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Cycling Scarab Logo (animated)



Why the name Scarab?

  • The club was founded by a group of swimmers who decided to try their hand at triathlons. Given their background, it seemed fun and fitting to name it Scarab, which stands for Swimmers Can Also Run And Bike. It also gave rise to our distinctive logo!


How many sessions do I need to join each week?

  • There’s no minimum, you are free to join as many or as few as you like


I only want to join the swimming/cycling/running sessions, is that ok?

  • Of course, this is very common. After all, some sessions will be better timed for different lifestyles and work patterns


What ability levels do you cater for?

  • Actually, the ability level at Scarab is very wide. Some of us are complete beginners, some have prior experience at one (or two) of the sports while some longer standing members are very accomplished athletes. Last year we had many members completing their first triathlons while others were completing Ironman races in Wales and Barcelona (having completed numerous IMs before). We’re used to catering for the wide ability levels in our training sessions


Do I have to become a member to attend?

  • No, not at first – we offer free sessions initially to enable you to experience the sessions and get a feel for the club and its members. Due to the events of Covid 19 we have had to introduce a booking system for the swimming as we are limited to 25 participants, and it is only fair that members be given first priority for the swimming. You will be asked to fill out a membership form with your details before your first session, and then if you decide you want to join the club you can make payment for the portion of the membership year remaining at that point.

How do you communicate as a club? How will I know what’s going on?

  • Our weapon of choice is Facebook. On our facebook group you will find details of upcoming training sessions and races, photos and reports from recent events as well as discussions. We also have a lively Whatsapp group for day-to-day chat, and if you wish to join that group please drop a comment on the Facebook page or email and you will be sent a link.

Is the club dominated by young/old men/women?

  • Triathlon, being a relatively new sport, is refreshingly mixed and attracts a cross section of people from all walks of life. Our membership is almost exactly 50:50 men/women and includes plenty of couples. While we don’t currently offer a junior section, we have members of all ages. In fact, last year, we had members compete in nearly every age group

Do I have to compete to be a member?

  • Not at all – most members do choose to compete, but by no means all.


What distances does the club focus on?

  • The club caters for people training for everything from a Sprint distance triathlon all the way through to an Ironman. That said, as most of the sessions are 60-90 mins, they lend themselves particularly well to those competing from Sprint distance up to half-iron distance. If you are planning to compete in an iron-distance event, you would want to supplement the club sessions with longer training sessions as well. If you come along, we have multiple coaches who can advise you on your specific race, and a recommended training regime


I have signed up to an Ironman – can the club help me to train for it?

  • A resounding YES! Many of our athletes and coaches compete in Ironman (or Iron-distance) events and many, including our Head-Coach Simon, have completed many IMs over the years. They can advise you on how to break your training down through time, how to split your training between the three sports, what to supplement the club sessions with, how to manage nutrition, and most of all, when and how much to rest!


Do I have to buy the club kit if I join?

  • Not at all. While many members choose to wear the club kit with pride during training and racing, there is no requirement to do so. Many people begin by buying inexpensive cycling and tri kit when they first begin, but after a few uses start to yearn for something of higher quality. Our club kit is produced by Apex Custom which offer the best quality kit we have come across. As a result, it is excellent kit to graduate on to as and when you want something better. Club kit orders are placed several times a year, so if you do wish to buy kit there are regular opportunities to do so. There are no minimum order quantities so we can open an order window whenever there is demand.


How do I join?

  • Simple – download the membership form from the website, fill it in and bring it with you with the membership fee to your next session


Do I have to live in Wilmslow?

  • No – most of our members are based across South Manchester, but there is no requirement at all


I’m sold…I want to come along. What do I do now?

  • Just call or email us and let us know which session you plan to attend and we can answer any questions you may have. Our details can be found in the Contact Us section. Simples!

FAQ General Anchor



I’m not sure I’m a good enough swimmer to join – what’s the minimum standard required to start training with Scarab?

  • Don’t worry, we all started at some point, some of us more recently than we would like to remember! We have 5 lanes and we split swimmers into abilities so you will always be with people of a similar standard and speed – you needn’t worry about holding people up. We have a dedicated lane specifically for beginners with coaches who are experienced at helping people develop their front crawl technique and progress through the lanes


When do you offer Video Analysis?

  • The club has its own underwater camera and offer new members a video session in their first four weeks. This enables us to establish a base line of your stroke and can start giving guidance on drills and training which will help improve your technique. Future video sessions are then available as and when needed to track progress


I have never swum in open water - do you offer open water swimming?

  • There are several open water venues nearby, most notably Sale Water Park (which offer sessions on Saturdays and Sundays) and Boundary Park (Thursdays and Sundays). You will find members attend these two sessions every weekend throughout the summer (and will likely be posted on facebook and Whatsapp so we know who’s going where). Feel free to come along and we can help you with your first jump into open water. We can then help you with open water specific skills (such as sighting)


What equipment/pool toys do I need?

  • If drills are incorporated in a session you will typically need a pull buoy, kickboard, fins and paddles. The club has a full complement of kit which we use every swim session in drills to isolate specific parts of the stroke. Due to Covid 19 the sharing of kit during a session is not allowed, and you may feel more comfortable bringing your own kit. If you plan to swim in open water, the open water venues we attend also offer wetsuit rental if you would like to wear one (though some hardy individuals choose not to)

FAQ Swimming Anchor


I have never cycled in a group before, is this a problem?

  • No, the atmosphere at Scarab is very friendly and relaxed. We will gladly help you on your first ride and provide guidance and advice until you are confident riding in the group


What type of bike do I need? Does it have to be a road bike or TT bike?

  • If it has 2 wheels, functioning front and rear brakes and lights (if it's dim out) it’s good enough for us. Mountain bikes, road bikes, Cyclo-cross bikes, it’s all good


Do I need mudguards?

  • No – we have more interesting things to do with our time than worrying about whether you have mudguards on, we’ve got three sports to train for after all!


Can I ride with tri-bars on?

  • Yes – lots of groups frown upon this, but given we are a Tri club and some of us only have one bike, it just isn’t practical to remove them every week. You will find plenty of bikes at the group rides have them on. 


What should I wear?

  • Anything you like. But if it is the winter, make sure you’re warm enough! That said, the group rides have been known to take a detour to a member’s house to collect warm clothes for someone who misjudged the weather. We're all about helping each other


Do I need cleats/clip-in cycling shoes?

  • No. We don’t mind what you wear or what equipment you use. That said, if you enjoy cycling, moving to clip-in pedals is one of the best steps you can make. When you make the transition, it is worth doing some short rides near to your home so that if you do fall off initially (everyone does!) it isn't too far to walk with a broken derailleur hanger (it happens!)


What happens if I can’t keep up?

  • No-one gets left behind on our club rides. Period. The club is very friendly and relaxed in style so is perfect for people who are getting into the sport. Every week the group ride is posted on facebook so you can see how far it is expected to be and how long it will take, so you can choose which you attend. If you are nervous about riding in a group or worried about the distance, just let us know and we will ride with you and make sure you have a blast! Bear in mind, our spin sessions are interval based workouts which build speed and strength and as each participant’s bike resistance is based on their own ability, we all get a thorough workout. Meanwhile the group ride offers the ability to build endurance meaning speed isn’t the objective, so you needn’t worry about holding people up

Do I need to bring spares with me?

  • Whether you’re riding with us, another group, or on your own, we would always advise having a small pack of spares so you’re ready for a puncture. The time you forget it will be the time you need it. If you are riding with us, we will all have spares so if you do have an issue, we can provide anything you’re missing and help you out. Once you’ve changed a few inners, you’ll be a dab-hand!

FAQ Cycling anchor



I see running sessions are provided by Wilmslow Striders. Why is that?

  • Legacy reasons – Scarab started as a club set up by swimmers so the swimming session on the Wednesday night was the mainstay and the cycling spin sessions on Tuesday and Friday nights and the group ride on Sunday became very popular over time. However, many members were already members of other running clubs when they joined. When Wilmslow Striders set up and based themselves at Wilmslow Leisure Centre (also our spiritual home), it seemed natural to join forces. Wilmslow Striders has numerous triathletes from Scarab in its ranks, as well as running-only members. We are effectively sister clubs and you will find many members who compete for both


Will I be fast enough to join in the run sessions?

  • The sessions are structured in such a way to accommodate all paces and coached sessions are an excellent way to build speed quickly. The speed session on Tuesday will typically involve either lap or hill sprints with different distances for the different abilities so you are always kept together as a group

FAQ Running Anchor
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