Ten years ago I embarked on a journey that changed my life. I did my first triathlon. I come from a long distance running background and was recruited from Colorado to run on athletic scholarship for several local Utah colleges. By the time I found triathlon I had already had three small children and running had grown stale. I was looking for a new challenge but didn’t want to give up running all together. Triathlon training made sense; I could enjoy challenging my body by swimming, cycling and continue to run. The variety triathlon training provided was a welcome change but as an experience triathlon coach I can tell you that it’s not just a simple as adding in two more sports. Each discipline affects the other and adjustments have to be made to prevent overtraining and prevent injury.
If you are looking for a change I highly encourage you to look into triathlons. My first triathlon was a sprint distance pool triathlon. This is generally a good starting place if you’re thinking about getting into triathlons. Traditional triathlons start with a swim continue to cycling and then finish with a run. Each event is one right after the other and your overall time includes the transition time from one sport to another. These transitions are also known as T1 & T2. Most people have heard of the Ironman distance, but this is not the only distance available. The shortest distance is known as a sprint triathlon and can be done in a pool or open water setting. Sprint distance triathlons generally swim 350 meters in a pool or 750 meters in open water followed with a 12 mile bike ride and finishing with a 5K run. The Olympic or International distance is usually done in open water with a 1500 meter swim, ~25 mile bike ride and a 10K run. The next distance would be the half Ironman or 70.3; starting with the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and finishing with a 13.1 half marathon run. The Ironman distance or 140.6 is a 2.4 miles swim, 112 mile ride followed by a 26.2 mile marathon. If you’re looking for a new challenge I highly suggest you look into doing triathlons. Not a swimmer? Check into doing duathlons; a run-bike-run event. Need help with training? Give me a call. Happy training!
About the author: Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner is a USATF running, USA Triathlon and USMS Level 1 & 2 Swim coach. She enjoys working with all level athletes and offers on-line, in-person or team coaching programs as well as community classes. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com