Conquering a triathlon is no easy feat; think of how many people you know that have ever successfully completed one to determine the fitness level required to endure such activities. I’m guessing that list wouldn’t be terribly long, so with that said, here’s a brief taste of what to expect starting to scratch the surface of becoming a triathlete.
- Your schedule and social life will quickly become totally encompassed with cycling, running, and swimming. No joke. What was once your Saturday lunch with your besties, will without question be replaced with getting in time at the pool, or learning the ins and outs of cycling. Running takes training of course, but it’s a totally different animal than swimming and cycling. Your wardrobe and lingo will also soon follow suit with this new way of living.
You’ll become the person getting groceries and going to the movies in fitness gear. It could be worse, don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Get over any misled presumptions that you are in good shape. Most find within the first week that they were nowhere near as fit where triathlete standards are concerned. This is all about learning; you will learn how your body trains, what it needs to be successful, how long it takes to recover from training, and when you simply must take a break to avoid overtraining.
Egos are not common in this type of endurance racing, so if someone lapping you at the pool upsets you greatly, then you are not equip to become a member of the tri group.
- Prepare on spending some money fueling your new sport. Some shell out easily a few grand on their tri gear, and while you do need some items just to enter the event, you really don’t need a small fortune. You can buy used bikes, swim at a local pool for dirt cheap, and running is free; so try to avoid breaking the bank when you’re just beginning to join the team here. Look on used websites such as Craigslist for a used bike, this could mean getting a brand new carbon fiber bike for in upwards of $1500, to scoring one that is gently used for $500. When you’re just starting out training, you don’t really know entirely if you will be able to continue training or if you’ll even enjoy this process, so why max out your credit cards?
Take your time when trying any new endurance training, much less a triathlon. Try speaking with those that have completed one or a few to get a real sense of what you’re in for. Many look into obtaining a coach during the tail end of their training to ensure they are right on track and eating sensibly. Do your research, in the end completing an event like this is a real accomplishment, and you can do it if you just put your mind to it!