Tri-training Part 2

Triathlon for beginners – all the gear, no idea!

We did it! After 8 weeks of dedicated preparation, early mornings, late evenings, moaning, uncontrollable hunger and training side by side some serious pros, we finally completed our first triathlon.

We wouldn’t have been able to do it without our Embark family – even though our involvement with the Embark training programme wasn’t as regular as we would have liked (trying to squeeze in other fitness commitments for the blog), we aimed to partake in as many training sessions as we could, alongside our own workouts, which kept us motivated and more importantly, taught us some really valuable tips.

STeve Attwell – Embark

Our coach, STeve Attwell (founder of Embark) has done it all, from IRONMAN to representing the SA Duathlon team in France and completing many World Tri Champ events abroad! Realising that triathlons can be an intimidating sport for beginners, STeve set up Embark in 2010, specifically to coach and guide beginner athletes and give them the confidence to become triathletes.


Whether your goal is to complete your first triathlon, marathon or take on the challenge of a half iron-man, Embark offers all year round goal-orientated group training as well as one-on-one triathlon coaching and personal training, in private gyms, homes or the great outdoors.”


Our advice for triathlon first timers:

  1. Training for triathlons can be a little antisocial, so try sign up with a program like Embark or train with friends. The overall vibe of training with a beginner or even intermediate group is loads of fun and you will realise that everyone has personal goals and their own insecurities.
  1. When taking on your first triathlon, do it with a positive attitude and embrace our motto “completing not competing”… unless you’re there to win, don’t waste your energy on competing.
  1. Warning, don’t get too cheeky on race day, they have rules you need to abide by, so don’t cheese off the marshalls or they will call you out in front of everyone and your rookie identity will be revealed!
  1. Our Embark training proved to be very handy, we learnt all about the race rules, transition tips, oh and how to change a tire, which clearly didn’t come in handy when none of us brought a puncture kit on race day (such girls).
  1. We’ve established that triathlons are expensive (understandably seeing as they coin three different disciplines into one), but one important lesson we learnt was that you really don’t need all the fancy gear… well at least not until you become a pro and want to take on the more serious challenges. Okes go all out but the below is what you need for starters.


Essential equipment:


  • Goggles – open water goggles are the bomb
  • Wetsuit – a proper triathlon wetsuit is essential as it keeps you afloat and will save you when having to swim in those icy cold waters
  • Swimming cap – preferably bright coloured


  • Bike – nothing fancy, it just needs to have breaks and round wheels!
  • Helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Cycling shorts
  • Water bottle


  • Running shoes
  • Cap
Price: R675 per month
Contact: Email: Website contact form | Tel: 082 739 9010
Location: Atlantic Seaboard, Northern Suburbs, Southern Suburbs, Blouberg, Somerset West and Johannesburg.
Social Media: Facebook: EmbarkTri | Twitter: @EmbarkTri | Instagram: @embarktri

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