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Do tri

Updated on October 20, 2015

For many of us, the idea of picking up a new sport can be exciting, but a little daunting as well. Private lessons can be expensive, not to mention time consuming. And the idea of trying to compete in a new sport along the side of those with more experience and skill, can be downright intimidating.

Triathlon is a sport that has been gaining ground over the last few years and is a great activity one can immerse him or herself in immediately – at any age. There are several pluses about getting involved in the sport of “tri-ing” and below are several positive aspects of this increasingly popular sport which combines swimming, biking, and running into a single race.

  • Pick your desired level of competition – There are generally four categories of triathlon races. Generally, a sprint is a great one for beginners, but someone who has demonstrated strength in one of the areas may opt for a longer-distanced race. Listed below are the four main types and the respective distances for the swim, bike, and run for each race. However, please note that the distances are approximates and can vary slightly from race to race.

    • Sprint ( 500 M, 12 mi, 3.1 mi)

    • Olympic (1500 M, 25 mi. 6.2 mi)

    • Half-Ironman ( 1.2 mi, 56 mi, 13.1 mi)

    • Ironman (2.4mi, 112 mi, 26.2 mi)

For beginning tri-athletes, a community-sponsored sprint race is a good way to get the feet wet.
For beginning tri-athletes, a community-sponsored sprint race is a good way to get the feet wet. | Source
  • Pick your competitor – Because there are so many people with varying levels of athletic skill partaking in triathlons, you have your pick from many different potential competitors. Foremost, triathletes generally like to compete with themselves whether that is breaking a time from a previous race, or attaining a certain time in a one arena of the triathlon or even the race as a whole. Others may have a vision of where they’d like to finish with respect to others competing within their age group. And for some of us with minimal expectations, completing the race and still being alive at the end can make that participation medal extra special.

  • Makes working out more interesting – Heading to the gym and doing the same workout and/or the same machine four to five times a week can quickly become monotonous. Triathlon training can make working out a much more enjoyable experience. Tri-athletes ideally try to get at least one swim, bike, and run in during the week. You then can do additional workouts in the area you have a preference for, or if you are the disciplined sort, strengthen your weakest link. Either way, having that variety makes exercising a little less mundane.

  • Lessen the wear and tear—Not only is doing the same workout routine five days a week tedious, but by doing so, the same muscles and joints are being used each time; therefore, you are much more likely to strain or injure those overused parts of the anatomy. While triathletes aren’t exempt from sports injuries, they are able to rest previously used muscles and joints by rotating workouts. The thought of running for five straight days can be enough to weaken anyone’s knees, However, by running twice a week with different forms of exercise integraded in-between, this activity can be less painful.

Stretching pre and post-run, along with a good pair of running shoes can reduce soreness.
Stretching pre and post-run, along with a good pair of running shoes can reduce soreness. | Source
  • Minimal equipment to get started—Despite the fact that there are three different sports involved in a triathlon, most people have all the necessary equipment close by to get started. A swimsuit, goggles, bike, bike helmet, running attire, and a decent pair of sneakers are basically all you need to start training. However, if you immerse yourself in this sport you’ll most likely find you will want to upgrade your equipment. Just like your old garage-sale- bought golf clubs won’t help you putt your way into the Masters, your Huffy bicycle that dates from the Reagan administration won’t help you pedal your way into Kona. And after swimming through the water using a basic swimsuit, it is pretty amazing to see how a fancy wetsuit can elevate your swim to the next level.

A final plug to be made regarding the sport of triathlon is the feeling of accomplishment that comes with crossing that finish line at the very end of the race. After going through the training, waking up extra early on race day, working through the bundle of nerves that comes with racing, and completing all three of the events, you most likely will feel proud of the fact that you did indeed tri.

To gain speed in the cycling portion of the race, many invest in a tri-bike.
To gain speed in the cycling portion of the race, many invest in a tri-bike. | Source

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