Having just moved city and gone through the process of looking for a new group of people to train with, I thought I’d quickly jot down my thoughts on what to look for when finding a triathlon club.
A simple Google or search of your National Federation’s website, such as Triathlon Scotland, will turn up triathlon clubs in your local area, but how do you pick?
For me, a club needs to provide 3 things:
- training sessions at a time I can make, with people of a similar standard to me and for all 3 disciplines
- nice people and coaches that mean I want to go to the training sessions
- good communication so I know what sessions are happening, when and where
Other considerations might be:
- Membership fee? How much and what do you get for it?
- Club kit? design, price?
- Club socials? – do they do anything apart from train?
Rightly or wrongly, I always start with the club’s website. Probably this, a Facebook group or a email list will be the primary way people in the club communicate. If it looks well organised and up to date, that might tell you somethimg about how the club is run. It also gives you confidence that if you turn up to an advertised session, it’ll actually be happening! Hopefully, they’ll have a specific area for potential new members, explaining what the joining procedure is.
Probably the most crucial step, and also the hardest, is to turn up to a trial session. I say hardest, because it can be slightly awkward, going into a group who already know each other. It’s crucial though, as these are the people you’ll be training with if you join, so be bold! I don’t think its advisable to join a club without at least 2-3 free trial sessions to check you’ll be a good fit. Remember that they are courting you as a new member, so don’t be afraid to take those first free sessions. Equally, if it’s not a good fit, then walk away. There’s no point joining a club that you don’t think works for you, as you simply won’t go, and that’s no use!
Once you found a triathlon club you like, join up and get training! I find coached, structured training sessions so much more motivating than anything I could do alone, so I totally recommend joining a club early on to take advantage of coaching and simply being around other athletes.