As a runner, you only have to take two small steps to cross into triathlon territory. Triathlons are growing in popularity, and with events offering varying distances, the sport is accessible to all. Not convinced? Here are some reasons to try a triathlon.
#1: Increase your overall fitness
When you sign up for a triathlon, you’re no longer training for one sport, but three. This necessarily requires a greater investment of time into physical exercise, which in this day and age of technological convenience, is a good thing. Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits, from lowering blood pressure, reducing your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, preventing various cancers and heart disease. Train for a triathlon, it could just extend your life.
#2: More energy
As a runner, you’re probably already familiar with the sensation of feeling energised AFTER a run. Whether we start with a morning run to give us energy for the rest of the day, or fit in an evening jog to help refresh our minds after a long day at the office, exercise = more energy. So imagine how your energy levels will soar once you start training as a triathlete. Stick with a structured training plan to ensure you’re not overdoing things; as training progresses and your fitness improves, you’ll be cruising through each day.
#3: Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
It’s hard to keep superfluous weight when you’re constantly running around, swimming and cycling. Because training also involves highly intense cardiovascular sessions, you’re losing fat while retaining, or even building muscles, which further boosts your metabolism. This shouldn’t be the primary reason to do a triathlon, but it certainly is a bonus.
#4: Build a better body
When you’re improving your skills in three different sports, you are also on your way to building a more balanced physique. Swimming creates definition in your upper body and improves flexibility. Running develops long and lean muscles, while building endurance. Cycling tones the lower body while helping you build strength.
#5: Reclaim your youth
Look at reasons one through four – healthy weight, better fitness, disease prevention and more energy. For those reasons, most triathletes look years younger than they are, and we bet our bottom dollar that they feel that way too.
#6: Increase motivation to exercise
One of the biggest reasons people lose motivation and quit their exercise routines is due to boredom or burnout. This happens when you’re doing one single sport or type of exercise, day in, day out. Training for a triathlon puts three different sports into your weekly exercise plan, thus preventing burnout. These activities can also be done in very different environments so you’ll never get bored too – swim in your local swimming pool or at the beach, run along the trails or on the treadmill at the gym, and cycle around town or through the countryside. After all, each of these activities directly contributes to your triathlon success.
#7: Prevent overuse injuries
Runners are well aware of the risks of injury from overtraining; when you continuously stress the same parts of your body through one single form of exercise, it can result in shinsplints, stress fractures, knee problems, tendinitis, and the list goes on. Triathlons, however, incorporate three very different sports so cross-training is automatically built into your training plan. Additionally, swimming and cycling are both non weight-bearing sports, providing excellent workouts without stressing your joints and muscles like running does. You’ll have less pain, fewer injuries, and a stronger body.
#8: Boost your confidence
Training for a triathlon takes discipline and dedication, but by choosing to commit, you’re making a long-term investment in yourself. You’ll feel great on the inside, and you’ll look fabulous on the outside. You’ll sleep better, change your diet to support your performance, and you’re now an athlete skilled at three different sports. You’ll understand yourself better, because you would have capitalised on your strengths and worked on your weaknesses. And the sense of accomplishment when you finish your first triathlon is something nobody can ever take away from you.
Try a triathlon. We guarantee it’ll change your life.