Is triathlon a fleeting obsession on a personal agenda?

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15/10/2012 at 20:29

Personally for me I hope it has some longevity,  I got into my running (finally) but as I upped the miles / speed I picked up injuries, so I branched out,injuries less  And in the sprint Tris I have done not found a friendlier group of people.

JPenno    pirate
15/10/2012 at 20:30

The time and ££ commitments for Ironman dont make it as easily accessable as running. I am going to try for a 3:15 marathon time next year - this will be on around 7 to 8 hrs training maximum per week - I would be spending that much time biking just for Ironman and then additional running and swimming

For me Ironman seems to have been a passing phase, I would love to do another but cant justify the time or the financial commitment probably over £1,000 after entry fees accomodation travel and additional odds and sodds for the bike and training foods etc.

I wanted to do one for years after seeing it on ITV world of sport years ago, then being inspired by the Pirates. Now I have done that I want to challenge myself with running again.

15/10/2012 at 21:12

KK...  not sure my abilities will ever be that great in any sport any more.  Last year I could only swim 22m and I still get scared on my bicycle down a hill!  And the only way my running will work is if they introduce a handcap system like horses and everyone is made to run carrying around 17st!

I think it is more about enjoyment, keeping fit and staying as injury free as possible for me, and the friendly people you meet in transition really help with the enjoyment factor.

15/10/2012 at 21:22

I have just got into Triathlon since the Olympics. It is a new challenge, a fresh way to train.  I have upped my training, time wise, by doing more before work, I doubt I would have upped it with just running (my first sport i have been doing for years).  I have spent around £1000 on a bike, pedals, shoes, cycle clothing, bike tools, pumps, wetsuit, swim jammers, goggles and more.  I now have all I need to train and compete.  I`m sure I will want a better bike at some point, but for the next couple of years i`m set.  The extra training improves my running and I can choose different events at different times of the year.  First cross country race on Saturday and winter will be focused on running, with a spring marathon as well.  Spring to Autumn will be Triathlon time.  I can do cycle races now, I can do open water swimming and events. Getting into Triathlon gives me so much more choice and I`m sure will keep me much more motivated for the whole year.  I can dip in and out of the three disiplines as a whole or single sports.  I feel more motivated towards my running now that i am a triathlete, than when I was just a runner.  Phase or not, i`m in.



WildWill    pirate
16/10/2012 at 07:58

For me Triathlon is part of a coping mechanism. I have been involved with Tri for quite some time now ... Not as long as IW (but she is ancient  ). I tried just running but as soon as i up the amount of runs per week i seem to bo more prone to injury.

I used to race a lot ... most weekends over the season (and into winter) used to be taken up with Tri's and run races .. but now i focus on one main race each year with the addition of an impromptu one every now and then (normally a mara or short distance tri)

But as i said Triathlon is a way to for me to cope with the stress of my lifestyle and it is the training more than the races that facilitates this. But I also  need something to aim at to get into the training ... hence the racinig


and i enjoy it 

16/10/2012 at 08:17


kittenkat wrote (see)

Ok, so the runners I've met over the years tend to be very dedicated to running and it endures; irrespective of time and ability (quite right too).

I wonder about triathlon though, whether it becomes a 'habit' for people or if it's going to be a flash in the pan sport that's in fashion for people with money to throw money at...

Lots of people run ONE marathon in a similar non-enduring way (and I use the term "run" loosely)

Edited: 16/10/2012 at 08:17
16/10/2012 at 08:24

Interesting topic. I think that there will inevitably be a decline in triathlon at some point. Other sports that have gone through the same rapid boom have gone backwards eventually. Golf in the 80's had a similar level of, for want of a better word, "fashionability", and the proliferation of golf courses and popularity during that time is starting to reverse. There will no doubt be another "fastest growing sport in the World" along at some point.

For me, what Dreaming of Magic said is about right. Triathlon allows me to mix up my training, and as someone who gets easily bored with doing one thing that's the biggest bonus. If I'm honest with myself I only race to give me a target to train towards.

16/10/2012 at 08:44
I've twice started training for a triathlon (never done one before) and twice had to stop through injury so or me I lost the interest which was such a shame as I was enjoying the variety. Having said that, had I managed to complete one I'm not sure if I would have gone on to do more. I would like to think I would but I'm 45 and think if I don't do it soon I won't do it at all. Fingers crossed for next year and at least I can say I did it
16/10/2012 at 08:57
I've also been doing triathlon for years. I love it but more importantly I love the variety in the training and that it also plays to my strengths (although to be fair I've never been competitive as such).

I can't see my desire to do them ever lessening. In the same way I have maintained my running for the last 30 odd years.
Iron Muffin    pirate
16/10/2012 at 09:40

I think triathlon will continue to be succesful as both a competition and lifestyle sport.

Main reasons:

1.egos are kept in check, however good at it you are someone will be better than you at least one of the disciplines. (also however slow, you wont be the worst at everything)

2. Incredibly well organised events and the age group nature of the sport make for brilliant competition

3. loads of variety, in training and events

My personal agenda is fitness and enjoyment. This may be 'fleeting', only time will tell . I used to sail so triathlon is a significant cost saving!


16/10/2012 at 10:12

I've participated at a variety of distances of triathlon since 2007, so for 5 years now.  Running pre-dated that by several years.

As someone who only participated for what, two or maybe three years, KK, why did you stop?  Was it purely injury, or just a flash in the pan for you?


16/10/2012 at 10:25

I think endurance sports - running, cycling, triathlon and the related stuff like adventure races are here for the long term.   As far as individuals go though I'd expect more to stick with being runners or cyclists than triathletes simply because you can be a runner without racing, you can be a very keen cyclist never having raced, can you be a triathlete if you aren't competing ?  Most people get fed up of the competition at some point - maybe they just can't devote as much time to be as good as they were or as good as they feel they should be.   

I know a few people who have been decent amateur triathletes who have come to being pretty much just cyclists or cyclist/runners now or gone back to being runners.   Maybe there is just more variety in running and cycling - probably most variety in cycling but running has the advantage of simplicity.   

16/10/2012 at 10:39
I just love training the race is the end result i have been at bit IM centered the last few years as thats where my strenghts lie also mentoring aspiring IM friends mean i usually race as well i have been playing the running and or tri game for around 20 years now so no flash in the pan its more a lifestyle choice and hopefully can keep going well into the future, that said KK you raise a good point with .2 kids st uni money is tight so i now only do a couple of tris a year to keep costs down but as i said the trsining and freidships i have made are my motivators
16/10/2012 at 10:40

there's no simple answer

I've been doing tri for nearly 10 years - and during that time have seen the sport grow enormously and that will continue for a few years yet until it does eventually reach a saturation/maturity point.  as pops says, you can hardly do tri without it being part of a competition whereas cycling, running , swimming can be sole endeavours as a way of keeping fit without competing.  

so if triathlon as the "sport de jour" that everyone seems to want to do helps people get into the single disciplines to keep fit, then great - it's serving a purpose.

and as for officiating - I would hope that more people take this up as well as competing (you can do both) as there is a crying need for more officials as the sport grows.  



16/10/2012 at 12:22

I'm in this purely for me and my head, no idea if I'll stick at it long term although I see no reason why not.

I think you can be a triathlete a not race as you train in swimming, biking and running.

The split of sports means I don't obsess over any one thing and the variation stops me injuring myself by over doing one thing.  

Cost, coming from Dressage Triathlon is positively cheap. I also like that the single key fail or success element is me and only me.

I certainly don't do this for times or race placings, it's purely about seeing what I can do and getting good healthy exercise for my body and my mind.

Oh and Triathletes are a very friendly bunch I like the encouragement for everyone vibe, I didn't get that when I was just running.

Britrisky    pirate
16/10/2012 at 12:34

I echo what AliBear says - I got into running and then tri, but reckon that tri means I do can more exercise (and therefore eat more?!) without hammering my knees.

I like the variety, I think, and yes, they are a friendly bunch, but then my running club is too

16/10/2012 at 12:47
popsider wrote (see)

As far as individuals go though I'd expect more to stick with being runners or cyclists than triathletes simply because you can be a runner without racing, you can be a very keen cyclist never having raced, can you be a triathlete if you aren't competing ?  Most people get fed up of the competition at some point - maybe they just can't devote as much time to be as good as they were or as good as they feel they should be.    

But of course!

I only do 1 (possibly 2) triathlons a year, usually when someone talks me into it, and quite frankly it wouldn't bother me not to compete at all.  I enjoy the variety of training (when I get off my ass to do any that is) and love the variety of people I meet and the craic

I'm also a member of both a running and a tri club but that is pretty much for the chance to mix with folks in training and socially and not in order to be able to compete

I still consider myself a triathlete - albeit a rather portly middle aged one  and will probably end up being a portly old one a decade or two down the line....


Iron Muffin    pirate
16/10/2012 at 13:10

Great attitude Podds.

I would be tempted to be a runner instead if I wasn't so sh1te at it

Ironholgs    pirate
16/10/2012 at 13:58

I can't see me ever giving it up, although there have been times when I've wanted to. I fell into the sport accidently and now love it.
I don't race as much as I used to because of cost, as a fairly new parent I have other priorities now escpecially financially.

However I'm equally excited at the prospect of running a sub 40 minute 10k as I am of doing a sub 12 ironman. I just like to push myself I guess.

I'm heavily involved in a local club and a load of my friends are into the sport, so I guess it's a long term investment for me.

16/10/2012 at 15:04 feel the fear, do it anyway wrote (see)

I only do 1 (possibly 2) triathlons a year, usually when someone talks me into it, and quite frankly it wouldn't bother me not to compete at all.  

Ah but you still compete even if it's only a couple of races a year.   The triathlete that never competes must be fairly rare - whereas in cycling or running former competitive amateurs who still run or ride - often to a decent level of fitness - are quite common.   

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