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As we saw, the Spanish triathlete Diego Méntrida was celebrated on social media this week. He sacrificed third place in the 2020 Santander Triathlon to British triathlete James Teagle. James was on course to win third place in the competition in Spain when, just meters from the finish line, he missed the last turn and ran into spectator barriers. Diego overtook him but, noticing the error, he stopped to allow James to cross the finish line first. “He deserved it,” Méntrida said later.

Diego’s gesture prompted a flood of support, a match of the 3rd prize money, and he has been hailed as a true sportsman by the media. So far so good. 

However, imagine my surprise when I listened to Anne Atkins on the BBC Thought for the Day yesterday. She said: 

When Diego let his rival pass, it was apparently the ultimate act of true sportsmanship. We have never heard of anything like it before, yet it is supposed to be all that sport is about.

I don’t think Anne’s doubts apply to triathlon. Anne defines ‘true sportsmanship’ as ‘fairness, kindness and a genuine sense of priority’. I feel this is what the sport of triathlon and what triathletes are about.

Do you remember when Alistair Brownlee carried his brother Jonny Brownlee over the finish line in the final of the 2016 World Triathlon Series? Leading the race in Mexico, with a kilometre to go, an exhausted Jonny stopped and began to stumble. Alistair caught up with him, pulled his brother to the finishing line, and pushed him forward so he could take the place before him. 

Another famous example happened at the Kona 2008 Ironman race. 80km into the bike leg of the race, Chrissie Wellington had a puncture. She managed to change her inner tube quickly, but then made a mistake trying to inflate it. She did not press either of her two CO2 cartridges down hard enough so the air did not go into the tyre. Triathlon rules do not allow for external help, but one of her rivals, Australian IM Champion Rebekah Keat stopped and gave Chrissie her own CO2 cartridge. Because help from inside the race is legal, Chrissie was able to get back on her bike, and went on to take first place in a spectacular race!

It is not just professional triathletes who show sportsmanship. Acts of kindness can be seen and felt in many races. My good friend ‘Irongran’ Eddie Brocklesby frequently reports of big crowds cheering her into the finish at full ironman distance races. Often fellow competitors and spectators have waited several hours just to cheer a 77 year old woman over the line. 

sportsmanshipAnd it is not only at the big triathlon races where true sportsmanship is present. You feel it at most races, big or small, across the country. Last year I suffered from sudden cramps in a long distance swim down the river Adur. The river was extremely wide at this point. With no safety kayak in sight I was on the brink of panic when three fellow competitors slowed and stopped to offer me help. One of them stayed with me until my cramp had passed and I assured him I was fine.

Conclusion

Anne Atkins’ three minute ‘thought for the day’ is well worth listening to*. But I believe fairness and kindness makes triathlon special. It is why I am proud to be a triathlete.

I want to leave with another quote from Anne Atkins:

Generosity is not just reciprocal but infectious. One good deed often leading on to many more.

I would like to encourage you to share your own stories. Show others the true sportsmanship side of triathlon. And who knows maybe we can spore on many more acts of generosity and kindness.

What do you think?

Happy racing!

Trigirl Pat

*catch it on BBC Radio 4 – Thought for the Day 22nd September 2020, available for 30 days.

High quality, open water beginner swimming wetsuits have become like gold dust in recent weeks – even expensive mid-range wetsuits have sold out fast.

Covid-19 has disrupted everyone’s 2020 triathlon training and racing agenda. Although most races are cancelled for this year, each separate discipline of triathlon has seen a surge in participation. Open water swimming is booming as a result of pool closures. Summer weather has also prompted people to look for social distanced exercise outdoors. When open water swim venues re-opened a few weeks ago, they have been swamped. 

So what wetsuit can you buy if you are on a budget?

Open Water Swimming Beginner WetsuitThe wetsuit experts from Zone3 are launching a new open water beginner wetsuit – the Valour. Offering a perfect mix of flexibility and buoyancy, at an affordable price, the Valour is ideal if you want to try open water swimming this summer. With an emphasis on comfort, the Valour offers some excellent features, usually only found in more expensive wetsuits. 

An innovative “Extreme Flex” inner-lining material gives excellent flexibility around the shoulders and arms for a comfortable and energy efficient swim. The low neckline and perfect fit, as well as fully stitched and glue bonded seams throughout, make it one of the best value entry level wetsuits available.

Check out the full product description and all features of the Valour here

Trigirl have been very lucky to get hold of a few of these very much anticipated entry level wetsuits for you. Available in the most popular sizes SM, M and L, you can pre-order the Valour (£169) from our website today for delivery mid of July. But be quick as stock is very limited and expected to sell quickly.

Enjoy your swim!

You may also be interested in our article Wetsuit Buying Tips here.

The Power of Planking – Plank Benefits for Triathletes

Stuck at home, races cancelled or postponed? Feeling the pain of limited outdoor exercise and wanting to stay as fit as possible? It’s difficult to maintain the cardiovascular strength at home that you would normally get from limitless outdoor training (unless you’re lucky enough to have a turbo trainer, an Endless Pool and a treadmill). 

Assuming that most of us don’t have all of those fabulous fitness devices, may we suggest the power of the plank?

Plank Benefits for Triathletes.

What is a plank?

A plank is an isometric (static, contracted) strength exercise, using the core muscles to maintain a stable, long line in a push-up position. There are many variations, but most common are the forearm (or low) plank and planking on your hands (high plank).

Why plank?

Planking is often referred to as one of the best overall strength exercises, but why? According to Harvard Health, “the plank pose activates all the core muscles at once, and doesn’t require extra movements that can cause stress or injury.” All of the core- let’s not forget, that includes not only front abdominals, but muscles on the sides and back of your body as well. This equates to better posture and less likelihood of back pain and injury!

And planks aren’t just for core- they also work shoulders, chest, neck, glutes, and quadriceps, especially with added variations.

What are the plank benefits for triathletes?

Triathlon gadgets – are they an expensive (and in some cases, intimidating) waste of money or a game-changer in your triathlon training?

Let’s look at arguments for and against and how gadgets can help – and hinder – your triathlon experience.

As a triathlete and triathlon coach, I’ve found over the years that men tend to get more into the triathlon gadgets and the data they provide than the women I coach and train with. Are we doing ourselves a disservice? 

First of all, what counts as a triathlon ‘gadget’? 

For the purposes of this blog, anything that involves technology and is a bit of an “extra” is a gadget. For example, a bike isn’t a gadget, but a power metre is.  Over our next few blogs, we’re going to look at three different pieces of triathlon gadgetry to help you decide whether to splurge or save and which pieces of tech are right for you and your training style.

Triathlon Gadgets – The Fancy Watch

the Pros:

Last year I bought a Garmin Forerunner 735XT for an ultra-running race. I wanted mapping and timing functionalities that my super-cheap watch couldn’t provide.

Yes, it took the fact that I was running farther than a marathon to make me feel that I deserved to spend the money. But I’m (mostly) glad that I did. I struggle with heart rate monitor straps. My skin is prone to chafing and my lungs are prone to freaking out when a strap is squeezing them. So today’s watches with built-in heart rate offer more comfort with less faff.

With a bit of online research, I figured out functionalities that allowed me to download a route map. I also used the run-walk function to help pace me from the start. Even as someone fairly disinterested in stats, I like looking back and seeing how my pace and heart rate changes through races and training sessions. 

In everyday life, the watch looks pretty cool. It is way less clunky than previous Garmin models and it counts my steps, so I’m inspired to get a lot of walking in. 

Trigirl launched a new brand video earlier this year. We weren’t quite sure how the end product would turn out when we embarked on our mission. However, as it turned out, we are actually quite chuffed with the result. We love what the video says about us and about our values as a company. Please let us know what you think.

The Trigirl video crew

We just love our first-time model, Felicity. Felicity is a “real” woman (not a professional model) with a passion for the outdoors and for physical activity. She shares Trigirl’s mission to encourage women to discover physical outdoor activity as a means to a happier and more balanced life. Her zest for life really shows from the inside out!

We also worked with an amazing female cameraperson and editor, Amber of Rose Morgan Films. Both Felicity and Amber did an amazing job in really showing off our wonderful Trigirl triathlon outfits.

Trigirl brand mission and values

Trigirl summer 2019 video shootAs a small company we can honestly say that we are here for YOU, our customers. Our founder, designers and coach advisor can all be reached directly by email.

We are always happy to offer help and advice. Whether it’s about how our kit fits, what you need for your next race or where to begin with your training. We are here to help.

The Trigirl website is full of advice on training, racing, nutrition, women’s-only races and much more. We aim to help you feel confident in your racing and training.

Our team races the races and we wear the product. We have had your race day nerves and your finish line frustrations. And, of course, your joy – oh so much triathlon joy! 🙂

The team at Trigirl value the world we live in, in which triathlon is just a part. We use recycled fabrics for our trisuits to make our product sustainable. However, we ensure no corners are cut in garment quality or fabric performance.

Race Across America (RAAM) cycling race starting 15th of June

Trigirl is thrilled to announce that we are sponsoring the Serpentine Golden Girls in their second time racing as a four-woman team in the Race Across America (RAAM) cycling race.

RAAM, a.k.a. The Toughest Bike Race in the World, is a 3,000 mile race across the US, riding through 12 states, starting on the West Coast in California and finishing on the East Coast in Maryland. Taking in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, Monument Valley as well as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.

The race also has 170,000 feet worth of vertical climbs! Sounds tough for even the most ‘typical’ lycra-clad road warriors… but the Golden Girls aren’t your typical cyclists! At a combined age of 280, the women were the eldest four-person team ever to complete the race when they did it at an average age of 60, 11 years ago. They are now looking to beat their own record. 

Neoprene warmth vest review by Jemima Cooper

Loving Open Water Swimming – Warmth in the Water!

I hate being cold. My lips go blue and I shake like crazy. I lose feeling in my feet, not to mention, I get incredibly grumpy. So when my coach said “why don’t you go open water swimming?” last week (this is British May!) I obviously wasn’t so chuffed!

Luckily for me, Trigirl stepped in with a snazzy under-wetsuit top, Zone3’s neoprene warmth vest, and it saved the day!! 

My thoughts on this little addition to your swim wardrobe: 

The idea behind the Zone3 neoprene warmth vest is to add a bit of extra warmth for open water or pool-based swimming. 

Trigirl Training Favourite HITT: High-Intensity Triathlon Training

Last year, Trigirl introduced a series of high-intensity workouts we called HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training). Based on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), these sessions incorporate high to very high levels of effort, mixed with short rest or easy recovery intervals.

We still love these sessions as a way to get your training done in less time- and with more results!

As written in an article in Shape magazine, ‘When it comes to HIIT, less might actually be more. Squat jumps for joy.’

If time is of the essence (as it is for most people) and injury is a concern (as it is for most triathletes), could HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training!) be for you?

YES.  Studies (and anecdotal evidence) are proving that shorter workouts, performed at greater intensity, could equal faster race times and less injury.  Save time and achieve your goals with HITT!

Want to know more?

We are excited to announce that our new Trigirl kit for 2019 is now available for pre-order online.

We’re continuing our partnership with ECONYL® to bring you gorgeous triathlon kit that’s also high-performance and  environmentally sustainable.

In addition to our amazing fabrics, functional details, and flattering women’s-specific fits, here are some highlights coming up for spring that you’re sure to love:new Trigirl kit triathlon kit from Trigirl

  • Extra-special details, including matte gold and hot pink trim and reflective transfers.
  • Stunning prints! Following on from the success of our favourite prints, we can’t wait to see you racing in our new ones. We especially love the cheerful glitched floral!
  • Exciting styling and colours – including our new, limited edition hi-viz pink Flow swimsuit!
  • New soft leg hem – we’re using power mesh instead of gripper tape in our hems to keep them snugly in place without digging or chafing!
  • Easy on/easy off back clasp detail for our tri tops and swim bras.

Due to popular demand there are now more options of our favourite swimsuit/ triathlon-capri combo! We love the versatility that this combo offers. Wear the super-supportive swimsuit on its own for swimming or aquathlon.

The Trigirl triathlon capris feature our female-specific triathlon cycling chamois for maximum comfort both cycling and running. And the matching set looks great together- especially in our new prints!

Click here to see the full collection and to pre-order.

Happy shopping, happy training.

Swim. Bike. Run. Trigirl!

Trigirl is proud to announce that we are once again partnering with Deva Divas triathlon and quadrathlon. Held in Chester on 14th of  July, Deva Divas is a short distance ladies-only race, providing fantastic support for beginner and improver triathletes. They offer beginner’s seminars (one this year already attracted 55 fledgling triathletes!), training days, bike workshops and more.

Registrants to Deva Divas triathlon not only receive a Trigirl discount code, but have the opportunity to compete for Trigirl prizes and vouchers, as well.

Beginning in 2006, Deva Divas is now a very popular event- so popular, in fact, that the quadrathon (swim, bike, run, kayak) has now sold out for the third year and the triathlon is selling quickly, too.  Part of the race’s popularity comes from its winning the coveted British Triathlon “Event of the Year”Triathlon England Club Event of the Year and also North West Regional Race of the Year in 2016. Deva Divas is also the only race to have ever won the British Triathlon award twice, after winning it for the first time in 2009.

Why do we do what we do at Trigirl?

It’s not just about triathlon clothing here at Trigirl. We have a passion for the mental and physical well-being that sports, especially outdoor sports, can provide. And we love the sense of achievement that completing a race can being, whether it’s your first sprint triathlon, or your 100th parkrun, or your PB half-marathon. We want others to have that feeling, too.

By encouraging women to enter the world of triathlon and supporting them as they go, we hope to share the positive effects that sport has had on us with a wide range of women- women of all sizes, shapes, ages and abilities.

At Trigirl, we love seeing the sense of confidence that participating in our sport can bring. You don’t have to be the fastest or the fittest to experience the joy of crossing a finish line or the happiness of lacing up your trainers when heading out for a run.

So why clothing and why women-only?

Pat, Trigirl founder, has a background in clothing and it seemed to make good sense to combine her love of triathlon with that background. When she met me (Kristin), a former fashion designer who also happened to be a writer and triathlon coach, it was obvious that we would be the perfect team!

We feel that women often do triathlon for different reasons than men, including the mental and physical benefits already mentioned. In my coaching, my favourite part is supporting women who worry that they can’t, only to find that they absolutely can! I love seeing a beginner go from the tentative stages of “maybe I’ll sign up for a triathlon” to the big moment of being able to say proudly, “I’m a triathlete”.

Ultimately, at Trigirl, we want to help women get more out of the lives they lead, so while our business is triathlon kit, it’s not just about the trisuit!

Trigirl uses ECONYL® for a truly sustainable triathlon clothing collection.

Starting with our 2017 collection, Trigirl began using a new, 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, this fabric achieves both!

According to the ECONYL® website: ‘… [ECONYL®] want to rewrite the rules for producing man-made fibres. The goal is to manufacture products that are not only entirely made of regenerated material, but are fully and endlessly regenerable.’ Which sounds pretty good to us!

Our new eco-friendly fabric comes from our most trusted fabric manufacturer, the number-one supplier of technical performance fabrics in Italy. They have supplied high-quality performance fabrics for our trisuits for years. They have now worked with ECONYL® yarns to create an equally amazing and environmentally-friendly fabric.

A win-win that enables us to bring you truly eco-friendly triathlon clothing!!

For more information about ECONYL® yarns, click here.

sustainable triathlon clothing

Team Trigirl has always been proud to develop triathlon clothing for women, by women. Our kit is exclusive to Trigirl and we carefully curate the items within our small collection to bring you the best triathlon kit out there. But what inspires us, what is important to us in our designs and how do we come up with ideas for the trisuits that you love?

As athletes, we are always thinking about the kit that we want to wear.

Performance-wise, we want it all – the fabric has to dry quickly to avoid being cold and wet and a comfortable pad for the cycling leg is MANDATORY. That same pad has to feel like it magically disappears when it’s time to run.

Of course, we also like to look good wearing it! We design triathlon clothing that is made just for women, so it fits well, isn’t some shrunken-down version of what someone designed for a guy and looks great. We firmly believe that we’re faster when we feel confident!

What inspires us?

In developing our new designs each year, we start by looking at what has worked in the past. We want a fresh look, but the main objectives are still what works technically and what our customers loved/ what’s worked for them.
That said, when designing, it’s always exciting to see what’s “next”. Design trends and inspiration can come from fitness and ready-to-wear markets, art, a fantastic print or our new favourite fabric colours for the season!

Of course, we are also inspired by our Trigirl customer. We listen to your feedback and implement it in our designs. Items like our triathlon capris and larger cup-size tops have come directly from what we’ve heard from you!

What’s next for Trigirl?

We’re still loving the prints-in-athletic-wear trend, so you’ll see some beautiful (and trend-right) prints in our upcoming season. Plus we’re excited to be adding in a couple of swimsuits with a Trigirl twist.

In our entire collection, you’ll get the same well-fitting, gorgeous and high-performing pieces that you expect from us. And, of course, in our trisuits, you can expect our ongoing commitment to fit, form and function- triathlon clothing that performs.

Want to show your triathlon pride, even when you’re not racing or training? Looking for an extra layer to wear pre- and post-race? How about one (or more!) of our new Trigirl Triathlon T-shirts?

Our new T-shirts are soft, stylish and feature a female triathlete swimming, cycling and running. The perfect way to show your triathlon love and your tri-girl power!

In two styles and three colour choices, Trigirl Triathlon T-shirts are 100% cotton or a super-soft cotton-poly blend, depending on style. Great for when you’re recovering– or just relaxing! Each T-shirt coordinates with Trigirl capris and  tri shorts, too, so putting together the perfect outfit is a snap!

A beginner’s guide to open water swimming

One of the questions that I hear most, both working at Trigirl and as a triathlon coach, is some form of, ‘How do I transition from the pool into the open water? How do I escape the pool?!’

It’s a valid question: many triathletes already feel that swimming is their worst sport, then add the stress of jumping into a strange lake or sea, wearing a wetsuit… guidance is needed!

At Trigirl, we’ve published some great articles and blogs on open water swimming. We have coached swimmers and have done a fair share of open water swimming ourselves. But even we can’t claim to be at the expert level of Outdoor Swimmer Magazine.

Outdoor Swimmer Magazine is a great place to catch up on tips and techniques for the new and experienced swimmer alike. They offer training and nutrition tips, suggestions on great places to travel to enjoy outdoor swimming, and a glimpse into the open water swimming community.

And for those of you who are wondering how to make the transition from the pool to the open water, Outdoor Swimmer Magazine have released their FREE Escape the Pool guide. It is packed with tips on gear, how to become more confident and wetsuit advice. The Escape the Pool Guide provides tons of answers to your open water swimming questions, written by the open water experts!

Outdoor Swimmer say, ‘For many people, swimming outside is incredibly daunting. It induces panic rather than exhilaration and joy. Or you just don’t know where to start. We’ve therefore produced this short guide to help you start on your own outdoor swimming journey which will take you to places and give you experiences that you never imagined.’ Sounds great!

For your free copy of Escape the Pool, click here.

Happy Training (and open water swimming!)

Coach Kristin x

Open water swimming guide