If you haven’t yet been converted to realise that three sports in one can be just as good, if not better than one, then have a read and let us try our hand at changing your mind. We’d hate to think you were missing out.
1. The variety makes it interesting
If you’ve ever complained that running — or any sport for that matter — is too repetitive then you’ll find relief in signing up for a triathlon. Your training will be a switch-up of what you feel like and when. You’ll barely have the chance to exhaust yourself of one sport at all.
2. You’ve probably forgotten you like one of them
It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that you’ve not swum since school. Or not swum more than a lap on holiday at least. But as soon as you get back into it — even if it takes a while — you’ll probably remember how much fun you found it (particularly when you swim competitively). It really can be therapeutic, and if nothing else it’ll just be a change that you can enjoy from time to time.
3. Training doesn’t depend on weather
You hate the gym and it’s raining. There’s really nothing more disappointing than wanting to get rid of some excess energy by training for your running or biking event and not being able to. But with a triathlon you have to fit in swimming anyway, so there’s always good, productive exercise to get your endorphins going even when nature’s set against you.
4. It’s amazing for your body
Everyone knows exercise is good for your body. But triathlons particularly are fabulous ways to exercise. You’re unlikely to strain a muscle from overuse, because (of course) you’re never just using one muscle. You’re unlikely to risk the knee wreckage that comes from the repetitive pavement pounding of only running training. Instead, as each sport uses different parts of your body, the physical stress is distributed across different parts of your body too. And with both cycling and swimming particularly you’ll reap the benefits of such low-impact sports and protect yourself from the debilitating injuries you usually suffer from.
5. You’ll tone up even more
It’s definitely an exercise step-up from other training you’re likely to have done. It’s no mean feat training for a triathlon, but you’ll be able to see the physical effects on your body in no time. What’s more, you’ll see it everywhere. Just as there’s no one muscle you’ll overuse, no one part of your body will be targeted either. You’ll get that body you’ve been dreaming of without even really realising it.
6. The transition zones are exciting
Switching between swimming, cycling and running involves an attempt to move from one sport and one station to the next as quickly as possible. It’s almost childish how satisfying it is to try and beat your previous time for popping on your cycling shoes, clipping your helmet and finding you bike. But nobody can deny that they’re not an exciting part of the race as all your spectators cheer for you to do it faster.
7. You’ll get a completely different level of fitness
You might already be fit. But if you haven’t yet trained for a triathlon, you will be about to achieve a completely different kind of fitness. Being able to do three sports, one after the other, and for that long, is more than the methodical plodding of running. Triathlon’s are absolutely about endurance and being able to work different muscles in immediate sequence. It’ll feel great to actually just be able to keep going and you’ll probably feel it in other parts of your life too.
8. You’ll be outside even more
Open-water swimming is unbelievable. Cycling outside in the elements is overwhelmingly energising. And running in the hills can really be show-stoppingly beautiful. You won’t always be outside, but to train properly you’ll need to try your hand at some simulations of the real deal race day.
9. It’s a life achievement
You tell anyone you’ve signed up to a triathlon and it will be pretty impressive. Whether it’s written on your CV or its telling your family and friends, there aren’t that many people who have matched that kind of training and commitment. Even triathlon training itself racks up pretty amazing distances. And crossing the finish line on race day is just another amazing demonstration of perseverance and hard-work.