Frequently asked questions

I'm interested in joining, what should I do?

Sign up to our mailing list and join the Facebook group
If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our mailing list by sending a blank email to triathlon-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk and join our Facebook group. By joining the mailing list you will receive regular emails with updates about club news and training/competitions. General notices, useful information and triathlon discussion will be posted on the Facebook group.

Come along to one of our FREE TASTER SESSIONS
As a new or prospective member, you are welcome to attend any of our training sessions. Come along and introduce yourself any time, and you can try your first three sessions for free. During 1st and 2nd weeks of Michaelmas Term, we run taster sessions specifically aimed at those who are new to the club. These are totally free and there is no obligation to join. You don’t need any previous experience to come to a taster session or train with us at any of our sessions. Please read our Kit guide before attending to ensure you are properly equipped for the training session. To attend a turbo session, you must sign up beforehand on the Members' Page.

Try out racing at the Novice Aquathlon!
The Novice Aquathlon is an annual event that takes place in early Michaelmas Term for all novices and new members. The race is a 200m swim followed immediately by a 3km run. There are prizes for 1st and 2nd place. It's a great way to experience multi-discipline racing in a low-key environment and to get to know other members of the team!

Become a member
If you decide you would like to join the club, you will need to complete the online membership form and payment. To find out more about our membership options, please see Join Us.

I've never trained for cycling/swimming/running before, can I still join?

Of course! Every year we welcome many new members with no previous triathlon experience. All of the club sessions cater for novice members and our qualified coaches and experienced committee members are on hand to ensure that everyone can take part, benefit, and enjoy the training. It is very common for people to take up triathlon from a background in one of the three sports, but with no experience in the others. You will be able to train with experienced athletes in your stronger discipline and get plenty of advice and support in those that are new to you. Almost all new members (including the vast majority of the committee) were new to triathlon when they joined OUTriC!

Will there be other people my standard?

The answer to this question 99% of the time is yes! We have more members than almost all other sports clubs in the university, ranging from novices to national and international athletes. By coming along to club sessions you will get to meet people of similar experience and ability to you in each of the disciplines, and hopefully find yourself with lots of new friends to train with.

I'm an experienced athlete, what can OUTriC offer me?

OUTriC has many experienced members who train and compete regularly at a high level, including nationally and internationally at both age group and elite level. We’re always keen to welcome seasoned athletes into the club and help people find new training partners. We have lanes for experienced club swimmers in our pool sessions, and a great group of top performing cyclists and runners. Many members also organise their own sessions to cater for their specific training (e.g. for a long distance race). Look out on the Facebook group as people often post their training ideas/plans there.

Some of our athletes also train and race with the University swimming, cycling or cross country clubs individually. If this is something you are interested in doing then check out the respective club websites or get in touch with one of us via the committee page.
OUTriC is also part of the Blues Support Scheme, which provides strength and conditioning coaching, talks on areas such as athlete psychology and nutrition, and discounted physiotherapy to high-performing athletes selected for this programme. If you are interested in this scheme, contact the President or the Men's/Women's Captains, but please be aware that the number of places are limited and athletes are selected based on merit and commitment to the club.

Do I have to be experienced to race for the club?

Not at all! Athletes of all abilities can compete for the club in all of the events that we enter. For many members, representing OUTriC in a BUCs or Varsity competition is their first ever experience of a multi-sport event. Our Varsity matches against Cambridge both have “mob match” competitions where everyone who takes part contributes to the result, so the more people we have representing the club the better!

What kit do I need to wear/bring?

See Kit Guide for a complete guide in what to wear and bring to training sessions and races.

How many training sessions should I attend?

As a club member, you can attend as many or as few OUTriC sessions as you like. There is no minimum or maximum number that you must attend to be a member or compete for the club. See our training guides for more info on how to plan your training, whether you're a novice or an experienced athlete.

What races does OUTriC take part in? Can I get a Blue?

The main races the club takes part in are: - BUCS Duathlon (November) - Varsity Duathlon (March) - Varsity Triathlon (usually second week of May) - BUCS Standard Triathlon (usually third week of May) - BUCS Sprint Triathlon (usually first week of June) Triathlon is a Discretionary Full Blue sport. For more info about these races, other races that OUTriC enters and the Blues criteria, see Events. Information about these races and sign-ups will be sent out during the year. If you have any questions, get in touch with the committee. For information about our past results, see History & Results.

Do I need a road bike?

You can race on whatever bike you like, as long as it is safe to ride. Please check out our Bike & Helmet Safety guide if you're unsure. For club rides, road bikes and bikes with hybrid tyres are allowed on the Novice Ride but other club rides are strictly road bikes only. OUTriC has 3 road bikes that are available for members to borrow. Contact a committee member if you wish to use one for a club ride or turbo session or fill in the form in the Members section of our website. However, please be aware that these bikes will have to cater for all club members and they may not be the right frame size for you if you are particularly small or tall. For turbos, your bike must have road or thin hybrid tyres. It is also preferable but not essential that it has a quick release skewer on the rear wheel. If you wish to race and train with the club regularly, it is worthwhile getting a road bike. You don't have to break the bank for this - a second hand bike with decent components will do the job! For more information on buying a bike, see our Buying A Bike guide.

I've never ridden in a group before, can I still come on group rides?

First of all, don't worry - this is exactly why we set up the Novice Ride! All triathletes have to start somewhere and many of our most-experienced members originally came to the club with very little cycling experience. The Novice Ride, which is run every Saturday throughout term-time, is a great environment to learn group riding skills, such as hand signals/calls and road positioning. It is a good idea to read our Group Riding guide before heading out on your first group ride to familiarise yourself with cycling etiquette. Also check out the Kit guide, especially the section on Winter Cycling Kit, so you come to the ride dressed appropriately.

What else does the club offer other than training/races?

Training Camp Every Easter, we organise a week-long warm weather training camp. More information about the training camp will be sent out to members during the year. This is a great opportunity to get some quality training in, as well as to really get to know your fellow OUTriC members.

The social side of the club is friendly and welcoming to all members. The main organised social events of each term are the Christmas Dinner (Michaelmas), Annual Dinner (Hilary), and Varsity Dinner (Trinity). Club races are usually followed up with a meal out or pub trip, and after the Varsity matches we organise joint socials with the Cambridge team.

As well as these, there are many spontaneous socials throughout the year such as breakfast in the sports centre cafe after early morning sessions, post-swimming drinks/meals after the Friday night swim, or finishing bike rides at the pub. We also organise crew dates with other university sports clubs (or sometimes even just ourselves!).

None of the social events are compulsory to attend, but they are a great way to get to know people better and spend some relaxing time away from the intense training. Socials are usually advertised on the Facebook group. You can find out more about this year’s social secretaries on the committee page, and contact them if you have any questions or ideas.


Training is most fun when you're with friends, in beautiful weather - that's why we love our annual training camp!