Triathlons –The Ultimate Fitness Challenge

by Antonia on March 27, 2014

triathlon pic

{Source}

We all know that feeling of doing something over and over again, to the point where it gets slightly less exciting and tedious. For me, half-marathon training can have just that effect. I love running, but waking up in the morning knowing that I have to do a 18km trainings run can sometimes put a damper on my mood. I don’t even want to know what marathon training must be like.

Last year, after running three half-marathons I decided to branch out a bit and try something new: triathlons. I have always been an avid cycler, often going on mountain or road bike tours with my brothers and dad. And as I grew up next to a lake I didn’t have much choice when it came to learning to swim. Triathlons combine three fun sports that allow you to improve your fitness level, challenge your mind and body and make you push yourself past your limits . I’m not going to lie—they’re hard work, require a lot of training and commitment but that feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line really doesn’t compare to anything else.

When I did my first triathlon last year, I was basically surrounded by a bunch of men which was slightly intimidating but motivating at the same time. I didn’t have that many women to compare myself to during the race {in fact, I was the only woman in my age group}, but being able to see how actual triathletes efficiently handle the transitions or prepare themselves ahead of  the race, has proven to be beneficial in my personal training.

When I was planning my 2014 races I made a conscious decision to include running competitions as well as triathlons in my agenda, as I want to continue to challenge myself. However, one of the problems I encountered was that many triathlons don’t offer distances for newbies. Last year’s race was a 500m swim, 50K bike ride and 5K run which were the perfect distances for me. But I don’t think it’s beneficial to delve into this sport and doing an Olympic distance triathlon as your first one….let alone an Iron man. That’s why I am thrilled to see more short distance triathlon opportunities around the globe for newbies like me, or people who prefer “sprint” distances.

Triathlon9

For me it was extremely  beneficial that I did my first triathlon in an environment that  I knew and had trained in. I had cycled the 50K route plenty of times before, knew what it was like to swim in the lake and had a good idea of what the run would be like. However, my next goal for the coming years will be to do triathlons in a different and unknown environments, to challenge myself even more. I don’t necessarily want to do extremely long distances, but choose to challenge myself otherwise. A triathlon which sounds intriguing and which I wish I could participate in, is happening on April 12th  at Treasure Beach, Jamaica is the Jake’s Off-Road Triathlon. I know that the tropical Jamaican climate and the landscape would make the actual triathlon challenging, but nothing quite beats being able to swim in the ocean, cycle off-road and not having to worry about cold weather.

For all of you, who are thinking of starting triathlon trainings I highly recommend you have a look at the videos below for advice on proper nutrition, gear and training plans. And for those lucky enough to actually be able to do a triathlon abroad, check out First Choice, who offer some great all-inclusive flight and hotel deals.

Triathlon Gear Checklist

Triathlon Training Tips with Pro Jenny Fletcher

 

Are you training for a race or triathlon? Which race are you participating in?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie (The Muffin Myth) March 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

You should also check out the new style of swim-run racing that’s gaining popularity in Europe these days. It’s super hardcore, like triathlon was in the 80′s in California. My husband used to race triathlons professionally but gave it up about 6 years ago (a car vs bike accident made that decision for him) and now he’s super into marathons and swim-run racing. Last year he did (and won!) the big one, called Ö till Ö (island to island, in Swedish) which goes for 75km (65km running and 10km swimming) across 26 islands in the Stockholm archipelago. Crazy! But this style of racing is gaining momentum and there are lots of shorter races popping up now. He’s doing one this summer in Switzerland and a couple of smaller ones in Sweden before the big Ö till Ö race in September. Super cool that you’re getting into triathlon! If you can master the swim you’ll be super strong. It freaks so many people out!

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Antonia March 29, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I didn’t know your husband was a professional triathlon, that’s so cool! But from your instagram I’ve gathered that he’s a pretty good runner ;) I will definitely check out whether swim-run races are happening anywhere in the neighbourhood anytime soon, although I actually quite like cycling. I can’t imagine swimming 10km, that’s so hardcore!! Good luck to your husband with his upcoming races :)

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Katie (The Muffin Myth) March 30, 2014 at 8:45 am

Well it’s not 10km all in a row, but over the course of these 26 islands!

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