Triathlons are only for elite athletes.......or are they?

It's Triathlon season once again!  I have to admit that I LOVE triathlon season and everything about triathlons.  Here are some reasons that I love triathlons:

  1. The training is varied and includes three different sports so the risk of injury is reduced
  2. People blast through belief barriers and realize how strong and capable they really are
  3. The absolute sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing the finish line

The first time someone suggested that I do a triathlon I thought that she had completely lost her mind.  She kept talking to me about how fun they are and how amazing they are and a bunch of other nonsense.  Once a seed is planted however it can grow - I started to think that maybe just maybe I could do a triathlon.  After all the friend who suggested it was about 15 years older than me, was overweight, had knee and back problems AND she had done the Danskin 5 times.  I started to think well if she can do it I can probable do it so the third week of August in 2000 I did my first triathlon.  Boy what a learning opportunity THAT was! 

I did complete the triathlon and was very, very proud of myself and my accomplishment, what I wasn't expecting was the increase in self confidence that I had as a result.  It's funny how you never know what will happen as a result of things you do.  I've continued to do triathlons and have even done an Olympic distance triathlon which is cool but the coolest thing that has came from doing traithlons is the training program I created for beginners so that they too could experience evrything that I did as a first time triathlete.

I firmly believe that the world would be a better place if EVERYONE took the plunge and completed a triathlon.  Even if they never do a second one their world will never be the same because they will never be the same.  If you're reading this and saying to yourself "I could NEVER do a triathlon!"  I'm here to say that yes - yes you could.  I have helped over 100 first time triathletes across the finish line of their first triathalons and no they didn't all look like a 'traditional athlete'.  Some of them were 100 pounds over weight, some of them couldn't even swim when they signed up for the triathlon, some of them knew that they were going to die during the swim.  They were all very different but when it came right down to it they really were all the same - triathletes!  The ones who were overweight just kept going - they swam, they biked and they walked the run portion.  The ones couldn't swim took swim lessons and learned how to swim and then practiced, practiced, practiced. The ones who were 'going to die' during the swim overcame their fear and successfully their swim.  All of them have proved to themselves that they were stronger and more powerful than they thought.

Anything is possible if you want it badly enough and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.  The most important thing about successfully completing a triathlon is to be prepared on race day.  The most important part of preparation is training.  Make sure that you train to your weakness, whatever you are weakest in make sure to spend most of your training time there but don't neglect to train your strenth!  Practice transitioning from swimming to biking and from biking to running then put them all together and do a mini triathlon a week before race day.  Make sure to do open water swims (BUT NEVER ALONE!) so that you know what the feeling between swimming in a pool and swimming in open water.  Make sure to try out different food options during your training days so that you know how your body responds.  In fact NEVER EVER do anything new on race day - EVER!

This will give you a good solid start towards your journey of triathlon and yes I will be adding training tips in weeks to come.  Just know that yes you too can be a triathlete regardless of your age, your size, or even your activity level.  It's important just to start moving towards the goal because if you are truly committed then you will successfully achieve your goal.

Here's to triathlons!  Jennifer Wuhoo Malocha