So why would I suggest a change to triathlon? Well for the excitement, the change of disciplines and also the challenge you set yourself. Most of us have a weak discipline, so it broadens your goals to work at something you’re not accustomed to.
My journey into Triathlon started as a team. I came from a swimming back ground and most teams always looked for a swimmer. During that period, I also broke away from team sports and started running. Cycling, hmmm not my greatest discipline and despite entering The Argus Cycle Tour, had a mental block about the 20k cycle in a sprint event. That mental block eventually disappeared a few years later after I took up the challenge and joined a team for the Double Century event held in the Swellendam area of the Cape.
Although you have to train for 3 different disciplines, which can be quite a challenge when you are a full-time working mother, triathlon keeps you focussed and also adds variety to your training. No day is the same, no week is the same. Training when done in a group is motivating and you can enter a variety of different events whilst training.
My progression into triathlon grew to a Standard event and eventually an Ironman event. Training can end up consuming your life, but as the training demands discipline, so it is also important to not let the training dominate all aspects of your life. You need to maintain a healthy balance between training and your social life.
Triathlon has grown massively over the past few years with everyone realising that they can do 3 disciplines and the Ironman Events have grown World Wide. And if Ironman isn’t far enough for you, athletes now have a choice of Extreme Triathlon Events!
My only regret is that I did not discover the world of Triathlon when I was younger, but I am grateful for the events I have been able to compete in and so privileged to have been to various World Championships which included Olympic Distance Triathlon to Ironman Kona and Xterra World Champs.
Does Triathlon still appeal to me? YES, most definitely as there is something about triathlon that keeps drawing you back, no matter how many times you decide to retire. Each race you do is different. Every race, especially the ultra-events, teach you something about yourself. I have walked away from every event learning something new. I honestly feel I may just have one more Ironman left in me, but only time will tell at my current age!!!
If I can give you any helpful advice, it would be the following:
During your training weeks, DO WHAT YOU CAN WHEN YOU CAN. Don’t stress about not getting a session done. Life in itself is demanding so don’t add extra stress. Learn to enjoy your training and do NOT let it be a burden to you.
During RACE DAY – just remember you have done the training, you are just putting it all together. If you have a bad swim, keep going, you still have the cycle and run disciplines to start feeling better. NEVER give up, keep putting one foot in front of the other. A race is never over until you cross that finish line.
I hope this encourages all of you to keep going, despite hiccups in your build up to a triathlon. Expect your training to be sabotaged in some way or another, and you won’t be disappointed. Most of all enjoy your training and find someone like minded to train with.
See you all at the upcoming races.