Triathlon is not a spectator sport. It’s a sport about breaking personal boundaries.
Comprised of three legs – swimming, bicycling and running – triathlon is a single sport that had nearly 1.9-million American participants in 2009, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. The goal of completing a triathlon may seem daunting, however it has been accomplished by millions of everyday folks from wide-eyed teenagers to active retirees.
Arthur Gilbert, 90, began jogging in his 50s and completed his first triathlon at age 68. He has finished more than 40 triathlons and is preparing for another race this spring. He swims nearly daily, works out in the gym three times per week and goes for Sunday bike rides.
“Being disciplined and going out and doing it even when you don’t feel like it is key to success,” he told the London Daily Mail.
Matt Hoover won the Biggest Loser television show competition in 2005 after shedding 157 of his 350 pounds. Then, in 2009, he completed the Ford Ironman World Championship, the sport’s showcase event held every fall in Kona, Hawaii.
“Don’t blame luck. Don’t blame others. Quit once and it’s easier to quit again,” he says.
This year’s Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon will be held on June 9 and you can do it. You can transform from couch potato to triathlete in five months. All it takes is planning and preparation, and between now and the triathlon the Ruidoso Free Press offers this regular series to help you reach the finish line. Also, if you start training now, you will have time to deal with the training interruptions and setbacks that are part of the deal.
What is a sprint triathlon?
It is a triathlon with distances shorter than an Olympic-distance triathlon.
So, what’s an Olympic-distance triathlon?
It is routinely a 1,500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer (about 25 miles) bike ride and a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) run.
There are triathlon distances longer than the Olympic distance – primarily the Ironman distance and the half-Ironman (also called 70.3) distance. The full Ironman is comprised of a 2.4-mile open water swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon (26.2-mile) run. The half-Ironman is half of each of those distances.
The Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon is a 3.5-mile run, 10-mile bike and then a 400-yard swim in the Ruidoso Athletic Club pool. It is an excellent event for rookie triathletes. Don’t be intimidated; you can walk, comfortably pedal around Ruidoso and take a relaxing swim.
Triathlon is about you achieving your goals. USA Triathlon, with more than 135,000 annual members, reports that 95 percent of triathletes surveyed participate for the personal challenge. Obviously, there are a lot of people out there from many backgrounds up for the challenge.
Are you ready? If so, let’s start because the will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.
This week, see your doctor because it is always advisable to consult your doctor before beginning a training program. If your doctor says you’re good to go, head out for a few walks (jog if you can), inhale our fresh mountain air and mentally get ready for your personal transformation.
You may wish to look into buying quality running shoes because your feet are an important part of this endeavor.
Hope is not a plan and a dream is not a goal. We will work together to plan and achieve your triathlon-completion goal over the next five months.
Always contact your doctor before beginning physical training and it is advisable to have a personal coach.
Sarah Crewe is a USAT (USA Triathlon) Level 1 coach who coaches triathletes and is a certified RPM, yoga and American Swim Coach Association Level 2 coach. She is lead faculty for health and physical education at ENMU. To contact Sarah Crewe for training or learn more about the Ruidoso Sprint Triathlon, call the Ruidoso Athletic Club at 575-257-4900.
If you have any training questions for Sarah Crewe, email them to email@example.com. Selected questions will be answered in conjunction with this weekly column.