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.

motorcycle racing triathlon
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Garry Slater raced 125cc, 400cc and 600cc bikes from 1990 to 2005. He competed as a ‘privateer’ in his spare time. After being part of the MV40 team which came fourth at last year’s National Tri Relays, he now concentrates on duathlon.

Benefits: To race motorbikes you need guts more than anything else, confidence at speed and good handling skills. This set me up very well for the triathlon bike leg. It gave me an eye for the racing line (I chuckle to see the lines some cyclists take) and my speed is good on descents.

Baggage: I’m lucky to have walked away without any! Most of my motorcycling friends had their legs pinned and walked with limps - they certainly couldn’t run, so I was fortunate to go for as long as I did with only a broken collar bone.

Biggest difference: Motorcycling is far more dangerous than triathlon. Ironically, though, I suffered the worst accident of my sporting career while out cycling earlier this year. I ended up in a ditch with a bad shoulder injury and a punctured lung and had to be rushed to hospital. I’m now recovering and certainly won’t be afraid to get back on the bike - that’s another thing motorbikes taught me.

Verdict: Helpful - without a doubt.

Picture credit: Cavan Images/ 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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