Have you committed yourself to training for a marathon (or even a BQ) only to find yourself getting injured over and over again? Or maybe you excitedly signed up for your first running race and got burnt out or injured only a few months into your training program? You’re not alone - many runners experience overuse injuries at some point in their running career and find themselves both disappointed and lost without their regular training. If you are one of those runners, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to branch out and try a new sport - triathlon.
Before we get into it though, we want to offer a full disclaimer - triathletes still get injured too. Though injuries are less common in triathletes than in runners, triathletes are a group of notoriously Type A individuals, meaning they are quick to push hard too soon. But, contrary to runners, triathletes have two other sports they can (most likely) do while avoiding the sport they got injured in. The key here is to start slow, allow time for your body to adapt, and take the time required to ease into your new athletic endeavor.
Now back to our original point.
If you are a committed runner, have struggled with overuse injuries and are eager to train full-time without having to worry about rehashing an old injury or coping with a new one, triathlon might be the sport for you. Since the sport is a balance of swimming, biking, and running, triathletes are able to spend ~60-70% of their time training non-impact sports (biking and swimming, that is). As a result, you are not only gaining extra fitness in other disciplines but are also diversifying your strengths and adding to your repertoire of cross-training.
What’s more is that, with a background in running, you come into the sport with a leg up. Since this leg is at the end of the race, new triathletes are often most intimidated by this portion. Coming into the race with run experience will prove a significant advantage, especially when you are most fatigued at the end of the event.
And probably the most appealing part of switching from running to triathlon is the sheer diversity of training you are able to do. Don’t feel like running one day? Great! You have swimming, biking and, of course, strength training to choose from! It provides a lot of flexibility both in how you accumulate training hours and the load you put onto your body.
Now, if you have no experience riding or swimming, that’s okay! You can check out our recent blog on how to overcome common barriers to entry for triathlon, complete with tips and strategies on how to get closer to the starting line of your first race.
So, will you be a triathlon convert? We hope so. See you at the finish line!