The other day at work I was talking to someone who was thinking about entering her first triathlon. Of course, the second I heard that I got excited for her. I’m by no means an amazing triathlete but I love it and when I have the time, training and competing are some of my favorite things to do. Anyway, as we talked, I heard her mention a lot of fears. I realized that she probably wasn’t the only one out there thinking of doing a triathlon but won’t because of fear. Below is a summary of the things we talked about. Hopefully if you’re considering it, these will help you get over the “hump” and try it.
Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to. My mom told me that years ago and I’m sticking with it.
Fear #1..I’m a competitive person. While I don’t expect to come in first place, I don’t want to be dead last.
My take is that if you finish, if you cross the finish line, you’ve not finished last. You have to remember that finishing a triathlon puts you in elite company. Don’t worry about where you finish, push yourself and you’ll be happy.
Fear #2…I’m used to swimming in a pool with maybe one or two other people around. Will the water be rocky from other people splashing around and will that throw off my swim? Will everyone else be a better swimmer? Do we share lanes? Not really sure what to expect on this part.
Swimming is by far my weakest leg in a triathlon. I’m just good enough not to drowned and I’m ok with that. Yes, the swim can be difficult; it just depends on the race. There will be better swimmers than you and that’s ok. My recommendation is to do your research. Maybe find a race that has a timed individual entry versus everyone going in a group. That should help you avoid some of the confusion and difficulty that comes from swimming in a group.
You can also find a Master’s Swim class in your area that will help you get used to swimming in groups. Sadly, I have yet to be able to get my swim fitness back up to where it was. I too have a long way to go. If you jump in, I will too.
Finally, what if I get halfway in and want to give up or wonder what I have gotten myself into.
Guess what, you wouldn’t be the first to think that. I distinctly remember that moment where I wondered why I was doing this but I did it anyway and am soo glad I did. It’s an addicting feeling that you’ll never regret. Pain only last for a short time, that feeling of accomplishment lasts forever. Suck it up! You’ll get through it. If it makes you feel any better, one time, I actually had to walk my bike on a course. It was extremely hilly and my legs just wouldn’t do it. No matter what you’ll finish and you might even meet some amazing people along the way.
I’ll even help a little more. Here’s a link to the sprint distance training plan I used last summer. Enjoy!