Perhaps you’re considering a triathlon or have had these thoughts “I could never do that,” or “Who me?” I’m here to erase your uncertainty and say “Yes you can,” and “Yes you!”
Many folks think of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI when they think of triathlon. Understandably, it is one of the few televised triathlons and the largest triathlon event in the world. But triathlon comes in many shapes and sizes, as do triathletes. It only takes the thought “I can” to start your journey to becoming a triathlete.
Most beginner triathletes start with the Sprint distance triathlon, have a hybrid or mountain bike and borrow or rent a wet suit (if it’s an open water swim). There are many venues for triathlons including indoor events that are held in a pool, on a stationary bike and treadmill. For the beginner, the sprint distance triathlon isn’t necessarily about sprinting or being fast, it is referred to as sprint because of it’s relatively short distance (usually 15 – 18 miles total) compared to the Ironman Kona (140.6 miles). For the Elite athletes, of course – the sprint distance is ALL about speed.
The sprint distance is a great distance to enter the sport and learn the skills necessary to complete a triathlon, such as swimming, biking and the details of transition.
Many years ago I started running. I ran my first 5K and loved it. Over the years I progressed to the half marathon distance, but running was always very painful for me. A friend suggested that I sign up for a local sprint triathlon and I had the same thought, “Who, me? I could never do that.” My friend was super encouraging and ultimately, I ended up signing up for my first sprint triathlon – the 2012 Osprey Sprint Triathlon in Nanticoke, MD which was a 750 meter swim, 15 mile bike, and a 5K run.
Fast forward to 4 years later and I have complete numerous sprint, Olympic distance triathlons as well as several 70.3 Half Ironman distances.
Triathlon is about consistency – which is one of our core beliefs at I Tri. Stick with it (whatever “it” may be) and year after year you will get stronger, more confident and more satisfied with your fitness level. You don’t need to have fancy equipment or an expensive bike to step into triathlon (take a look at the picture above and see the beast of a bike I rode in my first sprint). These items can come if you find triathlon is your passion and can be useful motivational tools to keep you growing (i.e. “if I complete my first Olympic distance, then I will allow myself to invest in a better bike.”)
There is a lot of fun in learning the sport of triathlon. Triathlon also is more complex in terms of the details of racing and nutrition. Some of you may find that joining a triathlon club or finding a beginner’s coach is great place to start. We highly recommend a USAT certified coach to help you avoid some of the common mistakes that self coached beginners frequently make and mostly to prevent unnecessary injury as a result of going out too far too fast. Having a coach to lay out a personalized training plan and guide you through the specifics of training, fueling and competing in triathlon is money well invested.
Triathlon is for you – you need only have the thought, “I can.” Take the steps to your first triathlon today – let us help you! Together we can Tri!
** None of the information on this site is intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Always seek the input of your medical provider regarding changes in diet and physical activity levels.