TAKE UP MODERN PENTATHLON
So how do you get involved in such a unique combination of sports? Traditionally there are two ways people tend to get into Modern Pentathlon, either from swimming and running backgrounds, or through Pony Club Tetrathlons.
The Modern Pentathlon Association organizes swim/run biathlons and, swim/run/shoot triathlons, which is a great introduction into Pentathlon and is how I got involved in this fantastic sport. There are international competitions at youth level for Modern Triathlons, and then there are Modern Tetrathlons (fencing, swimming, running, and shooting) for the next age group up. This shouldn’t be confused with the pony club Tetrathlons, which involve swimming, running, shooting and Horse Riding. This is how Kate Allenby and Heather Fell both got into Pentathlon.
What makes a good Pentathlete?
Which ever way you get into pentathlon you have to be an all round, level headed athlete, a good swim/run foundation is helpful, but not essential as both these events are probably the easiest to improve with pure hard work! You have to have a clear head for shooting, and can’t let nerves affect you too much; it’s all about being cool under pressure.
Fencing requires a lot of skill, the basics can be picked up pretty quickly, but it takes quite a bit of time to master. It’s very strategic and you always have to be one step ahead of your opponent. Then comes the interesting part, the horse riding, where if you don’t come from a riding background, like myself, you have to learn from scratch. Needless to say I was a little apprehensive when I first started, having to wear jodhpurs was the first hurdle to overcome, but once you’re over that you’ll soon be jumping over poles instead. Expect a few bumps and bruises along the way, but its all good fun!
Modern Pentathlon Events
- Shooting - .177 Air pistol, 20 Shots at a standard pistol target
- Fencing - 1 Hit eppe fencing
- Swimming - 200 Meter freestyle relay
- Riding - Show jumping on a unknown horse, 12 jumps including treble and double up to 1 meter
20 cm in height
- Running - 3000m Cross country run
My Top tips and advice
Top training tip:
The hard work is done in training, competing should be the easy part and don’t underestimate the importance of rest and recovery before a competition.
Top sports psychology tip:
A Poor competition or performance is a good experience; it will only make you stronger in the long run.
Advice to younger athletes who haven’t been to an Olympic Games / major championships before:
If your looking for an easy formula there isn’t one, making sacrifices, being 100 percent committed to your goals and consistent hard work will help. Remember however successful you are at junior level; it is only preparing you for senior level competition. It is what you do as a senior which you want to be remembered for.
Best piece of advice someone else has given you:
"It doesn’t matter how pretty it looks, at the end of the day it is the result which matters". – Deidre Angella, EIS Sociologist.
If you want to get involved in Pentathlon and don’t know where to start, each area of the country has a regional coordinator
Pentathlon Centre Of Excellence
The National squad train at the University of Bath, which is part of the English institute of sport and is one of the network of regional centers of excellence across the country. It is also part of Team Bath, and due to the financial support of UKsport and the support of the University of Bath, the Calverton down campus has some world class sporting facilities.
Check Out: www.teambath.com
Useful Pentathlon Links
Modern Pentathlon GB:Official website of the Great Britain Modern Pentathlon Association, great for all the information you need to get into Pentathlon in Great Britain, also good for domestic results and domestic calendar of events.
Check out: www.pentathlongb.org
Modern Pentathlon: Union Internationale de Modern Pentathlon, great for international results and international competition calendar.
Check out: www.pentathlon.org/
PCUK: The official website of the pony club, which is an international voluntary youth organisation for youngsters interested in ponies and riding
Check Out: www.pcuk.org/disciplines/tetrathlon
Pentathlon at University: Its never too late to get into Pentathlon and university is a great start, there are a quite a few universities with Pentathlon clubs, for information on the university championships
Check out: www.oxbridgepentathlon.org.uk/busa
For additional links please check out the links page