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Getting Started in Triathlon
What is triathlon?
According to Wikipedia:
A triathlon is a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events. While many variations of the sport exist, triathlon, in its most popular form, involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances. Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed "transitions" between the individual swim, bike, and run components.
Triathletes vary widely in their fitness, their athletic background, and objectives for participating. Here are a few of the things that many triathletes have in common:
- Aspirations - to a healthy lifestyle including eating, training, and socializing
- Objectives - to achieve a certain distance, a certain speed, or a certain level of comfort.
- Curiosity - on how to achieve objectives. "That girl over there swims soooo fast! How does she do that?" "That guy can run twice as fast as me. What could I be doing differently?"
- Desire - to share strategies and ideas with other triathletes. "Here's my recipe for vegetarian lasagne! It's good for the day before a race." "Here's how you can alter your swim stroke to be faster"
Triathlon is often referred to a lifestyle because in order to be successful in your own idea of what it means to be a triathlete you must look at the big picture!
A triathlon race (commonly called "a tri") is most commonly of a standard distance:
- A "sprint" triathlon is a 750 meter swim, a 20km bike, 5km run. In Saskatchewan, a sprint race is offered at the Triathlon At Pike Lake and at the Regina Beach triathlon.
- A "standard", "Olympic", or "5150(tm)" triathlon is a 1500 meter swim, a 40km bike, and a 10km run. In Saskatchewan, a standard race is offered at the Triathlon at Pike Lake and at the Regina Beach Triathlon.
- A "1/2 ironman" or "Ironman 70.3(tm)" is a 1900 meter swim, a 90km bike, and a 21.1km run (the 70.3 means 70.3 miles - this is the distance covered). A 1/2-ironman distance is not offered in Saskatchewan at this time. Many Saskatchewan residents enjoy the Great White North triathlon at Stony Plain, Alberta and the Ironman 70.3 in Calgary because they are nearby.
- An "ironman", or "Ironman(tm)" is a 3860 meter swim, a 180.25km bike, and a 42.2km run. Many Saskatchewan residents participate in Ironman Canada held in Penticton, BC.
Many times local triathlon clubs will hold "Try a Tri"-type races to encourage people to try out a triathlon. Saskatoon has "Tri For Marlene" and Moe's Triathlon - check them out!
Triathlon Basics - The Swim
The swim in a triathlon can be indoors or outdoors. Beginner races (like a Try-A-Tri) often have indoor swims and 'normal' races most often have swims that are in bodies of water like oceans, lakes, and rivers. Tri for Marlene and Moe's Triathlon are pool swims while the Triathlon at Pike Lake and the Regina Beach Triathlon have lake swims.
Triathlon Basics - The Bike
Triathletes can basically use whatever kind of bike they wish as long as they comply with the rules of the race in which they are competing. Beginners often use whatever bike they have but as enthusiasm increases a better bike is faster and more comfortable to train and race.
Triathlon Basics - The Run
Run fast! There are many great places to learn to run and many great races in which you can guage your fitness and speed.
Triathlon Basics - Transitions