Jargon Buster

Triathlon can be quite a daunting thing to start, not least because there's a lot of jargon flying around (e.g. turbo, brick, TT, taper, S&C etc) and Cambridge has its share of sports clubs with unhelpful acronyms (e.g. CUTriC, CUHH, CUCC, etc). So here is a bit of jargon busting to help introduce you to the world of triathlon:

Aero bars - not chocolate. A type of handlebar extension you get for triathlon bikes (and road bikes if you buy the clip-on variety), which are designed to get you into a more tucked-in, aerodynamic position than drop handlebars

"Drops" - the curved down bit of handlebar on a road bike. "riding in the drops" means you get lower on the bike, and so more aerodynamic. They also give you better control of steering. The disadvantage is the lower posture may not be as comfortable as being more upright on the "hoods"

"Hoods" - the end of the top bit of the handle bars, this is the position you most often sit in. It's comfortable and stable.

Turbo - short for "turbo trainer" this is a piece of kit that you attach your bike to, and allows you to cycle stationary: sort of turning your ordinary bike into an exercise bike. The back wheel is pushed against a resistance wheel whose difficulty can be changed

Brick - combined workout (usually bike+run). Our brick sessions are basically a short turbo, followed by a short run, followed by a short turbo...etc... until you get bored/lose your mind (and legs). 

Gels - Energy gels are quick-release carbohydrates, designed to make sure muscles don't run out of fuel during an intense workout or race. Generally only needed if you're going for more than 90 minutes or so. 

TT - Time Trial. Basically go a certain distance as fast as you can. The goal being to complete it in a fast time. 

TT bike/triathlon bike - a fancy (and expensive) kind of bike which is more aerodynamic than a conventional road bike, designed for riding flat in a straight line for a long time. Not a necessary piece of kit for a beginning triathlete! Only useful if you're thinking about racing for performance.

Taper - easing off the training before a race to give your body a chance to recover fully before you give your all on race day. For our purposes taking it easy (but still doing some training!) the week before the race is a good taper

Duathlon -  run-bike-run, as opposed to the swim-bike-run of a normal triathlon

BUCS - British Universities and Colleges Sport: an organisation that arranges a whole range of sports competitions open to British Universities and Colleges! We usually participate in BUCS Duathlon, BUCS XC and BUCS Triathlon

XC - short for cross-country running, which is where you run off-road on grass and mud. Usually results in you getting very muddy!