ORR Beginner Triathlon Guide, Part 1 - Why Should You "Try a Tri?"

Benefits and Reasons To Get Involved In Triathlon

Have you reached a spot in your life where you want to try something new?

Maybe you need to take on a new challenge. Lose some weight. Meet a new crowd of friends.  Be a role model to your children by showing them it is never too late to try something new. Quite possibly, you haven’t thought about it, but be an inspiration to others. Are you looking for ways to improve your health? Look and feel younger? Is there a chance that you are already an athlete in another sport who is constantly plagued by overuse injuries and you are looking for a bit of cross-training?

These are just a few of the reasons many people come to the sport of triathlon.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

-George Elliot

One reason people initially look toward the sport of triathlon is to lose weight and get healthy in a fun environment. They have indoor gym workouts and find they are not motivated in that setting. There is something very energizing about being outside in the sunshine under a bright blue sky striving towards your fitness goals!  In most instances, the weight loss comes without thought as people try to reach their race goals.

As a person’s involvement in triathlon grows, so does their circle of friends. Training allows you to meet other people who enjoy leading a healthy lifestyle. Most triathletes' socializing takes place outside on training grounds versus “in the dance club.” You will find you are surrounded with other like-minded individuals who enjoy leading a positive, upbeat and healthy lifestyle.  You will find yourself meeting friends after work for a swim, bike or run instead of Happy Hour!

"Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don't see it yourself."

-Edmund Lee

Just a few of the health benefits of triathlon include lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate, lower chance of heart disease and diabetes. It also decreases your risk of certain cancers, osteoporosis and depression.  These diseases are our number one killers. If you can find a fun way to lower your chances for obtaining one of these, why wouldn’t you?

Not only does triathlon improve our health, it also helps us to feel and look younger. It has been said that, “You don’t realize how bad you feel, until you feel good again!” Triathlon allows us to feel younger by increasing our energy, releasing  post exercise endorphins and strengthening our self-confidence.  Make note of how you feel before you ever start triathlon training and how you feel eight weeks later. I can promise you, you are going to notice a difference!

Studies have shown that training for a triathlon increases work productivity as well! (Show THAT one to your boss! Maybe he or she will donate to the cause!). There is nothing better than a solo bike ride or run to allow for clear thoughts and creative ideas to pop into one’s head.  Training also allows us to return to the desk with a clear mind and sharp focus.  Try a swim before work (Ok, maybe you will smell like chlorine all day, but hey, it is a pretty cheap cologne!) and those post swim endorphins will increase your energy and focus all day long which leads to a better and more productive work day.

An intangible benefit to triathlon is learning the power of goal setting. As each race or training goal is created, we learn how to make a plan to reach that goal. As we reach each goal, we set higher and higher goals. It sets a wonderful example for children, as they watch their parents set these goals and the hard work involved to achieve them. It is a life skill they will carry with them forever.

An intrinsic reward is that we reach heights we once dreamed were impossible. Just watch the journey of a person who never believed they could be an “athlete.” Watch them train for their first sprint and then the person they become when they reach what they once thought was unreachable, an Ironman Race!

Finally and quite possibly the most important benefit of all is the one of being a role model and inspiration to family and friends.  Family and friends (especially our children) watch what we do every day. They see us placing a high level of importance on our health, goal setting and the value of hard work.  Maybe, there is a friend who has become so inspired by your fitness journey that they decide to join you.  Some will think, “If he or she can do it, why can’t I?”




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