Is triathlon a fleeting obsession on a personal agenda?

21 to 40 of 41 messages
Cheerful Dave    pirate
16/10/2012 at 15:27

Is someone who runs, cycles and swims ocassionally a triathlete, even if they've never competed in a triathlon?  Or if you have, but haven't for a while, are you still a triathlete?  When do you become an ex-triathlete, or are you branded for life once you've had your first taste of T1 & T2?

Ironholgs    pirate
16/10/2012 at 15:30

Surely you can only be a triathlete if you've finished one?

and until that point you are either a runner, a swimmer or a cyclist training to do your first triathlon?

Edited: 16/10/2012 at 15:31
16/10/2012 at 15:31

If swimming, running and cycling makes you a triathlete then i've been one since around 2 years old although i held of competing in one till i was 33, so i guess it's a long term thing for me.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
16/10/2012 at 15:44

That was my point really, I was broadly agreeing with pops in that being a triathlete by definition involves competing, whereas being a runner, cyclist or swimmer doesn't.

16/10/2012 at 16:45

I havnt yet done a triathlon but now consider myself a triathlete due to the fact that ive been training like one for several months now and am a member of a triathlon club.

before that i was a runner though i havnt entered an event for probably 7 years now but still enjoy the training, Ive no idea what my times are like now compared with then, i keep getting tempted to enter something and find out but then think, travel time, hanging around before the start, paying to enter, I'd rather just spend that time training.

after next years Outlaw I hope to continue to train in all 3 sports but probably wont compete that often, I'm very much enjoying the variety of training.

Having said that there are a few other ironman events i'd maybe like to do in the future and also fancy doing some longer swim and cycle events.

Edited: 16/10/2012 at 16:46
16/10/2012 at 19:22

I think there are two (maybe more) types of triathletes.  No.1 is someone who uses it as a way of getting/staying in shape, but doesn`t `love` training. No.2 is someone who trains for the love of training and the benefits it gives them, and competing is the reward or buzz for all the hard work.  If competing was made illegal, No.2 would train anyway, No.1 would go back to the couch.  I`ve been a No.2 (that doesn`t sound good) for 30 years.

Cortina5    pirate
16/10/2012 at 21:41

DOM may have something there, though it could be distance dependant. I hate swimming with a passion, and it's a drag to go there. That's why I prefer club swims, as it is brain off and go.

Now I'm concentrating on shorter shorter stuff, it's a little more fun. Tonight I ran with a club in Austria. Didn't know where we were going, or how far. Only that it would be less than 90 minutes. I really enjoyed it. No targets.

After the Outlaw I had grand plans, but the body and mind said no. I was worried that I was done with tri, but I then found something called a sprint, which was over in time for elevenses, and so fits in with me spending more time with my family.

meface    pirate
16/10/2012 at 22:20

Definitely a passing phase for me.

I did a bit of gymnastics at school and then switched to Rugby about 15/16. I played that for 15 years up to semi-pro level and then gave it up as I kept displacing vertabrae in my back (T1-T3).

Then I got lazy and did hill walking for a few years then started running. Then a triathlon - think I am in 4th or 5th season now. Will I stop? Probably at some point - so definitely a passing phase.

I like road biking, running, mountain biking, have grown to like swimming. I love the adventure race stuff, although best done only now and again, not sure they would be the same if done every month.

I suspect many will come into triathlon and compete and then move into other areas as well. They will use the skills, I fancy the Dark 10k swim but it is enabled by the triathlete in me.

I can do an easy paced run, can I do an easy paced triathlon? Not really. I have similar scenario in swimming. I can do an easy breast stroke or crawl - I can't do an easy Individual Medley. So yes I think a Triathlete, in general, is either competing, wanting to compete (ijured, skint), or a member of triathlon club. Other than that they are a just a person who trains at running, swimming and biking. Simialr discussions to be had with runner vs. jogger (former strives to improve, races or acheives a certain pace depednign on who you listen to).

I hope to continue to train at all three for a long time it provides variety, enables training when you have sport specifc injuries. You can mix with more people. And for me one of the main benefits is when you look at any aerobic based event you think - I could do that (with the exception of skiing maybe).

Dart 10k River Swim, Scotland Coast-2-Coast, Mountain Bike the South Downs Way, and many many more events I look at. All great life experiences in my view.


17/10/2012 at 18:58
I thought I would take up running to get fit, after 1 run I decided I wanted to do a triathlon and then call myself a triathlete, not before. I found, via the Internet thingy a sprint one in May next year at the Olympic rowing venue.
That I thought would be it, then I found this bloody forum so now I'm aiming for an ironman in 2014. The sprint is now my target to make sure I can get to decent base levels before I start training for the big one.

In about 4 weeks I've gone from no exercise to running (slowly), swimming and riding my new bike!

So to me I think it has become an obsession and I hope it stays that way, I have even had to force myself to have a rest day tomorrow, 4 weeks ago even I would not have believed I would be forcing myself to rest.
17/10/2012 at 20:23

KK - you ask a lot of questions

meface    pirate
17/10/2012 at 20:42
SuperSparx wrote (see)
So to me I think it has become an obsession and I hope it stays that way, I have even had to force myself to have a rest day tomorrow, 4 weeks ago even I would not have believed I would be forcing myself to rest.

Wise man says you only get fitter rest.

Yoda says fitter you want, rest you must

17/10/2012 at 22:13
I like the fact that triathletes enter races and compete. even if its just with themselves to complete it, or just to get a bit faster, or feel less shattered at the end

The whole age group thing is a real positive in triathlon, and probably one of the reasons its so successful.

A lot of people compete as in a marathon..... They are never gonna win but have great fun getting fitter and fastrr every year.

A passing fad...? I dont think its ever going to be mainstream ( being a marathon runner is a minority sport) but there seems enougj interest from wanna be marayhoners to stoke the fires....
TheEngineer    pirate
17/10/2012 at 22:14

Most likely a temporary thing for me, inasmuch as I don't envision maintaining the level of commitment I do now until I'm incapable of doing so. I imagine I'll continue the three disciplines, but see less of transitions in future! That is... after I've achieved everything I want to.

For me it's something I've found myself to be reasonably good at, relatively speaking. I started by running and was never any good at that. It has introduced me to cycling though and for that I will be forever grateful - I envision continuing cycling for a long time in the future. 

I want to do lots of things though, triathlon being just one. For that reason, I don't see myself continuing long term (more than the next 5 years). Mountaineering is something I have a passion to do, but have never had the combination of time and income to do to a high level. I'd love to do more running over extreme distance, despite not being very *good* at it (and provided the physios sort me out!) - the stage races really appeal to me, both purely running and stuff like the Wenger Expedition Race/Primal Quest (though now defunct). RAAM and cycling across Europe appeal to me, as do Red2Dead and the channel swim. I'd love to ski more. And skydive (not necessarily from Baumgartner territory, but one summer I nearly saved up enough for an AFF course in Spain and then couldn't go). And white water raft. 

In short, I love triathlon, but it's mostly about testing me. There are plenty of awesome places to throw yourself off, push yourself through, and suffer in. And lots of other fun ways of doing them. But you never know, I might jack it all in and spend my wages in the pub for the rest of my miserable little life.

WildWill    pirate
18/10/2012 at 07:56

TheEngineer: An intrestining responce ... Im in a similar boat there is so much out there that I'd like to have a go at but for me it's time (and cash) that is the deciding factor.

Working away from home; I can train lots of time through the week, but my weekend sand holidays are devoted to those that are close to me rather than my sportining endevours. So for now I aim for an anual big race that I can do in a day and gives me the feeling i enjoy. For now ... long distance Tri it is

If my circumstances improve that may change as like you said ... there are so many things out there to try... 

Edited: 18/10/2012 at 07:56
18/10/2012 at 12:01

I’d break down the influencing factors as follows:

1 - Competition and satisfaction from achievement – personal or relative to peers;
2 - Social inclusion – part of a group or community that share an interest;
3 - Exploration and desire to ‘try something new’;
4 - Fitness and health benefits;
5 – Enjoyment of the individual elements and the whole sport;
6 - How it fits in with your life and other priorities – family vs training;
7 - Practicality – economic, travel, injury etc.

If I answer them on a personal view then it looks like this for me:

1 – I’m competitive and get more challenge from Tri than running – reason to stay;
2 – I do the occasional social tri, but more for competition –n/a;
3 – Been there done that – looking at other stuff  and Tri has opened my eyes in some areas – reason to leave;
4 – Yep, I get fit from Tri, but I can do that elsewhere also – n/a;
5 – Love swimming, love running, dislike road bike, love MTB – reason to stay, maybe;
6 – Sprints and short stuff are fairer on family – unlikely to go long;
7 – Fortunate that these are aligned at the moment, although I’d choose local first – reason to stay.

Some of these answers will change over time – I doubt I’ll be as competitive when I am older, but will maybe have more time to train. So on balance at the moment I’m in, but not for the whole IM, just Sprint and Oly.

I’ll predict that Tri will polarise like this with most people doing shorter events because of practicality, but a hardcore and ‘one-and-only’s’ still going long at premium events. I’ll also predict that it will stay relatively small because of the cost barrier to entry.

18/10/2012 at 13:52
m..eface wrote (see)
SuperSparx wrote (see)
So to me I think it has become an obsession and I hope it stays that way, I have even had to force myself to have a rest day tomorrow, 4 weeks ago even I would not have believed I would be forcing myself to rest.

Wise man says you only get fitter rest.

Yoda says fitter you want, rest you must

rest will be two days, as wife's birthday tomorrow. How fit will I be come Saturday?

meface    pirate
18/10/2012 at 20:03

Not as much as on the first day of rest - very quick diminishing returns with rest. It is a tricky balance. But try it without rest and see how quick you fail.

No rest, no sleep, no no lounging. See if if you can run a 5k in 14 days time!

Happy bithday to your wife - get her something nice (a wetsuit in your size? a turbo trainer?)


18/10/2012 at 21:58
Thanks M..eface,
I can't run 5k now! But working on it. The wetsuit is a good idea, then might get her a Garmin 910 for Christmas. To be honest though, she doesn't use the bike I had fitted for me last week.
meface    pirate
18/10/2012 at 22:12
kittenkat wrote (see)

I need to run for sanity,

You need to run more

meface    pirate
18/10/2012 at 22:20

Actually we probably all need to run more - sanity, weight and punishment for bad thoughts etc.

21 to 40 of 41 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW competitions

RW Forums