Thinking about your next race goal? Look no further than a triathlon, the swim-bike-run trifecta that has endless benefits for runners. With beginner-friendly races such as TriRock, it’s easy to give it a shot in a fun, non-intimidating atmosphere. Here are 8 reasons you should try a triathlon.
- To avoid injury. Running uses the same muscles in the same movement pattern all the time. It’s no wonder so many runners battle shin splints and knee issues. By incorporating swimming and cycling—both low impact sports—you’ll get in safe, beneficial cross-training that will keep you in the sport for longer.
- To have options for your unmotivated moments. You know those days when you just don’t feel like lacing up your sneakers another day in a row? Now you have two other sports to choose from.
- To broaden your social circles. Triathletes tend to think of training as a lifestyle and training partners as simply a group of friends. Between your lane mates in the pool, your fellow cyclists on group rides or your new triathlon club buddies, you can cast a wider net for like-minded athletes. (And hey, if you’re single, triathletes do have quite the reputation for dating one another.)
- To add new accomplishments to your racing résumé. If you’ve crossed plenty of running race finish lines, it’s time to set new challenges for yourself.
- To build a better body. Runners have strong legs but typically lack much in the way of an upper body. The shoulder, back and arm strength needed for swimming will give you more of a balanced musculature than your single-sport cohorts.
- To eat more. Sure you should never “train to eat,” but because you’ll likely be logging more miles than when you were just running, you’ll need a few more calories to keep you going.
- To boost your mental game. Triathlon forces you to be equally prepared for three different disciplines and comes with a host of challenges—such as open water swimming and running off the bike—that will improve your overall mental prowess as an athlete.
- To get faster. If you’ve hit a plateau with your running speed, mixing in other sports may be the key to getting to the next level. The intervals and speedwork you’ll do while swimming and biking will fuel your body’s engine.