What exactly is a triathlon?
A triathlon consists of Swimming, Biking, and Running in direct succession. Between each leg of the race there is a quick "transition" where you change any clothing and equipment if necessary. Traditionally, the swim portion takes place in an open water lake or in a pool. The bike is traditionally a loop on open roads. The run can be one or two loops around a set course. Transition areas are traditionally one location for both the T1 and T2 switches.
How long is a triathlon?
The distances vary quite a bit, depending on your goals. The collegiate National Championship race is Olympic distance, which means a 0.93-mile (1.5 km) swim, 24.8-mile (40 km) bike and 6.2 mile (10 km) run. Many of our races, though, are Sprint distance, which is approximately half of the Olympic distance. There are also longer races available, such as Half-Ironman distance races (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) or Full Ironman Distance Race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run).
I can't really swim. Can I still join?
Yes, at the beginning of the year, we offer a number of swim practices to help people with their swim technique and fitness. We focus on drills to practice and offer guidance on what it means to swim in open water. There is always a wide range of swimming abilities on the team, so no matter what your skill level is in swimming, biking, or running, we can help you on your way to being a triathlete!
How much are dues?
All team members must pay dues of $70 per semester. These dues cover the cost of travel and lodging for all team races. All dues paying members have access to huge race discounts/reimbursements, group workouts, and huge sponsor discounts. Plus, our most active members receive some pretty awesome free gifts from our sponsors!
I've never done a triathlon before!
No experience needed! We welcome all levels of triathletes from beginners to Ironmen.
I don't have a bike!
That's okay! While racing on a triathlon bike is ideal, we've had athletes race on a variety of road bikes and mountain bikes. It is also easy and cheap to rent a road bike from the Rec Center to use for races. The Rec Center offers free spin classes and spin machines to help you with your training if you don't have a bike.
Who is allowed to join?
Any student or faculty at The University of Alabama. We also have a great community of alumni, fans, and fellow triathletes who like to race in our team gear and support us.
What equipment do I need?
For swimming, you need a pair of goggles & a suit. For biking, you need a bike & a helmet. For running, you just need a decent pair of running shoes. You can find all this equipment at local sports shops. Also, being part of the team, you are welcome to purchase a triathlon-specific uniform to race in.
How much of a time commitment is it?
It is how ever much or little you want to put into it! We hold weekly team dinners, regular team meetings, and team practices every day. However, we encourage all members to be involved as much as possible--the more time you put into training, the better you'll do! Plus, we organize lots of great social events!
Does the team travel?
Absolutely! We travel to team races across the South, and then to Collegiate Nationals every year. This year (2017), Collegiate Nationals will actually be held in Tuscaloosa! We also have an annual team trip to volunteer at Ironman Florida in Panama City, FL.