There’s a reason many runners are wary of triathlon. Actually, there are likely dozens of reasons, starting with the fact there are only so many hours in the day. Why train for three sports when you can use that precious time to be as best a runner as you can be?
Well, stay with us…we have some reasons why:
#1 Extend your running life
Plantar Fasciitis? ITB? Achilles Tendonitis? DOMS? Damaged knee meniscus? If you haven’t yet experienced these issues, you will — by continued running and the natural effects of aging. But a runner who also bikes and swims builds aerobic endurance and leg strength — while reducing the wear and tear on muscles and ligaments. Stay healthier for a longer running career ahead!
#2 Build your core strength
Running is a high-impact, primarily lower-body activity, while swimming is a full-body activity that’s both non-impact and non-weight-bearing. Swimming “stretches” you out, whereas running “compresses” you. The balance achieved by adding swimming to your training week strengthens your core — which helps your running as well as the quality of life in everything you do.
#3 Turn yourself into a better runner
It’s not a coincidence that some of the world’s better age-group runners jump into a triathlon from time to time. Studies have shown that the slight addition of regular bike workouts helps increase run speed. Runners have set new marathon, half-marathon and 10K PR’s within months after adding triathlon training to the mix — even with reduced run training mileage.
#4 The wonders of a wetsuit!
Yes, to swim well takes time and patience. But to get through the 400 yards of the swim leg of a sprint triathlon can be accomplished with moderate training time in the pool and, simply, a wetsuit. The buoyancy provided by today’s wetsuits gives you the confidence to know you can “float” your way to the finish. And quality triathlon wetsuits are available for under $100.
#5 Life is short. Try something different
Triathlon allows you to keep your first love — running — while adding a bit of variety and excitement to your season. The electric atmosphere of competitors toeing the starting line at a triathlon event will remind you of your very first marathon. Throughout the race you’ll always be thinking about pacing strategy and the upcoming transition to the next leg. When it’s over, the sense of accomplishment is hard to beat!
How to start?
Try a sprint triathlon: 400-yard swim, 9 or 10-mile bike, and 3–4-mile run. Find one at: NewEnglandEnduranceEvents.com