We all tend to be afraid of what we don’t know or understand. Even if you don’t think you are triathlete material, keep reading to see what type of person is a good fit for this sport.
1. If you’re already an organized and structured person who is good at planning and following a schedule, you probably have an advantage. But, if you’re a procrastinator looking to break the habit of putting things off to last minute, training for a triathlon will teach you exactly that.
2. Some think they are not fit enough to do a triathlon. But, you don’t just register and compete in a race the following day. Usually it takes a few months of consistent training to build your endurance up to be able to participate. Training for a triathlon is what helps you become fit in the process. It is about being better than you were yesterday. It’s an amazing journey to wellness where you become healthier and more fit each week. The race itself is just a celebration of the amazing progress you’ve made along the way.
3. If you’re already a role model, whether it be for your kids, friends, colleagues or maybe staff that looks up to you, can you imagine how your decision to take on a triathlon will impact them? They are already looking up to you for leadership and not only will you solidify your position as an amazing go-getter, but most likely they will use you as an example and start making decisions that improve their own health and wellness.
4. Maybe you're already a runner. There are so many triathletes that started out as runners. Although running gave them a great endurance base with time they either became bored with it or were forced to stop due to injury. Running is a very high-impact repetitive sport. As runners we tend to vary our training by changing intensity or distance. Obviously running is a part of triathlon, but with the other two disciplines you don't have to run as much and adding swimming as well as cycling makes you a better-rounded athlete. Working the different muscles through the three disciplines will not only help one another, but it will reduce the risk of injury because no one muscle is overused with the same repetitive motion every day.
5. As kids many of us used to swim, bike and run to play. Not necessarily in that order and not on the same day, but the point is that we enjoyed it. It simply was how many of us enjoyed spending time with our friends. We're now intimidated because it has been decades since that point in our lives. And the fact that we are labeling it a triathlon, a race, a competition may intimidate us. Sure, it is a competition for a small percentage, but majority are just participating because it brings them joy and it is a part of a healthy lifestyle they have adopted. If you were active as a kid, chances are you will love triathlon. And if you entertained yourself with other activities as a child, you will discover a new community of amazingly positive and health-conscious people and you may be surprised how contagious that energy can be. "We are all athletes, the only difference is some of us are in training and some are not.”
Peter Kadzielawski is a USA Triathlon Certified Coach and the founder of thetrihub.com. He holds certifications in sports nutrition and personal training. As a nine-time IRONMAN finisher, who still remembers struggling through his first 5k run, Kadzielawski strives to inspire his clients and athletes to unleash their potential and rediscover new possibilities. Since 2001 Kadzielawski has worked with individuals from many backgrounds, some taking up exercise for the first time looking for weight loss and toning, and others seeking guidance with a more extreme goal of training for an IRONMAN triathlon. Kadzielawski’s work has been published in Competitor Magazine, Golf Fitness Magazine and on the Colorado Runner website. Currently he coaches triathletes globally from sunny Arizona.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.