Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tri It, You Will Like It (Part 2)

Okay, so perhaps you aren't a triathlete yet, and you saw my last post "Tri It, You Will Like It" and thought to yourself, "yes, I want to tri it!!"  But maybe you also thought, "I don't have the skills / time / running ability..." or "I'm not an athlete." Or some form of doubt crossed your mind about why maybe you weren't cut out to be a triathlete.  Well, let me put those fears to rest with a little bit of myth busting!

I can't swim:  You would be surprised at the number of triathletes that learn to swim as adults. I know a few who started out by taking swim lessons and barely being able to swim 25 meters, and within a year, they were swimming a 3k open water swim.  If you are just learning to swim, yes, it may not be wise to sign up for a race immediately, but you will get there! Afraid of swimming in open water?  There are always plenty of kayaks, boaters, etc. out on the course to help you and give you a break if you need it. They also make tools like this personal buoy to help give you confidence in the water. They also have triathlons that have pool swims!

I can't bike:  Neither could I when I first started.  Okay, yes, I rode a bike when I was a kid, but when I first started doing triathlons, it had been YEARS since I had ridden a bike (like at least 10 years, maybe 15). It might be a little scary at first (clipless pedals... eek!), but this is something you can learn!

I can't run:  There are tons of programs out there to help you get into running.  You don't have to run far. You don't have to run fast. You just have to get started.  You could start with a Try-a-Tri, which is usually around a 200m swim, 10k bike, and 2.5k run!  If you have a longstanding injury, you could always participate in triathlon relays!

I'm too old: Go Google Sister Madonna Buder.  Age is not a limit in triathlon.  Yes, they will write your age on the back of your leg and yes, those young guns will be able to see it when you pass them!

I'm too out of shape:  Triathletes come in all shapes and sizes! Side effects of triathlon may include a slowly shrinking waistline, increasing strength and endurance, and increasing happiness and self confidence. 

I'm too busy:  Not every triathlete trains for an Ironman.  There are plenty of race distances that are much more manageable in terms of the amount of time that you need to train.  I like the sprint distance myself (which is a good intro distance for anyone), and I train at the very peak about 6-8 hours a week, but most of the time, it is closer to 4-5 hours per week.  I know triathletes with full time jobs and small children and they manage to get their training done.  You can find a way to fit it in, I'm sure of it!  And it will help improve your time management skills too.

I'm too slow:  Who cares?  None of us are going to set a world record.  If you are near the back of the pack, that just means there are more people to cheer for you at the finish line!

One of the reasons I love triathlon is that there is something for everyone and the community of triathletes are welcoming and inclusive of newbies!!  Triathletes are always willing to share their experiences and help make you feel at ease.  I usually see people of all ages, sizes, and speeds at races.  You can do it too!  I dare ya to tri it! I really do think you will like it!

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