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Triathlon in the 90's

If you have been in tri long enough/you are as old as I am then you there is a very good chance you competed during the 90’s. You know the good old day’s, when we didn’t have Zwift/Power meters/TT bikes etc etc in the old days it was well, simpler… As part of a fun look back to those days and a trip down memory lane for those of you who like me did race back then, I have got the definitive list for you.

Paper training logs

Sync a workout from your watch to your phone right to Training Peaks? Training Peaks?!? Back then the closest you could come to that was an episode of Star Trek! Nope we wrote it all down, on paper, in a log book… no we did!

Talking of technology... the IRONMAN WATCH

Yep there was an official IRONMAN watch, the Timex.. This thing was awesome, every self-respecting triathlete had one, it told the time, it had a stopwatch, it even had a countdown timer and wait for it… it could track 16 laps of a workout! All you had to do is go out the door, start your watch, and well, started running. Or biking. If you were swimming then you would use the pace clock on poolside, you know that funny thing that looks like a clock, moves like a clock, but doesn’t tell the time, the one with lots of numbers on it.

You posted, sometimes even faxed you entry forms in

Online? What? Hell no, you called up the race organiser, they posted out the entry form, you filled it in by hand and posted it back, sometimes you could fax them but that wasn’t very common because those fax machines were expensive! In fact, for a lot of races you could even turn up, enter on the day.


Who or what are they? What used to happen is that you called a travel agent, perhaps even went down to the high street and went into the shop, yes, they had shops. They organised your entire trip for you. The really good ones may have even been to where you were going and could make suggestions on where to stay, if not you choose from a glossy brochure and the professionally taken photos of the hotels.

Carbon Tri specific bikes.

Titanium, aluminium, and steel bikes were still popular, really popular. There was a lot of debate about steeper seat tube angled bikes in the 90’s (i.e. Tri-specific) and they were still a rarity early on in the decade. Transition areas were the mainstay of aluminium bikes, followed by titanium, carbon was a rarity!


The biggest names in the sport wouldn’t be caught dead in a trisuit back in those days, well they didn’t exist for starts. At an IRONMAN you wore a swimsuit for the swim, then pulled on a singlet to get you through the rest of the race. some didn’t even bother with the singlet, their swimsuits did the trick for the entire race!

You fixed your own punctures

If you were one of the lucky few who had a mobile phone (back then we called them cell phones) , it was the size of a brick and there was no way at all that it was going to fit in your cycling jersey pocket. If you got a puncture you couldn’t call home to ask someone to come pick you up. Nope, you just did it yourself.

Sisu Racing Triathlon Coaching.

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