September 27th, 2011
Membership FAQ

How do I join the UCSD triathlon team?

Joining the team is easy! Here’s what needs to happen.

  1. Register for the team and fill out all required health and authorization forms at UCSD Sports Clubs by scrolling down to “Triathlon” and clicking the “Registration” button.
  2. Sign up for an appointment for Baseline Testing at the Super Computer Center on campus (required for all Sports Clubs by the University before you come to practice).
  3. Come to practice and meet the coaches and the rest of the team.  You can come to a few practices before deciding if you really want to join.
  4. Join our mailing list, which will keep you up to date on practices and workouts sent out by other team members.
  5. Pay team dues of $175/year. This fee covers various costs that the team incurs throughout the year, and entitles you to any sponsorship items the team will be receiving during the year.

What do I get as a team member?

As a member in good standing (you’ve paid dues), you receive a team uniform, access to our workouts, coaches, and athletic trainers, and reimbursement for most of the races you do with UCSD Triathlon.  Additionally, you are entitled to the numerous sponsorship deals that the team has negotiated with various companies (see the list of our sponsors).

Can I still join the team if I don’t have a bike?

YES!  While having your own bike is a big advantage, we realize that it can also be a big investment.  Entry level road bikes that are suitable for training and racing start around $700.  Fortunately, the team has sponsorship deals set up which allow team members to purchase bikes at  significant discounts.  In addition to new bikes, senior team members can help new athletes purchase used bikes through various classified services.  Until you decide to take the plunge on a bike of your own, you are welcome to come swim and run with the team.

What are the essential things that I need to buy to get started doing triathlons and how much do they cost?  What things are extras?

There are a number of upfront costs when starting out in triathlon.  However, once you have invested in the equipment, it does not cost much to continue doing the sport from year to year.  Our team tries to make entry into the sport accessible by keeping our membership dues low and by seeking out sponsorships from a number of well respected companies.  We currently have a number of arrangements in place to get most of the equipment that you will need at significantly discounted prices.

Here is a list of essential gear that you will need to start training and racing with the team.

  • running shoes ($60)
  • swim suit and goggles ($30-$60 depending on gender)
  • bike (>$700 + tax)
  • bike helmet (~$50)
  • misc bike accessories (water bottles, bike shorts, chain oil, etc) (~$100)

Additionally, there is no shortage of fancy triathlon equipment, which will make you go faster, look cooler, stay more comfortable, or all of the above.  Once you get into the sport more, you should consider some of the following items.   Again, we can usually get the following things at good discounts from our sponsors.

  • RoadID – the easiest way to make sure any information is available in case of emergency (~$15)
  • bike shoes and clip-in pedals – makes for happy feet on long rides and dramatically increases your efficiency on the bike
  • sports sunglasses – keeps the bugs, wind, and dirt out of your eyes when cycling (and makes you look cool)
  • elastic shoe laces – makes it a lot easier to get your running shoes on after the cycling part of the race.
  • aerobars – special handlebars for your bike that will make you more aerodynamic
  • swim-specific wetsuit – keeps you warm and helps you go faster. definitely recommended for races with swims in cold water.
  • cycle computer – keeps track of how far and how fast you’ve gone on the bike
  • heart rate monitor – gives you reliable feedback about how hard you are pushing yourself

I’m terrible at swimming/biking/running! Can I still join the team?

YES!  While having some experience in each of the sports is a big help, it will not keep you from practicing and racing with us.  Every triathlete has their strong and weak events.  Our practices seek to develop each person’s weaknesses, while honing their strengths.  As a team, we strive to create well-balanced, competitive athletes.

I’m really slow at (swimming/biking/running). Will I be able to keep up at practice?

Our team is open to all students at UCSD and is composed of a wide range of athletes – from complete beginners to decorated elites.  As such, we have athletes who train at many different speeds and intensities.  Chances are good that there will be someone you can train with.  It is also very common that new members are intimidated by our sport and under-estimate their own potential.  If you are uncertain of your fitness, we recommend coming to practice and taking things slow.   With some time and dedication most athletes improve far beyond what they ever thought possible.  In addition, our team strives to be inclusive of new athletes – ask around at a practice if you have questions, and we promise you’ll find a lot of helpful people.