Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why every woman should do a triathlon

I know I've been posting a lot about my summer training and it gets so tedious for you non-tri-enthusiasts, but let me tell ya, I think it's great to TRI just once, if you can, for many reasons: 

Cross training is better for the body
I guess Cross-fit is a new trend, there are half-and-half fitness classes now and 'shock-the-body' type workouts like Insanity, P-90x, etc... So the word is out: make your body do different things and you will see results (toning, strengthening, waist-whittling...) Well swimming-biking-running is totally the original cross-training. There is a bike in your garage, there is a pool at your local school/university, and there are your running shoes. Free. Go train. No need to buy the videos, no need to hit the gym. And if you need some guidance or you are the type of person who needs a plan, hit beginnertriathlete.com. Or see my slacker training plan (after a couch-to-5k, you could do this 5k-to-Sprint Tri.)

Swimming is a sport you can do in your 80's
Most people marvel at the swim. And even if you once swam, most people question how they would find a pool to put in the laps. You'd be surprised. Here, in Radnor Township, we get a special deal to use the facilities at Villanova University for $25 a year, and let me tell you, I have never seen the pool crowded in the summer time. I remember a similar opportunity for community members at the University of Maryland where I used to work. There are pools if you want to find them. There are even swimming coaches/lessons if you are looking for a great workout that's easy on the joints! And if you are a really good swimmer, there are Masters Swimming programs, usually with annual memberships, that allow you use of the pool during their specified training scheduled times. In fact, the U.S. Masters Swimming site is also a great place to start to browse workouts and find pools and all levels of practice swims near you.
Ok, you got me...so this isn't during laps...it's where I hope to spend my golden years.
All the bike paths are sausage fests
Seriously, ladies. A gaggle of men go whizzing by with their matching pretty pink jersey get-ups and I think, we can get in on this. Don't let me go it alone.

Women are social
Triathlon is such a great, social, sport, because everyone works at a different pace, is in a different wave, and has a different strength or favorite in 1 of the 3 disciplines. So you help each other out. You see each other on race day but don't know what you or your friend's finish time is really going to be. In fact, the organizer of my fave race, Steelman, offers a free registration for the following year's race if you 'compromise' your race to stop and help someone [for instance, change a bike tire, etc.] You wave during the bike, you may meet on the run, but you don't have to be competitive, because you don't know when you started based on your neighbor, especially if there are two races going on at once (a Sprint and an Olympic-length), and/or if there are wave-starts to the swim (meaning, a new age group starts every 5 minutes, rather than everyone piling into the water together.) You'd like all the #trichat. You can't just put on your running shoes and go alone. You want to link up. Women are good at this.

Putting on a bathing suit in front of 1000 people will take away all your other fears
This one speaks for itself. No one, outside of the U.S. Olympic swimming team, looks good in a speedo. We all just laugh and share butterflies before the race begins. That never happens at a marathon.
My first tri-buddy (on the left) and I will be reuniting at this IronGirl event next month.

Running races are crowded
Speaking of marathons, it is not very cost-effective to run a race without 1,000 or so participants, and yet, there are plenty of triathlons with less than that. Triathlons take a lot of planning and a lot of mapping out and water - road - run support, so they may be a little more expensive, but it's such a fantastic community, and this need for organization is key to making a more enjoyable experience.So most of them are super detailed in their execution. It makes for a more comfortable approach for newbies.

Shopping for gear is like, well, shopping
You want to talk about retail therapy? How about, recovery retail therapy?? You know you could've rocked the swim course yesterday if you only had that hot $150 suit ... or a $350 bike helmet...or $3000 wheels...I mean, one of my add-ons this year was this bike pouch that mounted at the base of the handlebars with a smartphone touch window so I can scroll through and read my GPS map rather than stopping every 5 minutes to check where the eff I am. Could not be any more in love with this than a Coach bag. Changed. my ride.

 
 
Most people will think you've done an Ironman
When the average person hears "triathlon", they immediately think of the most widely publicized race: the World Ironman Championships in Kona. Oh, people are starting to catch on, they are starting to ask for the distances of each discipline, but even still, they will picture the grueling faces they see in the annual event, and maybe even remember once seeing this woman and her stumbling mad-like into the finish line from the early days.

http://www.womensadventuremagazine.com/wa/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/JULIE-MOSS.jpg

And you will explain to them that Kona is a championship race, and you have to qualify, and of course they will ask you how you are going to go about the process of qualifying, and then a baby will spit up and everyone will be distracted and you will be forever in their minds qualifying for Kona. Nice.

What about you? 
Anything you feel people MUST do that you like to do?

3 comments:

  1. love this, it's 100% true!

    I think everyone should run a race at least once, even if its only a 5k...do it! See the sense of pride in the running community, feel the finish line fantasy...all of it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree! And most of the time, 1 race turns into 2 and then you're hooked! I LOVE the point about how wearing a bathing suit or even spandex in front of hundreds of people will take away all of your other fears... HAHAHA! SO TRUE! And I think I need to get one of those cool bike pouches! (Love the color of your handlebars by the way!)

    ReplyDelete
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