The term Triathlete has taken new meaning in the past decade. It used to mean ” those crazy idiots that swim, bike, and run ridiculous distances…” but, as the sport has mainstreamed it has grown to be all inclusive. Triathletes (usually) consist of those athletes who got bored with their sport and want to push themselves in other directions. They are usually multi-taskers, and if they are not they quickly become multi-taskers. As athletes we know it takes dedication and effort to master one sport at a time, but it takes careful planning to master three disciplines. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve won by making good decisions, and I’ve hit the wall and barely crossed the finish line. 10 Reasons to TRI
- Health Benefits: According to the American College of Sports Medicine, regular exercise can lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis and depression , just to name a few.
- Full Body Workout: Training for a triathlon means that you are going to use your full body. Upper body, lower body, and core.
- Lose Weight: Cross training burns enormous amounts of calories and fat. You will get lean, and the results happen quickly if you dedicate yourself.
- Look good: Your not only going to lose fat, but you are going to tone up, build muscle, unceasing your lean mass.
- Eat what you want: When I’m training for triathlons I can have cheat meals, because I’m burning such high amounts of calories. It’s actually ok (in moderation).
- Expand your Horizons: You may be a runner, biker, or swimmer, but as a triathlete you will become all three.
- Relieve Stress: You not only become a balanced athlete, but a balanced person. When your training a lot of the time your mind just goes blank, it’s nice! Nothing but you and the water, or you and the road.
- Travel to New Places: There are so many races, and so many location throughout the season. If you catch the bug, you will find another race!
- Make Friends: The camaraderie within the triathlon world is unmatched in any other sport.
- Build Confidence: Triathlons require a great amount of mental training. You learn to be determined, balanced, focused, patient, prepared, and confident that you can conquer anything.
Things to Consider: What distance do you want to compete? There are many distances: Sprints, Olympic, Half Irons, and full Irons. (and actually more than that). Also, Xterra has an off-road series if you are into trails, and Mountain Biking. Probably the thing I have had to deal with most often is people who are not comfortable in water. Are you comfortable in water? If not start swimming in the pool. Ok, your comfortable in water, but are you comfortable in open water? If you were a competitive swimmer in high school you may be great in the pool, but you need to get in open water and see if it translates. Do you have a bike? Does it fit the distance? A mountain bike for a Half Iron Man (56 miles) would be miserable. It could be done, but I wouldn’t try it. Get a bike that fits the race! Trust me, you will thank me later. How is your running? Good? Swimmers may need to buy some running shoes! Do you have time to train properly? I would never discourage anyone from competing in a Triathlon, but it is a huge time commitment. At least an hour 4-5 days a week!It depends how serious you are, but there are triathletes that spend 3-5 hours most days of the week training.