It’s that time again. Another year is about to and get under way and many people are making their fitness resolutions for the new year.
Time to get fit, lose weight, go on that diet, and do whatever it takes to make a change for the better.
Despite the best of intentions New Years resolutions often fall by the wayside. Newly purchased fitness club passes go virtually unused and spiffy work-out clothes are soon gathering dust in a dark corner of the closet.
Worst of all, the much hoped for lifestyle improvements never come to pass and nothing really changes and life goes on much as it did the previous year.
So why is it that seemingly heart-felt health and fitness resolutions never seem to last?
Part of the reason may be the seemingly slow progress that often comes with those bi-weekly trips to the gym. Soon it becomes too much of a chore and there is little enjoyment or incentive to keep a person going. This is especially likely to happen if your training routines are one dimensional.
Then of course there are those who have decided to take up the challenge of their first triathlon or perhaps even their first Ironman in the coming year.
They have made a conscious decision to take their lives in a new direction and no longer want to be spectators in the game of life and stand idly by cheering on others who are accomplishing great things.
They want their own chance to discover what they are truly capable of and triathlon seems to fit the bill perfectly.
TRIATHLON IS FOR EVERYONE
Triathlon is a sport that makes no distinction between gender, athletic ability, age, or body type. It could care less if you can’t swim a stroke or have to struggle for breath when you run for more than 30 seconds without stopping.
It really isn’t concerned if you are 25 or 55. It does not favor millionaires over housewives or pro athletes over beginners. It will welcome you regardless if you are a fireman from the United Kingdom or a baker from the U.S. Midwest.
Triathlon welcomes everyone and anybody can take up the challenge of this amazing sport. Many people who have made a leap of faith and given themselves a chance have gone on to change their lives forever and in the process have become more than they ever thought possible.
Triathlon is the fastest growing mainstream sport in the world for good reason and once people make a conscious decision to become a triathlete they have incentive to follow through on their fitness resolutions once they have an actual goal to aim for.
People who have a distant finish line in their sights when they make their New Years resolution are much less likely to give up on their dream because they have a tangible reason for getting active and getting fit.
Such is the power and allure of triathlon.
TRIATHLON MEANS LEARNING NEW SKILLS
There is little chance of getting bored with a sport as diverse as triathlon that involves 3 disciplines.
Some people can’t swim and some have not been on a bike since they were in their teen years and there is just so much to learn and so much to experience.
I personally could not swim a stroke when I decided I wanted to be an Ironman and learning to swim 2.4 miles in the open water was something I never would have thought possible and it’s a skill that will stay with me forever.
Believe me, if I could find a way to do it you certainly can as well. Once you have a purpose and a desire to accomplish a goal no matter what it takes, all things are possible.
Biking and swimming both involve the use of proper technique and there is never a dull moment on your workout days. There are spin classes to go to and maybe some swim lessons to take. Maybe you have never run much and have to get out there and do some power-walking and work your way slowly into running.
If you feel you need a break from all the time spent in the pool getting the front-crawl stroke figured out you can always work on your biking and running.
Every workout in it’s own way helps improve and maintain your overall level of fitness so whatever part of your training you happen to be working on will play a part in helping you reach your ultimate goal of becoming a fit and competent triathlete.
There’s also lots to learn about diet and nutrition and how to fuel your body for optimum performance that will enhance your training, performance, and recovery in the swim, bike and run. Paying attention to proper diet while getting fitter go hand in hand and together they will help you reach an optimum level of health and fitness.
People who become committed to their triathlon dreams and goals will begin to see very noticeable results quite quickly as they begin to get fitter and in the process begin to take pride in what they are accomplishing.
Often this is all it takes to keep a person motivated and once change for the better begins many people decide they will never go back to the way things were.
THE SOCIAL BENEFITS OF TRIATHLON
Sometimes people just want to get out there and meet some new friends and perhaps enhance their social lives. For those new triathletes interested in the social aspect of the sport there are many opportunities to meet new people while in the process of learning all about swimming, biking, and running.
There are swim groups that you can join, and many running stores have weekend group runs, or perhaps you might meet a new training partner at a bike spin training session or in your Master’s Swim Club and you can arrange to do some bike or runs together once you take your training outside.
Some people prefer to train alone and at their own speed and that’s fine too, but at least there will always be the opportunity to meet up with others if you ever want to.
It’s also good to know that most of the people you will meet will be on the same journey as you are. It sure helps when there are others around to motivate and inspire you and who might be able to help with any questions you might have about training or triathlon in general.
Everyone has different levels of ability. Some people who are taking up triathlon for the first time are already very good swimmers or experienced bikers and most people are glad to pass on what they know.
BEGINNER TRIATHLON TRAINING
So how do you really get started in a sport you really don’t know all that much about?
Maybe you feel that you don’t fit the profile of a triathlete–that you don’t belong.
Of course you do.
You have just as much right as anybody to become a triathlete. You might feel self conscious because you don’t have the ideal lean body of an athlete but think about it…….the more you have to learn and the worse shape you are in, the more you have to gain.
Many people have surprised even themselves with what they have been able to achieve as triathletes once they put their mind to it and began to believe in themselves.
For instance, at any given time when there is an Ironman Triathlon taking place somewhere in the world you can almost be guaranteed that there are many people at the start line who never imagined they would ever be standing there.
An Ironman Triathlon is not so much about the 70 or so pros or few hundred experienced age-groupers who are in the race. It is really more about the 1000 or so first time Ironmen who have accomplished something really special just to be part of the event.
The same holds true for a triathlon of any distance. From the shortest Try A Tri to the Ironman Triathlon, the real story is the people who have put in such a huge effort just to get to the start line and be a part of it all.
As a beginner, I would not worry so much about setting up a strict training schedule to follow. I would think about it more as a complete life-style change.
Work on the aspects of triathlon that you don’t know much about. If you can’t swim, then do whatever it takes to learn. If you are not fit enough to run then start out by power-walking.
Get yourself a wind-trainer and do some biking in the privacy of your home if you are feeling self-conscious or unsure of yourself and perhaps from there graduate to some group spin classes. They will help teach you proper technique and the day will come when you will take all you have learned out on the road.
When you are just starting out it is not about how far or fast or often you swim, bike, or run. It is more about embracing fitness as a way of life. Do something every other day that relates to triathlon and your ultimate goal and be sure to take rest days in between.
It’s important not to push yourself and do too much until your body has adjusted to the new demands you are placing on it.
Take a good look at your diet and make healthy choices. Be conscious about your overall fitness at all times and learn the basics of the three disciplines involved in triathlon.
If everything you do is pointed towards achieving your goal of crossing the finish line of your very first triathlon one day you will in essence be doing the ideal beginner triathlon training.
This is especially important in the early months when you are just starting out. There will be plenty of time to create a more structured training program down the road once you have a better feel for triathlon and what exactly is involved.
Your main objective in the beginning is to find the spirit and fire that is within all of us and embrace it when you begin to feel it and it will change the direction of your life forever.
A NEW YEAR AND A NEW YOU
As the New Year begins never lose sight of your first triathlon or first Ironman goal and this will be one resolution you will not give up on in a few weeks.
The changes will come quickly and they will not only be physical changes like getting fitter, slimmer, and healthier but also changes in your self-confidence when you begin to realize just how much you are truly capable of once you give yourself a chance.
You will discover a new you and it might just be one of your best years ever as you begin your remarkable journey to a better way of life.
Ask tons of questions and do your research.
Visit our new ironstruck.com website often and grow right along with us. When our forums are up and running be sure to join in and you will have the opportunity to share your journey with other new triathletes from all over the world.
You will even be able to create your own beginner group within our forums if you like. It can be a beginner forum group that invites people specifically from your area or city to join in and share information and perhaps meet up for training sessions.
Read books on the subject of triathlon because indeed, experience is the best teacher.
I have written five books and they have helped many people realize their goals and dreams. Once people buy into what I have to share in my books they realize that it is within their grasp to do something spectacular.
I really believe that people are capable of so much and they just don’t realize it and in many cases have given up on themselves. The books I have written are as much about inspiration and motivation as they are about swimming, biking, and running.
If you are just starting out in triathlon than Triathlete In Transition is the perfect book for you.
If the Ironman is on your mind than you will get learn so much and be inspired and motivated by Ironstruck…The Ironman Triathlon Journey and Ironstruck? 500 Ironman Triathlon Questions and Answers.
You can have a look at the books here if you like. IRONSTRUCK BOOK STORE
Sometimes all it takes is for someone to believe in you and if you embrace the message I have been passing along for some 6 years now through Ironstruck one day you will perhaps be sending along an email like this one that I received just last week from Francois.
I completed my first ironman in Cozumel 3 weeks ago. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I would like to sincerely thank you for the advice on your website and in your book. I had been looking for first time ironman advice on internet for a long time and all I could find was just making me doubt that I would ever be capable of finishing.
It seemed that if you were not a super athlete willing to devote 15-20 hours a week to training, the Ironman was not for you. Then I found your site and bought your book. It was a revelation. Your book lifted my confidence and gave me the tools to face the ironman. I finished in 15:14 and know that I could have pushed myself more. I have signed up for another ironman in 2012 and will now aim to finish under 14 hours. The ironman has changed my life and I don’t know if I would have had the courage to try it without having read your book. I have recommended it to my friends.
Regardless, it is our mandate at Ironstruck to help you get where you are going. Ask us any triathlon questions you like and we will do all we can to help you achieve your goals and realize your dream whether you are concerned about beginner triathlon training or perhaps taking on your first Ironman Triathlon.
And that will always be free.