We often do sports to look good naked, to be able to eat whatever we want, or just to show off our finisher medal. While those might not sound like very wise reasons, they are legitimate! And with triathlon, you can push them to the next level. How would it sound to tell people at parties that you’re literally an ironman? There are plenty of reasons to try triathlon, some exciting, and some wise and boring. Here is my top 7.
To avoid injury
Doing only one sport makes you overuse some muscles and joints while others are never fully engaged. This can predispose you to an injury over the long term. By incorporating swimming and running you’ll get in beneficial cross-training without even trying.
To broaden your social circles
It’s not just that you will have new opportunities to meet people at the pool or at the trail. Triathletes tend to think of training as a lifestyle because it can be quite time-consuming, so training partners easily become a group of friends.
To become a well-rounded athlete
Cyclists have strong legs, but they often lack in the upper body department. The shoulder, back and arm strength needed for swimming will give you more of a balanced musculature. But it’s not just about the muscle. You will get better stability with running, better spatial awareness with swimming, and even your neural pathways will be pushed to improve.
To justify buying new aero gear
New aero bars, aero helmet, aero wheels, and a special storage unit. They might be a nice-to-have on your regular road bike, but they are a must-have for a long-course triathlon. It’s a great excuse to go searching for the latest high-tech invention.
To get faster
If you’ve hit a plateau with your speed, mixing in other sports may be the key to breaking it. The intervals and speed work you’ll do while swimming and running will force your body’s engine to adapt again. Also not many sports beat swimming in building lung capacity.
To boost your mental game
Triathlon forces you to be equally prepared for three different disciplines and comes with a host of challenges that will make you a more mentally resilient athlete. You will have to deal with the discomfort of open water swimming, race alone for hours, and survive the pain of running straight off the bike, just to name a few examples.
To be able to work out anytime, anywhere
Another great thing about triathlon for a cyclist is that you can still use the great outdoors, but now you have more options. If it’s nice outside, go for a bike session, or you can find a nearby lake to go for a swim if your legs are tired. If it’s raining heavily, go for an indoor swim. If you’re travelling and don’t have your bike with you, go for a run.