Many of the triathlete’s we know were at one time exclusively a runner, a cyclist, or a swimmer – even some focused only on weight lifting! Then one day a light bulb goes off in their athletic brain, and out of inspiration or even boredom, they somehow gravitate to triathlon. A good example of this was a recent article about a famous television chef known worldwide, who was doing strictly running when he chanced upon a triathlon going on during his run. He was instantly mesmerized and inspired! Next thing he knew he was the proud owner of a wet suit, and had enlisted the help of a personal triathlon coach. Fast-forward a couple years, and the next thing you know he was competing in the World Championship in Kona!
So why does this happen, and what exactly is the appeal of tri? Who in their right mind wants to pound themselves silly doing swimming, biking, and running back-to-back-to-back? Evidently a lot of people – hundreds of thousands worldwide, as a matter of fact! Triathlons, especially half and full Ironman competitions sell-out within hours! Expensive entry fees are no deterrent either. Most races could almost charge whatever they want, and they would still sell out.
So exactly what is the appeal?
The Challenge – There can be no doubt about it, combining three different sports into one athletic event simply appeals not only to long time athletes, but also beginner athletes! Bring it on!
The Next Level – As previously mentioned, those athletes who had focused on strictly one sport quickly realize that triathlon represents taking it to the next level of athletic performance.
Fitness & Health Results – There can be no denying that triathletes are some of the fittest people in the world, especially cardiovascular and aerobic wise, with low body fat, and a very high endurance factor. These factors almost always translate into a healthier, happier lifestyle plus a nice probable increase in longevity of life because of the positive fitness and health results.
It’s Cheaper Than Therapy – If there isn’t a bumper sticker that says, “Triathlon is cheaper than therapy” there should be! This is because the exertion and effort you put into it is a great stress equalizer, and health and well-being builder. Stress is simply burned off by channeling it into your workouts, and other unexpected benefits subsequently pop up, too. There is a natural tendency to eat healthier, plus becoming more patient and focused in everything you do. Finally there’s the beautiful compensation that your triathlon accomplishments become an inspiration to others, and thereby bringing them into the sport.
So if you are looking for a new challenge that offers an increase in your health and wellbeing with challenges galore – try tri! And if you are still unsure, just head to your next local triathlon race and volunteer or just be a spectator, and before you know it you will find yourself in the local tri store trying on wetsuits!
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