MEET OUR MEMBERS
Unfortunately, we may not get to meet our future members till next term. This page will give you the chance to find out a bit more about OUTriC from our members and our coach. We are looking forward to meeting new members soon. Remember to check out our instagram ( @oxford.uni.triathlon) on the 1st and 2nd of July to ask us any questions about triathlon at Oxford.
2nd year undergraduate Medic and current Novice & Welfare rep
Why did you decide to join tri?
I knew that when I started university, I wanted to get involved in a sports club, but I hadn't decided which sport to take up - I had briefly dabbled in martial arts before, but I was fairly keen to take up something new! I considered joining the cross country club, having done the occasional run, but I was afraid I'd slow everyone down! In the end I chose to give triathlon a go, as I was too afraid of slowing people down or getting left behind, and thought I could pretend that I was better at running and swimming in cycling sessions, swimming and cycling in running sessions, etc. and just generally fake it until I made it!
What do you love about OUTriC?
Even though I joined the tri club for a slightly questionable reason, joining the tri club is by far the best decision I've ever made. Despite being a beginner at all three disciplines, I was made to feel welcome by more experienced members of the club, and given really useful advice on how I could improve. The triathlon club is such a lovely, inclusive community, and athletes of all levels are welcome to join in with training, and train to a level you feel comfortable. There's been absolutely no pressure to prove yourself, and everyone has been so supportive of newcomers trying this out for the first time.
Have you competed?
A few weeks into my first term, I took part in my first ever race - BUCS duathlon - despite having essentially no experience in training for multisport events!
We tend to run a series of taster sessions throughout the first two weeks of term, and even have club bikes of various sizes, if you're still undecided! I cannot recommend joining enough, and please do feel free to email me if you have any questions - and definitely consider giving tri a try!
2nd year DPhil Chemist and current OUTriC President
How did you get into triathlon?
I came from a cycling background at my previous university (Sheffield), doing a large amount of cycling at a non-competitive level. I moved on to triathlon in my final year, and was hooked on the sport. I wanted to continue triathlon when moving here for my DPhil, and found the club to be great fun and really welcoming.
How often do you train?
Training load is entirely individual as it is depends on an individual’s fitness and goals. Our coaches (Laura and George) have made really useful guides for how much you should train depending on your experience and fitness to help you improve whilst preventing injury. Personally I do 6-7 sessions a week as it has become part of my routine to do some sort of training most days. The intensity of training varies a lot though, opting some days to do longer sessions or intervals and other days to plod along the towpath or go on cafe rides!
How many club sessions do you do each week?
There are around 12 club sessions a week, although this is so members can choose what they want to do and nothing is mandatory. I probably do around 3-4 club sessions a week, and supplement that with my own training, either solo or in small groups.
Do you need to be a serious triathlete to join?
Not at all! We have a broad range of members from complete novices to top-performing triathletes, and club sessions can cater for all of them and members can do as much or as little as they like - there is no minimum standard! The club’s main goal is to help people achieve their goals, whether it is to complete their first triathlon or to get on the podium at the varsity match!
Do I need much kit to join?
Triathlon has the potential to be an expensive club, so we have lots of club-owned equipment, including road bikes and wetsuits, for novices to try out before deciding if they want to continue. All you need is comfortable clothes for exercise, a helmet for cycling, running shoes and goggles for the pool!
Grraduated in 2020 after doing Biology
2019-2020 OUTriC president
How hard is it to balance sport, social life and academics?
I found one of the toughest things about Oxford is managing the workload alongside college life and sport, but the flexibility of triathlon makes it easy to fit in around work and college life. Being able to choose what sessions to attend made it so much easier to structure training around work. Training massively helped me to manage stress levels, going on a bike ride with friends or going to evening swim is just a great way of letting off some steam after a long day in the library. Weekend rides or going open water swimming at the lake in summer are just the best way of getting fresh air and space outside of Oxford, especially during exam season. I've also found it's a great way of getting to know people outside your college bubble. When I first joined everyone was so friendly and helpful that my complete lack of triathlon ability didn't matter at all.
How often do you compete?
One of the best things about triathlon is that there's no selection for races, meaning anyone who wants to compete can do. I normally enter a couple races a year, and focus on one or two as my main targets. Varsity was my first ever triathlon and I just entered to give it a go, but after a few years in the club I've definitely got a lot more competitive about races! Since I was a fresher I've seen so much improvement in my triathlon ability thanks to the great coaching and the supportive atmosphere in the club.
Are we better than the tabs?
Yes. We have better taste in stash, better triathletes, and we actually turn up to races on time.
What do we offer members?
We currently have two club coaches who write the plans for all club sessions. This means there is a joined up approach to what we do in our sessions, which is based on the club timetable and race schedule. Our coaches deliver 4-5 club sessions of face to face coaching each term, usually focussed on swim technique / open water skills and transitions, as well as swim video analysis. They are always happy to answer individual questions and offer guidance to members about triathlon, training or racing. On a weekly basis club sessions are led by members of the committee.
Who are our coaches?
George Edwards & Laura Fenwick
George and Laura are both British Triathlon Level 2 qualified and have been coaching in OUTriC since 2014. They are also both past students and club members, so have an added understanding of the demands of balancing Oxford academic life with triathlon. As well as coaching OUTriC, George has worked in several local adult and junior clubs and Laura was a coach in the regional talent academy for 3 years. They are experienced athletes and racers themselves across a range of different events from novice to elite, short to long distance and also in the individual disciplines, so between them have lots of experience to share with us!
Interested in coaching?
If you are interested in coaching for OUTriC in any capacity, please get in touch!
2nd year undergraduate Chemist and current OUTriC web officer
Why did you join tri?
I used to row at a competitive level as a junior but after a series of injuries I had to stop rowing. I had previously done some cycling and swimming as cross training so when I came to Oxford I thought I would give tri a go. Everyone was so lovely and it turns out there are a lot of us who have come from other sports (especially rowing) after leaving due to injury. I have found triathlon to be particularly helpful for managing injury as I can switch between the 3 sports, so I don’t overtrain on one.
How often do you train?
On average, I train twice a day with one rest day a week. There are so many training sessions at tri which I love, and you are not obliged to go to any amount of sessions, it is completely up to you. For the first two terms I wasn’t able to run but there were plenty of bike and swim sessions to keep me busy and there was still plenty of time to supplement training with gym sessions. I found my first term at oxford particularly busy so did not train as often, but I had more time to train in Hilary and Trinity term as I became more used to my new workload.
How hard is it to balance sport, social life and academics?
I did find first term a bit of a challenge as I was getting used to being at oxford, but I soon got the hang of it. I find having training sessions scheduled helps me plan my day and get work done. In terms of social life, I still have lots of time to spend with my college friends and OUTric has been a great part of my social life this year as I have made so many great friends through tri.
What are you most looking forward to next year?
Getting back to training with other people, racing bucs and varsity, and of course going on camp which everyone talks to highly of!