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London T100: Start strong for a first-time triathlon

Emma Pallant-Browne at T100 San Francisco
Emma Pallant-Browne at T100 San Francisco

With the London T100 Triathlon on the horizon, the pros share advice to up your game

Diving into the world of triathlons for the first time can be both exhilarating and daunting.

Maybe you are a confident swimmer facing the unfamiliar terrain of cycling. A seasoned cyclist dreading the long run.

Or, like me, as soon as you step into a swimming pool you sink.

To help you navigate your journey, we spoke with Emma Pallant-Browne, one of the world’s top-ranking triathletes, ahead of the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s new London T100 Triathlon.

Making training fun

Emma’s golden rule for beginners is to keep it fun and avoid over-training. Transitioning from one sport to three doesn’t mean tripling your training load.

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“Be smart with your time and keep changing zones in training,” she advises.

Many athletes with busy lives successfully train for full-distance triathlons in just 11 hours a week.

The key?

It’s not about the quantity of time, but the quality of your training sessions.

Also, make sure your training is race-relevant. Get comfortable with the gear and the transitions to replicate race day conditions as closely as possible.

Conquering open-water swimming

If open-water swimming is your concern, Emma suggests hitting local lakes for practice.

“Meeting people there can help you learn to swim with others, draft efficiently, and stay calm when visibility is low,” she says.

Practising in open water will make a significant difference in your comfort and performance on race day.

Prioritising your training focus
With just a few weeks to go, Emma recommends prioritising the discipline you find most challenging. Which is often the swim for many beginners.

“Coming out of the water anxious and exhausted can ruin the rest of your race,” she warns.

So, focus on open water swimming first, then get comfortable with your bike and transitions, ensuring you practice running immediately after biking to simulate race conditions.

Structuring and tracking progress

Emma uses Training Peaks for all her athletes, which allows for detailed session tracking and feedback. This tool can be invaluable for monitoring your progress and making adjustments as needed.

She said: “If you get a coach it’s easy for them to put your sessions into here and monitor. You can see how things are going with all the sessions and a comment box for feedback too.”

Nailing your nutrition

Proper nutrition is crucial for training and race day. So Emma emphasises practising your race nutrition strategy during training.

She says: “Aim for 90g of carbs per hour for longer events, using carb drinks, gels, or chews. Don’t forget to include enough protein in your diet for recovery.”


Emma is one of the 20 top female athletes on the new eight-leg T100 Triathlon World Tour. Her next T100 race is the London T100.

The London T100 takes place at the Excel Centre, Royal Victoria Dock from Saturday, 27 July to Sunday, 28 July.

Spectating is both encouraged and free. City A.M. will share the best places to catch the action closer to the event.