26 Reasons To Do a Triathlon

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“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
– Napoleon Hill

Would you ever do a triathlon?

It’s a simple question, yet most people would not compete in a triathlon because they are scared of the swim portion. And by scared, I mean terrified. They say they don’t know how to swim or couldn’t possibly swim the length that is required.

The swim is generally regarded as the hardest part of the tri for most people. And it’s easy to see why: Swimming is the most technique-oriented sport of the trio & most people aren’t naturally great swimmers. So rest assured, you are not alone.

These objections were what I initially thought, until I decided to do something about it. I resolved I would not let this fear keep me from competing in a triathlon. What did I do? I got a pass to the U of C pool and swam LOTS (the majority of my tri training consisted of swimming), got a swim coach, looked at swimming videos on YouTube and analyzed the best swimmers in the world (I.e. Michael Phelps & other elite Olympian’s) to see how the swim is supposed to look and tried to emulate their form each time I was in the water. To answer these swim objections for a tri race, there are 2 options: In the pool or open-water. I would advise starting off in a pool for your first triathlon and if you enjoyed it, then do an open-water swim for your second tri. That’s what I did & it worked out great.

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“The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
– Plato

With this is mind, and as per the title, here’s the list:

26 Reasons To Do a Triathlon:
 

  1. It’s summertime and winter will soon be here
  2. Opportunity to try a new sport
  3. Have fun and feel great about yourself
  4. Do something you’ve probably never done before
  5. Take advantage of playing a sport outdoors, in Mother Nature’s wonderland  
  6. Challenge yourself and be stretched in new ways
  7. Expand your outlook on life & sports
  8. Learn more about yourself and what you’re made of
  9. Know what you believe about yourself
  10. Meet lots of new people who, like you, are athletes and enjoy sports
  11. By learning a new sport you create new neural pathways in your brain to help you think better
  12. Conquer 3 sports all at once (kill 3 birds with 1 stone)
  13. Excellent workout and great for your health, sleep and well-being
  14. Releases stress and allows you to think better and more clearly
  15. Is a legal alternative for dealing with stress and frustration in your life
  16. The cross-training is excellent as you get to work & develop different muscle groups
  17. Accomplishment of a personal goal
  18. Personal satisfaction in seeing your success from beginning to the end, during the high’s and low’s
  19. Be a part of the journey (the goal) en route to the destination (not the goal)
  20. Life lessons you learn: Time prioritization, goal setting, money management, personal accountability 
  21. What you also learn: Character, integrity, dedication, suffering, struggling, discipline, follow-through & commitment
  22. Crossing the finish line on race day is the reward and the memories will last for the rest of your life
  23. Opportunity to share your story with others
  24. To be inspired and inspire others
  25. Now is the time to get fit and be more active
  26. Why not?
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Summer Triathlon – Part I: Intro

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“I swim in the sea of silver light.
I cycle along the road of gold delight.
I run with the smile of the beyond.”   

– Sri Chinmoy

 

Last summer, I went travelling around Europe after finishing my post-secondary education. This summer, I’ll be competing in my 1st triathlon. I’m all signed up & ready to go!

The race is on May 19th, 2013 and will be at the Genesis Place in Airdrie.

I thought I would share about my journey as I train for this triathlon (tri) and invite those who are interested to come along for the ride – no pun intended!

For this 1st post in the series, I’ll talk about the sport in general and give a high-level overview for those readers who may not know that much about triathlons (I know I certainly didn’t until recently!)

Leading up to the event, I plan on posting other updates, including: Planning for a Tri, What I’m learning, and possibly other topics as they come up.

To start with: Why am I doing this? (You might be asking this – I know I have, especially during some intense training sessions!)

There are 3 reasons:

  1. To challenge myself
  2. My love for sports and the opportunity to try a new sport
  3. I’ve wanted to do a triathlon for a few years, and now is a good time to “get ‘er done!”

To begin with, a triathlon consists of: Swimming, biking, and running (in that order).

There are 2 transitions in a triathlon race:

a. Transition 1 (T1): Swimming to biking

b. Transition 2 (T2): Biking to running

So, there are actually 5 parts of a triathlon (with each part being timed): Swim, T1, bike, T2, run.

As for distances of a tri, there are 5 standard race distances, with the last 4 being the most common:

  1. Try-a-Tri
  2. Sprint
  3. Olympic
  4. Ironman – Half
  5. Ironman – Full

I’ll be doing the Sprint tri distance.

See the chart below for the distances in each type of triathlon.

 

Swim

Bike

Run

Try-a-Tri

500 m

15 km

4 km

Sprint

750 m

20 km

5 km

Olympic

1500 m

40 km

10 km

Ironman – Half

1.9 km

90 km

21 km

Ironman – Full

3.8 km

180 km

42 km

*Check out Alberta Triathlon Association & Total Triathlon for more info.

In Part II, I’ll talk more about “Planning for a Tri”, so be sure to come back!