly environment. Racing is not compulsory and you can join the club purely to get fit and healthy. We’ll warn you now, though: you will be tempted…
Do I need to be a member to attend club sessions?
If you are interested in taking part in the club’s activities, you are welcome to attend on a trial basis for three weeks. After this you will need to take up one of the two membership levels on offer.
How do I join the Club?
Come along to one of the club sessions and introduce yourself, contact the club membership coordinator for a chat, make use of our free three week trial membership or click here for more membership information.
What time and where are the swim sessions?
You will find training timetables here. Swimming takes place predominantly at Trowbridge Sports Centre as well as open water swimming at Vobster Quay during the summer months.
What is the minimum standard of ability required to join a club swim session?
Ideally you should be able to swim 50m front crawl (two lengths of a “normal” public pool) at any speed without stopping, before joining the structured coached club swim sessions. These can have more coaches on poolside and this makes it possible to deliver more individually focused coaching.
What if I can’t swim that well?
As a club we can recommend basic swimming lessons and 1 – 1 coaching with various people which will very quickly get you up to this standard. Please see the contact page and direct your enquires to Richard Smith – head coach.
What equipment do I need?
A well-fitting swimming costume, trunks or swim shorts and a good watertight pair of goggles are all you need initially for swim sessions. You will be advised on the potential purchase of swimming aids dependant on your ability and aims. For open water swimming you should have a suitable wetsuit (non-wetsuit swimming is very limited in the UK and a good swim wetsuit will also help with your personal safety). Club coaching staff will be able to advise you on wetsuit hire and purchase.
When and where are the bike rides?
You will find training timetables here. Bike rides are predominantly organised through the club’s Facebook group, though there are occasional coached sessions for beginners as well as a weekly turbo training session during the winter months.
Do I need to ride a racing bike?
No. However, you will find riding a road bike on the road easier than a heavy mountain bike and learning the skills of road riding will obviously benefit you if you plan to race. If you are going to use a non road bike we do recommend that you fit your bike with smooth or lightly treaded road tyres rather than knobbly off road tyres as these will slow you down. Once the triathlon bug has bitten, you’ll find your garage bulging with all kinds of bikes!
How fast and long are the bike rides?
Group bike rides are structured to offer different speeds and distances depending on how fast and far riders wish to go on the day. Groups generally have no more than about 10 riders.
I’m really slow, will I get left behind?
No. A rider (normally one of the coaches or ride leaders) rides with the slowest group to ensure that no one is left behind no matter how slow you are. You’re probably not as slow as you think and there are athletes of all abilities in the club.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
Yes. It is a requirement of club rides that you wear a helmet. No helmet, no ride! The same’s true of every triathlon event, so if you’ve not got a helmet, head out to your local bike shop (such as Paul Nash in Trowbridge) and get one that’s comfy and fits properly.
What time and where are the run sessions?
You will find training timetables here. Coached runs predominantly take place over the winter months, with some track sessions on the grass track behind the swimming pool during the summer. There are also social run events spread across the year.
How good a runner do I have to be to join the run sessions?
As with the swim and bike disciplines, the club sessions are designed to cater for all abilities. Ideally you should build up to the point where you can jog steadily at a pace where you can talk to the person beside you for 20 minutes without stopping. One session a week will focus on interval type training and the other will be a longer, endurance based run.
I am a really slow runner; will I get left behind?
Run sessions are structured to ensure that no one gets left behind. There are runners of all ability in the club, so there’s always someone to run with.
It’s the middle of the year; do I get a membership discount?
Membership runs from October to September, if you join after 1 April, then the annual membership cost is halved to £17.50.
Does my Hot Chilli Triathlon membership give me automatic membership of Triathlon England (TE)?
No. The club’s Triathlon England affiliation does NOT give our members automatic individual TE membership. We do strongly encourage all our members to join TE. Membership of TE provides a number of personal benefits and further enables the federation to undertake more work to develop the sport on a national level and offer greater support to the Hot Chilli Tri as a club. You can join TE by visiting www.britishtriathlon.org.