Want to start getting in shape and feel like you have accomplished something? I’ve ran half marathons and 5k’s and while they’re rewarding I still feel like I didn’t accomplish anything too great until I did my first Triathlon and this is Why You Should do a Triathlon, plus some helpful tips.
Running has never been real fun for me but after running my first half marathon I was so excited for my next. Sadly after hearing how many people ran the half marathon I didn’t feel like it was all too impressive or rewarding. I thought maybe I needed to do a full marathon, but sadly my knees are not capable right now to do that. After searching and doing a couple more half marathons I decided I was going to do my first Triathlon and I was scared about all of it.
Now there’s different styles of Triathlons, there’s a sprint which is what I did which is only a 500 meter swim, 12.5 mile bike, and a 5K. So still quite a bit distance but not as much as a full or Olympic Triathlon which is double everything. You can also do a relay with friends or family if that’s more your style. I did the Sprint Triathlon and after completing it in 5th place in my age group I couldn’t wait to do my next one or an Olympic triathlon and this is Why You Should do a Triathlon too.
No I did not train like crazy for this event but I was in decent shape because I have been doing half marathons and such, still not super fast or anything but had a good exercising program. The hardest part was swimming, the event was going to be in a pool swimming laps so I found a pool that did lap swimming and went a few times. Check out your event and see if it is going to be in a lake, ocean, or a pool. Mine we swam in the pool which also offered lap swimming most mornings. Luckily I was able to go to a few times and found out that I am definitely not a swimmer, I sank pretty easily. I just tried making it to each end without stopping and did a total of 10 laps each time, which was the number of laps I would have to do in the Triathlon. If you can’t make it to a pool just focus some of your training on high cardio, elliptical is great because it is low impact but still gets your heart pumping. Also get some goggles, nothing fancy just something you can find at Walmart.
Biking, ok train for this! I didn’t bike hardly at all before the event because biking is so simple right? Wrong! My butt hurt so badly afterwards that I could barely get off my bike to start running, I felt like I was waddling the whole time and looked like a penguin. So practice biking just to save yourself from an extremely sore behind. I used an actual road bike, the ones you see with thinner tires, they coast better but several people went with just cheap bikes they already had. Make sure your bike also has a good water bottle holder because this is where you will want the most water.
Running! I ran quite a bit before the race and I would run a 5K about 3-4 times a week so I thought I was really prepared. No I was not really fast at running but I could run it pretty easily. This is where training from biking 12+ miles right into running needs to happen. It was extremely awkward getting off my bike and starting to run. Like I said my bottom hurt and my legs were so confused at what motion they should be doing, so practice these two together so it’s not completely new to you the day of the event.
Clothing is very important for a triathlon. I ordered a tri suit from swimoutlet.com that was perfect, sadly though it did cost a little bit but came in great. If you don’t want to order a tri suit you can also just wear a swimming suit, something that works well swimming, and slipping on shorts and a t-shirt during transition of events.
Some tips to make your event successful. Most triathlons have orientations of how to proceed through the event the night before, if it is your first time go! There was a lot of useful information and great encouragement. Practice going through transitions, from swim to bike to run so you don’t get all confused the day of the event. Also make sure you don’t spend too long drying off after swimming because the clock continues on so real quick dry your feet, throw on your shoes and go. At your bike have a t-shirt or something with your bib on it so you can just throw that on and not have to worry about trying to pin it on while hurrying through the transition.
Why You Should do a Triathlon? Because it wasn’t as exhausting as a half marathon and you’ll feel like you accomplished something bigger, like three events not just one running event. Most triathlons only have a few hundred people but half marathons and marathons sometimes have over a thousand participants. Why not be one of the few than one of the many? Triathlons will also hold your attention span better because you don’t do just one event you move between different activities which made it go a lot faster than I thought. And if you are anything like me running isn’t so nice on your knees, (not that that stops me) but if long distance running hurts triathlons, especially sprint triathlons, are shorter distances of running but still can achieve that gratification of finishing something people think of as extremely strenuous
Completing a triathlon made me feel like I accomplished a goal, not one I knew I had but something that after completing it realized that that is what I would have regretted if I had not participated. A quote I read that got me inspired to do a triathlon says “Why be bad at one sport, when you can be bad at three?” kind of a weird inspirational quote to get you started but it worked for me and I hope you can accomplish your goals, if it isn’t doing physical activities even just get out there and work everyday to accomplish it. Just remember, I would rather say ‘I did it than I gave up’.