Courtesy of Jet Triathlon Club at the Joilette Triathlon

Now’s the perfect time to join a triathlon club. Maybe this year you did your first triathlon, and you’re hooked. Or perhaps you’re looking for a fun new way to stay fit (or get into shape) this fall/winter – joining a triathlon club should be on your list of things to do.

Related: Back to School: Canadian University Triathlon Clubs

Why?

  1. Training is social. Most clubs hold weekly swim, bike and run sessions. Some even hold dryland/circuit sessions as part of their offseason training. Doing workouts with people is a great way to meet others and develop a bond of “Hey let’s get this workout done” and “Wow, we did it.” Plus, most clubs hold monthly socials.
  2. Variety. Unlike training for a running race, with triathlon training you get tonnes variety. Just because you join a triathlon club, doesn’t mean your running is going to suffer. The variety in workouts will help your goals for a spring running race. Your run split will probably get better because you’re not doing as much repetitive pounding on the ground and developing other areas of fitness.
  3. Coaching. Unless you come from a strong athletic background in one of the three sports (even if you do), getting expert input is a game changer. If you’re looking to improve, watching YouTube videos can only get you so far.
Training session at The Cycling Gym in Toronto.

So, we’ve established it’s a good idea to join a triathlon club this fall. However, it’s important to exercise caution when entering a club. Here are some tips for joining a tri club this fall.

  1. Trial period. Most clubs offer a two-week trial period. It’s important to feel comfortable in the training setting and with the coach(es).
  2. Schedule. Make sure the training schedule works with your work/school schedule. Joining a training group is an investment, and you want to make sure that you’re going to be committed to the program. Lots of clubs hold both morning and evening training sessions. Make sure you work out the logistics with the club administrators before investing.
  3. Be selfish. Think about yourself. In many triathlon clubs, the athletes are given similar workouts without much individualization. If and when this occurs, you the athlete need to look at your current training experience and determine what a reasonable goal is. It’s important to be vocal with your coach about your experience, this way the both of you can have a good working relationship.
  4. The focus should be strength and the swim. This is a vast generalization, but if you have no experience and want to get into some triathlons come the new year – you should be in the pool a lot and developing your strength. For the majority of beginners, the swim is the hardest discipline to master. It’s often the sport that gives even seasoned triathletes the most anxiety. Developing strength through dryland sessions over the fall will prepare you for the bike and run.

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