The Rest of Us
But what if you have no interest in being an Olympic medallist and simply want to take on the challenge of swimming, biking and running? If you’re like me, triathlon can provide a great way to continue to train while injured – I became a triathlete almost by accident when a broken bone in my foot forced me to swim and bike to maintain my fitness while preparing for track season. Of the hundreds of thousands of people who will participate in a triathlon in North America this year, a huge percentage of that group are there because they’re trying to avoid the pounding on their joints from a regular running routine. Learn to swim programs abound at recreation facilities, while masters swim groups are becoming ever more popular. In the same way that triathlon has exploded in terms of participation, cycling is enjoying a similar surge in popularity.
When it all started in 1974, triathlon was a sport designed to embrace the all-around athlete. That’s still the case today. Whether you’re simply trying to finish a super-sprint race that will take 30 to 60 minutes, get across an Ironman finish line in under 17 hours or win an Olympic medal, triathlon requires an ability in more than one discipline. Even if you’re not “running for dough,” getting to that finish line is a pretty satisfying reward.