Newsletter June 2024

Chairman’s Update

Dear Tri2O’ers

Welcome to your June 2024 Newsletter, thank you as always to our Communications Officer Sunil for making it happen.

A very warm welcome to the 6 new members below, I hope that you enjoy being part of Tri2O, if you have any club or Triathlon related questions just ask!

Now the race season is well under way, it is great to see so many Tri2O members involved in events from small local events to age group racing in other countries, please keep posting your pre and post race selfies and if you are in Tri2O kit all the better!! 

Looking for a race to enter?…. Checkout our list of local 2024 Club Championship races HERE

The Enduro Team “Social” event with TVT was a huge success, we had some very “organised chaos” with 9 teams of 3 swimming, biking & running in and around the Hi5 Lake, followed by some tasty refuelling & socialising. Thanks goes out to Neil Harris for his race format & to Clare Hawthorn for her behind the scenes organisation.

Our Head Coach Georgia has written an excellent article below in Coaches Corner on “Transitions” to enjoy and hopefully learn some valuable tips.

Please note upcoming dates for your Diary, it would be wonderful to see as many members as possible supporting our club events through 2024 – no matter who or how many attend we always have a good time!!

You may recall from my previous updates that I will be standing down as Chairman at the next AGM. If you are interested in the role of Chair or potentially other committee roles please feel free to drop me an email to arrange a chat. 

I look forward to seeing you at a Tri2O event soon.

Best wishes

Mike Nash

Membership Update

Please join me in welcoming the following new members to the club:

  • Callum Hughes
  • Francis Martinez
  • Mark Berriman
  • Ruby Haines
  • Rupinder Birdi
  • Yahia Kheder

As always, I am happy to offer a welcome call to make sure you are getting the most from the club. Please let me know if you would like to talk all things Tri2o related. I’m happy to take questions from anyone to make sure your club experience is the best it can be, so don’t hesitate to get in touch

Please don’t forget to sign up to your sessions on Stack TeamApp in advance and join the club Facebook group. You will have had a welcome email with the links – please let me know if you did not receive this.


Coaches’ Corner – TRANSITIONS – Do they matter?

TLDR: Yes (but not just for the reasons you might think)

The longer version:

“Transition” – the bit in a triathlon (or duathlon, aquabike, etc) where you change from one discipline to the next. T1 is the transition from swim to bike, and T2 is when you move from bike to run. The time is included in the overall race time. Transitions are often called the 4th discipline of triathlon; they can be the most mystifying for newcomers, and also the most overlooked. So, do you need to “train” for them? I think YES!

People have all sorts of goals for a triathlon: getting round the course finishing in one piece, feeling like you’ve given it your all, executing your race according to your plan, achieving a certain time, or position, or getting on the podium, or purely having a really enjoyable experience. I would argue that having smooth, slick, stress-free transitions can and will help you achieve all those goals.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the person who wins isn’t necessarily the person with the fastest swim + bike + run “splits” (times) – it’s the fastest overall time – so if you have performance goals that include times, then your transition times count, and matter. The shorter the race distance, the more transition times contribute as a percentage of your overall race time.

If you want to enjoy your race, then factors that will influence this include feeling prepared (the unknown is stressful!), having a process you can rely on that you know works and that is familiar (familiarity = security), being physically comfortable – knowing you can rely on your kit and kit choices, having enough food/drink, and feeling relaxed. Thinking about, practising, and refining your transition processes will positively impact all these factors. It will mean you are less likely to forget a vital item of equipment or fuelling, which could ruin your race. Even if you simply want to get round in one piece, accidents in triathlons most commonly occur around bike mount and dismount, so practising your transitions and therefore being calm when you do them, will help keep you safe!

Some things to consider (this is NOT exhaustive!):

  1. When you set up your transition, do a full walk-through of swim in, walk to bike, walk to bike out, then walk from bike in to racking position, then walk to run out.
  2. What gear do you want your bike to be in when you start the bike leg?
  3. Do you have enough water/drinks on your bike all set up?
  4. Do you wear a race belt or safety pin your numbers? Race belt is much easier but not necessary. Do you wear your race number under your wetsuit?
  5. Things that aid wetsuit removal:
    1. Opening the neck of your wetsuit and letting in a slosh of water just before you exit the swim.
    2. Getting your arms out and the top down as soon as you can.
    3. Baby oil on your wrists, calves, ankles +/- over the top of these parts of your wetsuit before you swim – but take baby wipes to clean your hands after doing this!
    4. Practising the Velcro/zip action
  6. In T1:
    1. Where’s your helmet? Make it impossible to run off with your bike WITHOUT your helmet on! So, e.g. put it on handlebars, tribars, or on top of bike shoes.
    2. Open up bike shoes (or trainers if you aren’t clipping in) in advance.
    3. Shoes attached to bike or not? That’s a whole separate post! Just do what you are comfortable with, and what you’ve practised!
    4. Talcum powder in shoes helps dry feet off and easier to put shoes on (same for T2)
    5. Socks or no socks? If you go for socks, again talc in socks works well. Same applies for run.
  7. Exiting T1:
    1. Moving with your bike – think about how you’re holding it. Safety, control, comfort are all factors here.
    2. How will you get on your bike? Look around you and behind you before you do!
  8. T2:
    1. Prepare yourself for dismount.
    2. Be aware of those around you – look and stay safe.
    3. Again – socks or no socks? Your choice – practise whatever you choose, and consider your goals when deciding. Personally, no socks for me for anything standard distance or shorter, but that’s ME. You do YOU!
    4. Don’t forget to take your helmet off!
  9. WHATEVER you do, DON’T do something NEW on race day that you’ve a) not done before or b) not practised in training!

I asked some seasoned Tri2O members for their “top tips” and this is a few that they came up with:

  • “You can improve T1 & T2 in the same way as the other disciplines – practice, practice, practice”
  • “Start simply and build from there – focus on making your process repeatable and smooth”
  • “Practise with friends, it’s good fun 😊”
  • “Be open to explaining why you do what you do in transition and ask the same of others. Often the simplest change in approach reaps the best results”
  • “Best change I ever made was to run holding saddle not handlebars so more upright. Or stem. Massive difference and can look around and breathe!”
  • “I have always covered my running shoes with shower caps for middle distance when threat of rain”
  • “You don’t need to spend time thoroughly drying in between your toes, applying lip balm and putting on gloves for the bike in T1 for a sprint (or Olympic!) It never occurred to me that these weren’t particularly necessary when I started out!”
  • “Make sure you know where your bike is!!! I’ve spent time walking up and down looking for mine!”

Hopefully this hasn’t opened up too much of a can of worms, but has encouraged you to think a little bit more about transitions consciously as part of your races. Working on your transitions will help you enjoy your race more and save you time, stress and effort.

Do share any of your own experiences or lessons you’ve learned in the club Facebook group, and if you have any questions about transitions then you can always drop me an email at or ask your club buddies as there is a wealth of experience and wisdom in their ranks.

Georgia Jackson
Head Coach

Streatley Man 2024

by Steve Wilson
Private event (1 June 2024)  by invitation only

Swim – 4.2km, River Thames, 1hour 25 minutes
Bike – 185km, 5300m, 15 hours 38 minutes, fastest speed 76.4km/h
Run – 42.6km, 1,666m, 12 hours 15 minutes (with a sleep stop of about 2hrs)
Total event time – 30 hours 1 minute (that minute is going to annoy me!)

5-30am stood by the Thames in Moulsford and what seemed like a good idea last October suddenly seemed like a poor life choice! Streatley Man is not your normal triathlon. It was dreamed up by Matt Picozzi to replace an iron distance race he had entered in Nepal that was cancelled during covid.
I was feeling very nervous at stood with 2 other nutters (Matthew Poole and Vikki Aust) and some friendly help from Debbie and Jo who joined us for the swim. Unfortunately the fourth member of our team, Barry Hopkins, had taken extreme measures to avoid starting and had been in hospital the previous weekend for an emergency appendix removal.

The swim was beautiful, sun coming up in a clear sky. After the usual cramp stop (the great thing about river swimming is that I can get to the side and deal with it) arrived in Goring in my normal swim place (last) where transition was Jo’s van and the pavement outside the café/post office. At 7-00am there was no one around to see three triathletes getting changed and setting off on the bike.

The start of the bike ride was a 3km section along the main road and round to the back of Streatley Hill before the slog up and over Streatley began. The distance and elevation on their own do not explain how hard this event is. It is a 185km ride but about 84km of that is uphill and about 28km is at an average gradient of 9.4% and maxes out at 16.8%. I really did not know whether I would be riding up Streatley for the last two or three reps and had a back up plan of pushing up it if needed. It was a vicious ride but the sight of foxes, rabbits, deer all going to bed (and later coming out again) red kites swooping onto the road in front of us made it bearable as well as all the support from Barry, Debbie (swim buddy, egg custard tart, fish finger and cheese sandwich for breakfast and coffee supplier) and the TVT crew who appeared at the car park throughout the day and well into the evening – it was immense.

The way I deal with this type of event is to put my head into a different world. I do not look at my watch so do not know what time it is and lost count of the lap I was on – until I realised I was past half way. I just concentrate on getting to the next corner, what am I going to eat next, the next stop for a minute at the top, etc. The thrill of whizzing down Streatley playing “dare” on how late I could leave braking also took my mind off things. At lap 20 I started paying attention to make sure I did not do an extra one! It was also getting dark so had to be careful down Streatley (although at one point I did think how good it would be if I crashed and could stop!). Chips and ketchup at tea time also helped. The last time up Streatley was hard and I was at the limit even though I had ridden well within my limits, but I did not need to push. It is hard to describe how I felt – absolutely knackered but it was not my muscles complaining and more just a general whole body fatigue. At the same time I was thrilled to have completed the bike.

I finished the bike in the dark and by then Vikki and Matt and were well into the run (the other two nutters who are fast and were having a closely fought battle for first place). I on the other hand took the relaxed approach and had a well earned coffee and a pot noodle (I subscribe to the Lachlan Morton school of “gas station nutrition” and I eat mainly savoury real food during very long events) I set off into the woods with just me and the headtorch beam and was glad to be on the “run” for about 15 minutes until I arrived at the first big uphill. There are two hills on the main part of the run and they are both steep, very steep. There are four laps of the main loop and four of a longer “bonus loop”.

The slog began through the night but after the first lap I was falling asleep and had nearly gone over on my ankle in the wood several times so, after waiting to cheer Matt at the finish with Vikki just a few seconds behind, I stopped for quick sleep at around 1-00am. I only intended to have one hour but forgot to set the alarm and ended up waking just as the sky was brightening at about 3-30 and was treated to light getting gradually brighter and the sun rising over Berkshire and Oxfordshire. I got the four bonus laps complete (bonus is a strange description because it just involves extra down and back up another steep hill) and knew then that I could finish.

It battered me, it took every ounce of mental strength, I am so glad I did it – Thankyou Matt Picozzi for inventing this, you pushed me to my limits and so I extended them just a little bit more!
Training – I cannot stress how much Jennie Jones’ strength and conditioning helped me achieve this. Earlier in the year she told us we should be using heavy weights that were at the limit of what reps we could do. This made a big difference.

I also knew from training rides doing reps of Streatley that it was not my legs that would be the limiter but my arms and back and so I did a lot of training on them and it paid off. Although I was completely knackered I did not have any sort of discomfort on the bike and could easily set of on the run (well walk really).

I have a very strong endurance base and so I did not do that much long riding. I did a lot of 2 to 3 hour turbos in sweet spot and also on the short turbos in the week and two hour sessions at the weekend would get off every 15 mins and do squats with the heaviest kettlebell I can do.

About 5 weeks before I also did a week long very hilly bike packing trip in Northern Spain that included a ride up the L’Angliru (a long steep climb).

Tri2O social media

We would really like to post medal shout outs when club members have completed an event. Please do share any photos of events (triathlon or club related) you participate in, to share on the club feeds. Remember to tag us in your own posts if you are happy for us to share them and follow the club Instagram and Facebook pages.

Send photos to the email don’t forget to tell us what you were up to at the time.

Monday night swim is CHANGING

As of Monday 1st July, the Monday evening swim will be at the new Palmer Park swimming pool, at the slightly earlier time of 8:30pm. We will have 3 lanes of the pool and the session will still be coached by Georgia and Kevin.

It’s a lovely pool, and we are hoping that the earlier time will be more accessible for more members (and coaches), as we have consistently had feedback that the Crosfields Monday night swim is too late for many people to consider. We were keen to maintain the session in the East of Reading to complement the other swims, so we really hope that existing Crosfields swimmers will continue to swim on a Monday night.

The 3 lane set up which we have on Sundays works well already. Maximum capacity is 15 swimmers. If numbers increase and/or the session is oversubscribed, we may be able to add another lane but will keep this under regular review.

The committee are really excited to be able to offer this new slot and hope it ticks all the boxes! Please support the session 🙏 Would be great to see all the familiar faces and some new (or returning?!) ones too!

Sessions will be available to book on TeamApp shortly.

See you at a club swim soon!


Dates for your diary

  • 06-Jul-2024 : California Country parkrun
  • 06-Jul-2024 : Summer BBQ
  • 20-Jul-2024 : Fish n Chip ride (Re-scheduled)
  • 26-Jul-2024 : Pizza Social in Reading 
  • 03-Aug-2024 : Dinton Pastures parkrun
  • 07-Sep-2024 : Woodley parkrun
  • 08-Sep-2024 : Reading Triathlon 2024

We would love to hear from you

The next newsletter will be in Aug 2024, please send your contribution to before 10th Aug 2024.

We would love to hear from you, particularly if you have taken on a new challenge or are new to triathlon.

Categories: blog, newsletter