Triathlete Simone Dailey's Top 5 tips for newbies -

I made a lot of mistakes as a newbie triathlete, mistakes that I learnt a lot from. Even to this day I still make mistakes, we all do. It’s the most natural way to really learn and experience life.”

Simone Dailey – Triathlete & Profeet ambassador

A little introduction first…

Not only was I a compete triathlon novice in 2012 before I embarked on my first triathlon (which was an ironman! Gulp) I was also new to swimming and cycling. I signed up for an Ironman without even trying a triathlon as a tester. I threw myself into the deep end thinking ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ !!? After heading to the pool for my first swim session with no swim training/practice or even knowing what the hell I was doing I went in there like a bull in a china shop. Thrashing around and trying to get to the end of the pool as quick as I could. After 15 minutes of getting nowhere fast, the realisation of what I had actually signed myself up for starting to sink in! The confidence was shattered and replaced with absolute fear of ‘I could actually drown’ that soon became the worst thing that could happen!

The cycling bit wasn’t much better either! My old boss kindly let me borrow his bike and I went out for a spin (this was a proper road bike with cleat peddles and all the jazz) I had absolutely no idea how to change gear or what the funny looking peddles were for!? So after a few little spins out on the bike in gym kit and trainers a friend of mine (who must of either been completely embarrassed by me or just simply felt sorry for me), introduced me to a friend of hers who was ‘into cycling’ by into cycling I mean bloody brilliant. He saved me from my hellish nightmare and politely agreed to help me out. He taught me how to change through the gears/how to clip in and out of the peddles in my cleats (this took a lot of practice! And a few falls at traffic lights in the middle of London: cringe) and road etiquette. He met up with me at the weekends to cycle around Richmond Park. I was finally getting somewhere slowly, at least moving in the right direction anyway. The running was smooth, I was never particularly fast at the beginning but it’s the one I enjoyed the most so there wasn’t much going on apart from lace up and get out on the road.

I made a lot of mistakes as a newbie triathlete, mistakes that I learnt a lot from. Even to this day I still make mistakes, we all do. It’s the most natural way to really learn and experience life. Looking back the most vital info, I wished someone could have told me earlier come in my top 5 tips for anyone thinking of doing a triathlon or a relative novice.

  1. Take on a Triathlon Coach. This would have helped me loads at the beginning, instead I tried to do it all myself. Having the help and guidance of a triathlon coach can really help not only structure a bespoke training plan to fit your lifestyle but also answer any questions re kit/worries and help settle any nerves you may have about your first triathlon. It took me a few months before I realised I needed the help of a professional. When I finally did everything started to fall into place. I was taught how to swim properly too 🙂

  3. Don’t pay any attention to the luxury of ‘nice kit’ Triathlon can be an expensive sport at the best of times, race entry fees/Travel costs etc. Worrying if you have the nicest bike or kit doesn’t make one bit of difference to your Performance at the beginning. Concentrate on your training and the journey. You’re not doing a triathlon to look good but for the challenge. I used to feel silly on my borrowed bike and gym kit, but to be honest it didn’t matter, all that mattered was the experience and the progression I was making.

  5. Join a triathlon group or alternatively swim group / cycling club or even a run club. Having like-minded people around really helps not only boost confidence but also motivates you and pushes you on bad days. After 2 years of doing triathlons I joined a swim group and it was the best thing I could have done to help push my swim on, over a year ago I joined a running club and I have never looked back. Not only will it help push and progress you as an athlete but also making friends makes the journey and training more special.

  7. Nutrition: Pre-during-post training are vital. Nutrition is so individual, as we all have different likes/dislikes, intolerances and just things we can’t stomach when the body is moving. This is something to this day that takes practice and something I am still learning and developing. My advice would be to always eat prior to a training session roughly 60-90mins depending on how well you digest, vital as you will need the energy, always try and eat within the 30-40min window post training. Try looking at taking on a protein supplement post activity too. During exercise depending on the session/intensity you can either eat an energy bar/gel. These would normally be taken on sessions expanding 90mins. Don’t just ‘get through’ sessions. The aim is to constantly replenish what the body uses. Oh, and last but not least: Electrolytes. These are a must have. The body loses salt when the body sweats. Electrolytes help replenish the salt that is lost and keeps the body hydrated which helps prevent muscle cramping and speeds the recovery process up. I love Science In Sport (SiS) hydro tabs!

  9. Leaving the important one to last: Recovery/rest. One of the most over looked but very much needed in training. Your recovery is just as if not more important than the actual training. Without the rest you cannot recover from sessions therefore limiting true progression. If you want to get the best out of your body and see the results from the hard work. Prioritise rest. Book it in the diary. Put the feet up and relax. Sometimes very hard to do but all my injuries have come from not sleeping enough and pushing the body when it’s tired, when I look back I know I should have just chilled instead of getting that extra session out. Be smart!

We fitted Simone with custom insoles. To find out how our insoles can benefit you call us on 020 7736 0046 or email


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