Sunday, March 22, 2009

Have You Thought About “Trying A Tri?” – Part II

I posed this question to myself five years ago and have since participated in several sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. If you’re at a point in your training where you’re seeking to reach out into other areas of fitness, the triathlon is a great avenue to pursue.

In my mind, there are two big questions facing you when considering training for a triathlon – Can you swim and will you need a new bike? These questions are important because the answers will provide direction as to the amount of time and money you will need to dedicate to move forward to this goal.

Can’t Swim?

Not a bad answer to that first question; however, an investment of time and money will need to be made in adult swim lessons. Most health clubs with pools and swim clubs staff trainers qualified to provide swimming instruction at a variety of levels. I was lucky that I swam competitively in high school, so for me, this part provided an enjoyable refresh of previously-learned skills. Most YMCAs have adult swim programs.

Don’t Have A Bike?

Again, not an insurmountable issue. However, purchasing a bike for use in training for a triathlon will involve a significant investment of anywhere from $400 to $1,500 or more. You can spend a little to get you going or you can spend a lot if you think you’ll commit a significant amount of time to biking.

When I purchased a bike, I shopped at four of the area’s leading bike stores. I asked a lot of questions and test-rode a number of models. Ultimately, I found a bike that offered me comfort and a nice sale price because it was last year’s model. Now, I have two bikes!

You will also need to invest in a few accessories such as shoes, a helmet and a toolkit.

What About Running?

Most people can run. The “running” part of the event is probably the easiest to navigate if you’re an accomplished biker or swimmer. I’ve written in the past about training for a 5K running event. This entry offers an easy entry toward getting started on the running front.

More Later

I’ll offer more tips on getting started with triathlon training in another entry, but these two items should get you started about thinking whether or not you can seriously commit to training for this event. Check out http://www.beginnertriathlon.org/ to learn more about mounting the “tri” training experience.

3 comments:

Christine said...

The swimming part is what intimidates me. I know how to swim, but I hate the idea of being in the water with all those people at once and getting kicked in the face.

Coachhrd said...

It is a little intimidating. Some practice swims in open water help. I also recommend doing a "sprint" triathlon first where distance is usually only 500 meters and much more manageable from that perspective.

jillwillrun.com said...

Several of my friends have done triathlons. I admit though, the swimming part frightens me some.

I've thought about the possibility of doing a duathlon. I don't have a bike, so that part would need to be taken care of but I have plenty of friends who would be good resources and several great stores in the event that I decided to buy a bike!

Great idea for a series of posts though!