Kay Ball – Choosing a New Bike For My First Triathlon

Do I really need a new bike for my first triathlon?

Easing gently into triathlon training deep in the winter months, I’d been taking the softy’s option of starting my preparation for the bike leg in the gym. Training warm and dry with TV or tunes, the chance of a chat with friends and a coffee shop on the way out – what’s not to like?

new bike for a first triathlonA few weeks in, however, with the first signs of spring on the way and the clock now counting down towards the race, it was time to dust off my bike and head outside.

In the back of my mind I think I knew that my old MTB might not be up to the job. My first exhausting training ride confirmed this. The bike had served me well for many miles of recreational cycling, through several countries and for well over a decade. However, this bike just wasn’t built for speed!

My expectations for the race had shifted somewhere along the way from wanting to “just get round” to starting to think about getting some speed up. I needed to invest in something with a bit more oomph.

As a triathlon newbie and someone with limited bike knowledge, I found the process of choosing a new bike surprisingly hard work. The choices are endless. It is easy to be put off by the technical jargon and weighing up what you need (and just as important what you don’t need) can be tricky.

Having got through the other side, here are my suggestions for taking the pain out of the buying a bike for your first triathlon:

  • Put the kettle on, set aside a couple of hours and fire up the laptop. Do as much research as you can from the comfort of your own home. There’s a ton of useful information and reviews online, try and digest as much as you can before you even set foot in the bike shop.
  • Shop around. Not just for the best price, but to find someone who talks your language and listens to what your specific needs are.
  • Jump on and get the feel of as many bikes as you can. It may be obvious, but always go wearing clothes that allow you to do this. Test the bike out, outside if possible.
  • No question is too daft to ask. You’ll probably be spending a lot of money and you want to get it right. I was glad I’d asked “does it come with pedals?” as I was planning to ride it home and it didn’t.

New Bike For My First Triathlon - TrigirlUltimately, I settled on an adventure road bike and I love it. It gives me the speed I’m after but is versatile across terrains and I can happily take it off road. It’s got just enough (metaphorical) bells and whistles for me – hydraulic brakes and 105 gearing – but I’m confident that I’ve not gone OTT.

Finally, it has a relaxed geometry which suits me. Yes, I want to go fast but I also want to do it in as much comfort as is reasonably possible – sorry purists but life’s too short for unnecessary pain!

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Trigirl Introduces Sustainable Triathlon Clothing

Trigirl is now using ECONYL® for a truly sustainable triathlon clothing collection.

Sustainable Triathlon ClothingStarting with our 2017 collection, Trigirl is very proud to be using VITA high-performance fabric, made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn.  ECONYL® is an innovative fibre produced with discarded nylon consumer products such as carpets and fishing nets.

“Eco-friendly” or “recycled” are big buzzwords these days, but prior to introducing ECONYL® into our line, we did our research. We wanted to ensure that our eco-friendly fabric would truly have a reduced impact on the environment, and, very importantly, still maintain the high-performance qualities our customers have grown to expect.

Excitingly, VITA fabric achieves both, so we are thrilled to introduce it in our forthcoming line.

For more information about VITA and ECONYL®, click here.
To check out our new collection for 2017, click here.

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Kay Ball – Sports Bra for Triathlon Training

Sports Bra for Triathlon TrainingTalking of getting the right support to get me through the triathlon ….. the lovely folk at Trigirl have asked me to test some of their gear over the coming weeks and I’ve started with one of their sports bras. They recommended the Anita Active Dynamix as the perfect sports bra for triathlon training and racing.

I have to say I’ve worn the same brand of sports bra in multiple colours and different incarnations over many years and have been very happy with it. The Dynamix bra that I tried, however, definitely gives it a run for its money.

It has a neat design which makes it easy to get on and off; especially handy when you’re hot and sweaty. The fabric is light and breathable and did a good job wicking the sweat away.

It’s quick and easy to adjust at the front and the padded straps fit snuggly. As you’d hope, it keeps everything in place even during a tough, high-impact training session but doesn’t sacrifice comfort at the expense of support.

I have to admit the Dynamix was way more comfortable than my regular sports bra. I’m converted.

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Buzz Women in Triathlon Training Camp

Looking for a women’s-only triathlon training camp with a bit of luxury?

Buzz Women in Triathlon HolidayCheck out the Buzz Women in Triathlon Holiday, a fun-filled and confidence-boosting week. Hosted by Buzz Performance, this camp in located in the beautiful area of Morzine and it’s surroundings. The training takes place in 25 and 50m swimming pools, Lac Montriond, on quiet roads and on river trails.

This women’s only holiday brings together women of all ages with a buzzing interest in triathlon for a fun filled and confidence boosting week. It helps ladies of all abilities gain new skills, improve current technique and experience training in a relaxed and supportive environment.

There is even Continue reading

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Kay Ball – Bike Maintenance for Triathlon Newbies

As far as bike maintenance goes, I’m afraid I’ve let the side down a bit over the years. I am much more likely to reach for my phone than my multi tool in the event of a breakdown. And while, on a good day, I might have taken a pump and an inner tube out with me, if push came to shove, I’m embarrassed to say, I’d have been struggling to know what to do with them.

bike maintenance course for triathlon newbiesWith many hours training on the bike ahead of me, not to mention race day itself, I thought a bike maintenance class made sense. Skilling myself up would, I hope, put an end to my “fingers crossed” days of cycling not to mention improve my performance and ultimately keep me safer.

I chose a beginner’s course at a local BikeRight Centre. I arrived on the day along with a small group who came with a range of different bikes and motivations.

We started with the basics and the first exercise of the day was actually to label the various parts of the bike. Beyond the fundamentals Continue reading

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New Trigirl Shop is Live!

Great news! The new Trigirl shop is live!

New Trigirl Shop is LiveIn the build-up to our fabulous new 2017 collection, Trigirl has just opened our shiny new online shop and we must say, we’re pretty chuffed!

With a brand-new look and some great new features, our new Trigirl shop is ready for your orders and will be stocked with our new collection soon.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other products to check out, including a wider range of swimming and wetsuit items and accessories (neoprene warmth vest, booties, as well as the fantastic Zone3 women’s-specific wetsuit line).

The website also has a more customer-friendly checkout, hopefully making our customers’ lives just a little bit easier.

Of course, most exciting of all will be our new collection, coming in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!!

Visit the Trigirl Shop at www.trigirl.com

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Kay Ball – Improving Your Swim Technique

Swim Technique for TriathlonThe internet has been a great source of information during the early stages of my triathlon journey. I was beginning to think, however, that my swim technique would plateau if YouTube continued to be my only source of advice.

Ultimately, I thought, there was probably no substitute for a real-life coach standing on the poolside correcting my bad habits and fine tuning my stroke.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to take the plunge (sorry) and get a professional on the job. I’d seen several teachers at my local pool but they were, in the main, young enough to be my children. I really wanted someone let’s say, more my age profile. I’d seen Hilary* teaching another adult and noticed how engaged and enthusiastic she was with them. What’s more there was actual laughter going on. It looked like the lesson might even turn out to be fun!

3 lessons of swim technique in Continue reading

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Neoprene Vest for Open Water Swimmers

Zone3’s ingenious neoprene vest for open water swimmers is now available at Trigirl.com

Neoprene Vest for Openwater SwimmersDo you ever feel like your wetsuit isn’t keeping you warm enough? That you’d love to start open water swimming earlier in the season or keep swimming later into the year, but just can’t bear the cold water?

Trigirl is now carrying Zone3’s Neoprene Warmth Vest, an excellent solution to help cold open water swimmers.

Most women we know tend to ‘feel the cold’ a bit more than our male triathlete counterparts, which is why Trigirl loves the Zone3 neoprene vest. Form-fitting* with a high neck, the 2mm thick layer fits comfortably under a wetsuit, but makes chilly swimming far more enjoyable. A titanium coating applied to the internal material takes it a step further, additionally helping to maintain your core temperature. We’ve been wearing them ourselves and it’s amazing how much more we’re enjoying our open water swims!

The warmth vest can also be used when the weather/ water is warmer, but not quite warm enough to go without a wetsuit.

Click here to buy the Zone3 warmth vest or check out the rest of our webshop at trigirl.com.
* Please be sure to read sizing information to ensure a great fit.

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Kay Ball – Sprint Triathlon Training Starts

January blues? Not for me! My first month of training has left me energized and immune to the chill and gloom of the first few weeks of 2017.

Sprint Triathlon Training has StartedThe sprint tri I’ve entered is in May so I’ve 4 months to train and prepare for the big day. I found plenty of great information on the Trigirl website to get me started, much of which is geared towards the novice triathlete.

Although the tri is obviously a game of 3 halves, it’s the swim leg that loomed largest for me personally and I really wanted to gain some confidence in the water as quickly as possible.

I’ve been a regular at the gym for many years but have rarely ventured into the pool. I think it’s fair to say I did feel a bit self-conscious on my first visit but I kept my objectives realistic; don’t do anything daft and try to retain some self-respect!

I can only say I wish I’d got into swimming sooner. Though I wouldn’t have won any medals for style on that first day, even with my ungainly stroke and unpractised breathing, I soon got into a rhythm. After a couple of swims I was relaxing more and finding it a surprisingly peaceful experience.

Lessons learnt in those initial few weeks Continue reading

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Kay Ball – Toying with Big Ideas and Triathlon Challenges

I loved swimming as a child. Even now, one whiff of a pool takes me back to my childhood, sparking a pavlovian craving for a bag of Monster Munch and a Vimto which was the post-swim ritual.

Triathlon Challenges for KayI’m not sure when/ why I fell out of love with it. It’s true to say that swimming is the last form of exercise I’d choose now. In moments of madness when I have tried it again as an adult, I’ve found myself exhausted and embarrassed in equal measure.

With no style or technique to speak of and coughing and spluttering within the first couple of lengths, it’s fair to say I’m not one of life’s naturals. I should stick to sport on dry land I reminded myself; this swimming malarkey was not for me.

Except…. Continue reading


Designing the New Trigirl 2017 Collection

We sat down with Trigirl designer and triathlon coach, Kristin Duffy, to ask her a little about herself, how she started designing triathlon clothing, and the exciting new Trigirl 2017 collection. Here’s a sneak peek into the collection and her triathlon world.

Kristin, how did you get into designing triathlon clothing for women, of all things?

new Trigirl 2017 collectionI’m originally from the States and was a children’s designer for Gap in New York. For a time, I was designing boy’s activewear. As a triathlete, I thought that it would be great to design triathlon clothing someday.

When I moved to London, I met Trigirl founder, Pat Victor, during a weekend away with my running club. She mentioned Trigirl and I “casually” mentioned that I was a writer and a designer. I’ve worked with Pat as both!

You mentioned that you’re a triathlete yourself. As an athlete, what is the most important thing you yourself would want from a trisuit?

Performance-wise, I’d want comfort – it has to dry quickly (I hate being cold and wet!) and it has to have a comfortable pad for the cycling leg. That same pad has to feel like it has magically disappeared when I’m running. I don’t want to run a race feeling like I’m wearing a nappie! Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of work to make sure Trigirl offers quick-drying fabric, an amazingly comfortable triathlon pad and a lot more.

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Top Tips to a Perfect Running Form

Perfect RunningTrigirl Triathlon coach Kristin Duffy helps you to perfect your running form with her latest article. Working her way from the top – your head, that is – all the way down to your feet, you can achieve an effortless running style that will make you faster and prevent injury.

Kristin explains: “The key to good running form is to stay relaxed, which isn’t always easy, especially as you tire. Try to check in as you are running, doing a quick head-to-feet scan. It will stop you from thinking negative thoughts (about wanting to stop, maybe?) and will keep you running with your perfect form!”

To read her full article, click here: Your Perfect Running Form

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Top 5 Triathlon Cycling Tips

triathlon cycling tipsOur latest article focuses on triathlon’s longest leg – the bike.

Even if you’ve ridden all of your life, there are some easy ways to help your triathlon bike leg go smoothly (and to help make it even more fun).

You will spend the majority of your time in a triathlon on the bike, so even if you feel comfortable with basic cycling, it’s worth spending a little time thinking – and practising – how to get the most out of triathlon’s longest leg.

See the article here.


New Trigirl Styles On the Way

Spring Highlights

New TrigirlComing soon… new Trigirl styles and size replenishments on Trigirl favourites! Highlights include the Zest, a long-legged trisuit with fabulous style, Strength long-legged tri shorts, inspired by our best-selling Speed shorts, and the all-new Spirit tri top with C/D cup size.

Our new colours are Ferrari Red and Barbados Blue. Let the season begin!

We are also awaiting new stock on some of your old favourites, so don’t miss out! We’re expecting from late March and we don’t expect it to last long!

Check out our webshop at trigirl.com

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Trigirl Adds Anita Running Bras

Trigirl adds running bras to our successful Anita line

running brasThe Trigirl online shop has been carrying Anita bras for the past few years to great success.

Our customers love their excellent support and quick-drying capabilities, which are perfect for triathlon. So we’re especially excited to announce new styles and colours, including the Dynamix running bra, a high-impact bra with a softly padded lining.

The Dynamix is the ideal running bra for a full range of cups sizes, offering extra-firm support, easily adjustable straps, and a special easy on & off design, a detail which has won design awards in 2014 and 2015/2016.

In addition to the Dynamix, we’ve added fun new Anita colours, including grape and peacock, to compliment our previous range of neutrals. And speaking of awards, Triathlon Plus previously tested the Anita Extreme Control bra (which we now carry in a range of four colours!) and awarded it four stars for support, comfort and breathability in their ‘Best Sports Bras for Triathlon’ review.

Getting a sports bra right takes special know-how, something that Anita has after over 125 years in the business. Anita Active sports bras are comfortably fit for cup sizes A-H, giving support to a full range of active women. In addition, they have ergonomically-designed straps for maximum comfort.

And of course, we still offer our Trigirl super fast-drying crop tops for women who need a little less support, as well as including a supportive separate bra or crop top with every trisuit. If you would like more advice on sports bra fit and care, we can help with that, too. See our article Triathlon Bra Tips and Advice for more on how your triathlon or running bras should fit, things to look for in a bra and the best ways to care for them.

If you’re looking for the best running bra or triathlon bra available, look no further! Buy Now.

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