Sporting Past: The Benefits

New to triathlon or taking on new challenges in the off-season? Find out how your other sporting loves can impact on your triathlon progress.

by Jacqueline Wadsworth.

womens rugby triathlon
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Women's Rugby

Jacqueline Wood played on the wing for Richmond Ladies in the 1980s, when women’s rugby was relatively new. After several seasons in triathlon, she now competes in duathlon.

Benefits: When the team went on fitness runs we used to dodge lamp-posts, road signs and litter bins at the last moment, to simulate dodging tackles. Years later I still do it while out training because it helps build core strength on the run.

Baggage: A dodgy foot from an injury sustained during a tackle! It always plays up when I’m doing long runs in the winter and I have to ease off for a few weeks. In some ways it was a price worth paying though. I loved the abandoned physicality of rugby - charging at someone to knock them down, or running at top speed with the ball. Triathlon is far more restrained.

Biggest difference: I wasn’t a very good team player because I couldn’t think fast enough on the run to link up with other players. Triathlon suits me much better because I just have to worry about myself.

Verdict: Hindrance - that foot injury has never gone away.

Picture credit: Bernd Opitz/ Getty Images

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Discuss this article

sqush is a great game, nearly as good as running.
Posted: 02/02/2012 at 20:20

sqush is a great game, nearly as good as running.
Posted: 02/02/2012 at 20:20

is that the noise you make running in the snow or having sex in a bath of angel delight
Posted: 02/02/2012 at 21:28

I thought that said "Squishy is game"...
Posted: 03/02/2012 at 08:00

I was a squash player who turned to Triathlon for fitness, now its Triathlon that's my main sport and only play squash in the winter months, the extra fitness and stamina has made me a better squash player even though I have a 6 month break each year!!

Posted: 13/02/2012 at 12:19

I used to be a cross-country runner, but suffered ankle and achilles injuries so I turned to cycling to give me a new challenge and someone said why don't you try triathlon? That got me thinking...a poor swimmer, good runner, not bad cyclist could really improve overall if I really worked on my swimming. Definitely think that the benefits of my running past are good as you get a feel for how far you can push yourself.  Bring on the triathlon!
Posted: 16/02/2012 at 20:24

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