London Triathlon race tips for this weekend
Athletes entering the water at the London Triathlon

London Triathlon race tips for this weekend

From deep-water starts to lengthy transitions, the world's largest triathlon has challenges aplenty. We look at how to make sure you have the best race possible

Are you one of 13,000 people nervously counting down the days to this weekend’s London Triathlon? We asked 220 contributor and tri coach Joe Beer to put together some useful tips on how to get the most from this year’s race.

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With a deep-water start in the Docklands, long transitions and a tricky run section, the world's largest triathlon has hazards that can catch out even the experienced multisporter.

Be warned – there are some important changes to this year's route, with all athletes on Sunday to pass Canary Wharf. Make sure you're familiar with the 2015 course (map right here). The full race information guide is here.

So, read on for Joe's advice…

Deep-water start

Swimmers awaiting the start of the London Triathlon

"The moment you are allowed in the water you should get your head under, get moving and keep moving," says Joe. "As the start time approaches, give yourself enough room behind to let your legs float up, scull in place with a light kick. You can now get away quickly as the gun goes off, as leg drag is low and your arms are ready to catch the water."

Transition length

Transition at London Triathlon

"The length of transitions may wreak havoc for those used to putting on their cycle shoes and running with the bike. If you cannot jump on the bike and put your cycle shoes on as you ride then don’t try it for the first time in the race. 

"Instead, at T1 hold your cycle shoes in one hand and wheel the bike with the saddle or handlebar stem. At a wide enough point after the mount line, pop your cycle shoes on then mount the bike. Then after the bike leg as you approach T2 you should dismount, move to the side, take your shoes off and run back to your waiting run shoes."

Bike route

Athletes cycling at London Triathlon

"With multiple roundabouts you need to be sure you use a safe approach – check over your shoulder to see if you are about to be overtaken. Adjust your speed if necessary and ensure your pedal position will not clip the floor. It’s better to be safe, stay upright and get to T2 with no road rash or broken bike parts. The bike is the controlled leg, not a flat-out time trial where every second counts."

Run route

Athletes running at the London Triathlon

"Plenty of changes of direction and corners make this run route one that really challenges athletes, who find themselves constantly trying to relax. With that in mind, you should find the best tempo for the particular section of the turn you are in and keep the most economical line. If you have to slow down then be sure to accelerate smoothly back up to race pace."

If this is your first triathlon then take a look at our Beginners section, where you'll find advice on common issues such how to negotiate transitions, the kit you need and more. Good luck!

Are you racing the London Triathlon this year? How are you feeling as race day approaches? Let us know in the comments below!


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Because Transition is indoors it can play havoc with your GPS devices. If you depend on your GPS for speed or pace information you should knowing how to "flash" the gps setting on and off if very helpful when you are going flat out>


Looking forward to it and I will be racing in memory of a friend Darren Hale who sadly died after collapsing shortly after the Blithfield Triathlon on Sunday. He lived for triathlon even though he was very new to it and so I know he would want me to compete.

Ben Park

Racing on Sunday, first ever triathlon so pretty nervous. Haven't been able to swim for three weeks due to an injury but have been given the all-clear for Sunday. Don't know what to expect with transition but worried i'm not going to be able to find my bike and spend ages wandering around aimlessly.


Ben - don't worry, whilst the transition area is massive its pretty easy to navigate - there is a well marked route and each of the racks has a very large letter on it and wave start times using it.  So all you need to remember is:

1. What letter you racked in (e.g. A, C or whatever)

2. Which side of the rack you were (expo side or non-expo side or if you were C where you were the B side of the D side) to ensure you run down the correct aisle; and

3. How far you were from down the aisle - least important bit really, and I find a coloured towel over the handle bars allows you to a) dry your hands, and b) spot your bike a bit further away.

Then its just a case of remembering that bike out is "expo side by the water" and run out is "expo side away from the water" or just "by the entrance to transition" (there are also very big signs).

You should be fine and certainly spend a couple of minutes walking through it if you have any doubts.

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