If you have been running for a while now, and participating in half and full marathon races, you know the feeling of crossing the finish line is priceless for us runners and it brings a sense of tremendous accomplishment and achievement.
As runners we all want to jump to the next level be it a Ultra marathon or a triathlon as we all like to “challenge ourselves”. The most difficult part is to make the transition from running to triathlon as it really challenges you both mentally and physically in all the the 3 sports.
Here’s all what you need to know:
1. Being a triathlete is entirely a different cup of tea to being a runner
Running a half marathon or a full marathon is one discipline, one start and finish. Its not the same when you run the same distance after swimming and cycling. It’s a real test of your endurance and challenges you both mentally and physically. Its entirely a different ball game to race in a triathlon after completing the swim and cycling stages.
2. The swim will destroy all your happy memories
When we think of swimming we all relieve our happy memories from our childhood when we all splashed around in the local swimming pool. You first open water swim in a triathlete will destroy all your happy childhood memories.
You will get hit by rocks, get kicked by fellow swimmers, you will gasp for breath, you will feel like giving up. Nothing can prepare you for an open water swim.
3. Most runners find it difficult to adapt to the cycling part
Most runners competing for the first time in a triathlon don’t know how to ride a bike correctly an in the right posture. As a result their legs give away after a short time. Its very important to know the use of the right set of muscles specially during the climb and turns.
4. Triathlon is a great equalizer
Triathlon tests you in every discipline. Someone can be good in running or cycling but very few people are proficient in each of the 3 disciplines of running, swimming and cycling. A good runner may give it all while biking, leaving him all cramped up and stressed out. As a result he may not perform to the optimum level in the running stage. Triathlon is a different ball game. No guarantee all your plans will fall into line during a triathlon. Make yourself your own competition instead of trying to prove anything to others.
5. You will fail but you will bounce back stronger
Take each race as a learning opportunity. You may fail in few races but You will learn something about yourself every race and use that learning to improve yourself in the next race. With each race you will become more physically as well as mentally more competent. And one day you will have the best race of the season where everything just clicks.
If you have been planning to participate in a triathlon for few months, now is the time. With these tips you will be on your way to becoming a triathlete in no time. Gather enough courage and go for it. Have fun.