Sports has inspired many people across the globe not only as a recreational activity, but as a regime to achieve fitness goals and the overall well being. One such sport activity that has forayed into the Indian sports arena is the Triathlon. As the name suggests it consists of 3 activities namely swimming, cycling and running in that order which occurs in successions over various distances without a break. This form of sport was implemented in California on September 25, 1974. Since then, California sometimes is referred to as, “the first triathlon in America”. Soon after that many countries began to initiate triathlons in their states. Triathlon was first recognised as an Olympic Sport in the Australian Olympic Games, 2000. It slowly, but surely gained massive success and garnered lot of enthusiasm among sports lovers.
However, India took an inclination to the triathlon only in 1990’s and there are various versions to it parameterizing on the distance of each discipline/ activity. The most famous is the “Ironman Triathlon” which consists of 3.8km swim, followed by 180km cycle and finally ending in a 42km full marathon. And we can unanimously agree that the winner to this is truly an Ironman, and rightfully deserves the title. The oldest Indian to achieve this feat is Arun Krishnan from Chennai who was christened an “Ironman” in the Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns. When I read this piece of the news I was indeed taken aback and also felt pretty shameful for leading much a sedentary life.
Unlike me I am sure there are people who are willing to take their fitness levels a notch up higher and test their endurance levels to the brink. Similar to the boom in marathon a few years ago, this cross sport activity is making news for all the right reasons. It is most definitely challenging and consuming when compared to your normal marathons, but if done earnestly there is no looking back. And once you get hooked to this kind of training, there is no retiring. Before you consider training for triathlon, it is pertinent to be a good physical shape. In fact it is recommended to start of with Sprint Triathlon, even though you are in a good physical shape and eventually work your way up.
While training for a triathlon is very important to set a schedule. You can start with 3 days a week and gradually progress to 6 days a week. Planning can be done as per your convenience however, keep in mind to train for at least one sport in a given day. When training for swimming ensure to do continuous laps avoiding breaks unless you are feeling depleted. And subsequently increase your number of laps. While running, preferably practice on terrains as it feels like a prototype of the real event. Practice running on hills with a steady inclination. If you find it difficult to find a location, which most surely you might, then just rely on the man’s own invention, the treadmill. And as for cycling, always train with a power meter. Cycling is a sport that comes easily to all. When training for a triathlon, you should know how to shift gears effectively anticipating changes in the terrains and, and also how to apply brakes tactfully in meanders without losing pace.
There are many things to be borne in mind while training for a triathlon. Always know your strengths and play by them. Respect your fitness and endurance levels. Create new boundaries for self, but at the same time respect your limitations. Because the one thing you dont want during training is injury. And the greatest motivation is self motivation, and nothing is more detrimental than lack of focus.
You can either train for the triathlon by yourself or hire a personal coach. If you are going with the first option, then adhere to whatever schedule you have set. Start of slow assessing your strengths and endurance levels and subsequently increase your pace, coverage and time. If you are going for the latter option, just focus on your workouts and leave the rest to your trainer. Either ways, triathlons challenges your body to the limits and is often associated with newer fitness levels. Whether you decided to take this plunge for yourself or to impress someone else, there is definitely huge bonanza of health to it.
- Lose weight- the universal and the most sort after reason for ardent fitness fans is to lose weight. And this cross sport training is guaranteed to bulldoze the extra fat, and make you look fabulous. And your clothes will most surely seem bigger.
- More energy- initially you might feel a little bogged down, but trust me this is only a momentary phase. And you will see for yourself that energy is getting replenished rather than depleting as your training progresses. You will be more agile and the feel good sense will keep you elevated all the time.
- It’s good for your health- any form of exercise is good for your health, so when you train for a triathlon your entire body is availing the benefits and just one particular muscle or joint. Think of it as spending more time enjoying life and less time in a doctor’s office.
The benefits are numerous and it not only restricts to your physical well being, but also to your mind which also plays an important role in your over well being. The confidence and a feel good sense that you develop while training for a triathlon will be tattooed forever. Do it now or later, I think we all should take be a part of triathlon and will probably live long enough to reminisce the experience with our grandchildren.