FAQ’s – Getting to “Yes I will do a Triathlon!”
Version 1.1, June 6th, 2014
Here is my FAQ page, this is a little different than a lot of FAQs because I am designing them to get you to dispel your fears and do a triathlete. I will help you silence the blerch and rid yourself of the doubt monsters that stop people from trying things. This list will expand as I hear them.
What if I can’t swim or I am afraid of the water?
We all start somewhere and for many it is exactly at this place. Looking down the pool and realizing it takes every bit of energy to get to the other side. My buddy Don went to the Lifetime Fitness aquatic center last year and asked to learn how to swim. The instructor put him in the pool and asked him to swim to the other side and he did, stopping twice to catch his breath. She asked him “Wait, you want to do what?”. Don now swims 3000 meters a workout without missing a beat, in the pool or the open water.
What if I have kids/job/family [insert excuse here]?
Almost everyone I train with has a job, family, or both. One training partner I have has a child under 12 months old and was able to complete a 70.3. It takes time, sacrifice, and planning but it is possible. People do it all the time. Here are two resources [1, 2] from the Ironman website which speak to this. One of triathlon’s most popular bloggers is a mother of small children and a professional lawyer.
What if I am fat or obese, do I need to lose weight first?
No, in fact there is division for “Clydesdale” for heavier men and “Athena” for heavier women. If you are fat/obese, then triathlon is a great way to deal with the consequences of obesity. Triathlon has a lot of low intensity exercise which is indicated as a treatment both for obesity and the corresponding health issues that obesity brings with it like hypertension, high cholesterol, difficulty breathing, etc.
My super-fit friend tried triathlon and had a bad experience, how could I possibly get along?
First I would ask; How do you know your friend is superfit? Is it because he/she is thin, goes to the gym a lot, has run a few 5Ks or 10Ks? A lot of people think they are very fit (and they might be not totally out of shape) and as a result can do triathlon with little training more than they were doing before. Big mistake, when you approach it you will do it differently and have a positive result.
What if I don’t have a lot of money, isn’t triathlon expensive?
I won’t soft-pedal this, there is a financial consequence to triathlon. At a minimum you should invest in a bike that will probably be at least $1500. You will need a pair of running shoes and a swimsuit. Almost everything else can be rented. There are opportunities to get virtually coached, which helps save money, and training with a group can fray the cost of individualized coaching. Triathlon doesn’t have to suck you dry financially, but like many hobbies, you will have to be ready to pay some money.
What if I am not fast?
You will certainly be faster than you are now.
I will feel self-conscience among all the good athletes!
I understand this, believe me. People pass me all the time. Many experienced triathletes are helpful and happy to have more people in the sport. There are a few that might pre-judge or look down on you. There are a-holes in every sport.