Tips and advice for the Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints

26th April 2016

The start of the triathlon season is just around the corner and many beginners and experts alike will be thinking about where they can get their PB this year. The ever popular Nuffield Health Eton Sprints and SuperSprints are widely regarded as the official start of the UK triathlon season. It takes place on 21st and 22nd May at Dorney Lake, where the calm waters and flat course make it a great venue to get an early season time under your belt.

After 14 years event organisers Human Race, along with their new official health and wellbeing partner Nuffield Health, will welcome the 20,000th SuperSprints competitor. To celebrate the milestone and the enduring popularity of the event, the 20,000th person over the line will win a Human Race 2017 Triathlon Pass, plus a one year membership to a Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Gym.

15 year old Harrison Smith who not only came first in the 2015 youth competition, also beat all but one of the adult times w finishing in 1:00:07 resulting in second place for the Saturday. Harrison spoke with Human Race to talk us through his future goals and give tips and advice for race day. After finishing 26th in the World Championships in Chicago last Autumn, Harrison is aiming for a top 5 finish at the European Age Group Triathlon Championships in late May as well as a sub 5 minute swim for the 400m time trial by the end of the season. The Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints could be where he makes this achievement.

Harrison comments, “Dorney Lake is probably my favourite place to race because the water is usually just on the limit where wetsuits are optional. This means I can be comfortable and fast at the same time which is rather unusual in a triathlon swim. I particularly like the small waves and the flat bike and run course. The specially built walkway out of the lake and light spray of water when you start the run are something I haven’t seen anywhere else and another reason Dorney Lake is my favourite place to race.”

Harrison has shared his tips and advice for those taking part in the Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints this year:

  1. Always warm up and prepare mentally before the race.
  2. Take a risk on the swim – really go for it to the first buoy and see what happens over the next 300m. The Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints are the perfect event to try this as the waves are small enough that if you get swallowed up by the bunch on the swim you are unlikely to be dunked.
  3. Remember, the swim isn’t too far, even for a beginner. The pain in your arms won’t last forever…only five minutes of so!
  4. Practice your transitions before race day – do a few actual simulations and try to visualise yourself transitioning before the start and even during the swim.
  5. Pre clip your shoes into the pedals and secure with elastic bands – this makes for a faster transition and it looks more professional.
  6. Don’t be afraid of using cleats – it doesn’t take much practice at home (although you may take a few small tumbles at the beginning) and it will probably save you 30 seconds on the bike.
  7. On the run, go as hard as you feel you can – this is the point where most people go the slowest so you will make up lots of time, I personally find that the heaviness from the bikes goes a bit earlier through the run if you go off hard.
  8. Keep a bit of strength for a good sprint finish – the Dorney run is out and back so make sure you save a bit of strength for your final sprint. No one likes to be passed on the line, even if you’re racing for fun!

The Nuffield Health Eton SuperSprints on 21st and 22nd May are part of the Human Race Triathlon Series. Both days include a sprint distance along with SuperSprint options. To find out more visit: