There’s a reason so many runners have become triathletes (and it’s not all related to reason #1 below). With three sports and a considerably more engaging lifestyle, triathlon is simply, well, better. Here’s the proof:
1) Fewer injuries
How many triathletes do you know who were originally runners, then started the sport because they had to cross train because of an injury? (Present company included.) Because you are participating in two non-weight-bearing sports (swimming and biking), your body gets a break from the constant pounding of running.
The other upside is that if you do get injured, there’s still likely at least one, and probably two, of the sports you can still take part in.
2) More variety
Rather than do the same activity six or more times a week, when you’re a triathlete you get to mix things up. A third of your workouts are swimming. A third of your workouts are on a bike. A third of your workouts are running. Throw in some strength training, yoga, mountain biking, cross-country skiing – all of which are useful additions to your triathlon training program – and you’re going to have to work hard to get bored of your training routine!
3) More toys
If you think that you can amass lots of running gear, wait until you get started with cycling and swimming. The toys, I mean training tools, are endless. Bikes, pedals, wheels, power meters, computers, trainers, multisport watches, wetsuits, pull buoys, fins, kick boards, custom swim goggles … OK, you get the picture. There is lots of fun gear in the world of triathlon!
4) You can train way longer
Sure, we all know people who head out for easy three to five hour runs. The last time us mortals tried that, though, we were hobbled for a week. A three-hour bike? Piece of cake once you work your way up to it. If you love to train and to be active, a two-workout-a-day triathlon routine will leave you with an almost-constant smile.
5) Races are in beautiful spots
Think about this … the Ironman World Championship is always in Hawaii. Triathlon events happen in warm, beautiful climates. OK, except for the Norseman Xtreme, but as hard as that race is, it’s still in the spectacular fjords and mountains of Norway.
There’s a reason triathletes refer to a lot of their races as “race-cations.”
6) Triathletes are more interesting
Remember the last running party you went to and you spent the entire night hearing about everyone’s splits from the 30 to 37 km point of their last marathon? Boring, right? Triathletes, though, get to recount not only their times during the swim, bike and run portion of their races, but can also regale you with blow-by-blow accounts of their time in transition.
7) Ultimate bragging rights
When we’re finally able to hit the office on Monday mornings again, being able to tell everyone that you did a triathlon on the weekend will immediately trump pretty much any activity they took part in. If your race was an Ironman … well, that puts you in a completely different realm.
Everyone will ask if it was the one in Hawaii … just keep telling them you did an Ironman (or phrase it as the Ironman) – you’ll be a deos in their eyes for ever.