If you've reached this site it's for one of two reasons. You're either a new triathlete (noobie) or an obsessive compulsive veteran that is trying to find out any and everything about the sport. If you're a noobie, this article is for you. If you're a veteran, you still may be able to get something out of this.
I found triathlon after doing marathons for 5 years. I was looking for something new and stumbled across triathlon. Not knowing if I would like the sport, I didn't want to buy a bike so I competed on a road bike I had from college. Looking back at the time leading up to the race and the race itself, I WAS AN IDIOT! I had no idea how to train, no idea how to race, no idea how to even change a tire. I jumped in with very limited knowledge and left that day knowing I had found what I really wanted to pursue. I also left having eaten a big piece of humble pie. I thought I would jump right in and find success. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Fast forward to 2011. I've been a USAT All-American the last 3 years. I qualified and raced in the Ironman World Championships in 2010. This past weekend I raced in IM Arizona and qualified again for the World Championships in Kona. If you're looking for inspiration...here it comes. I'm where I am right now because of one thing and one thing only. HARD WORK! It hasn't been easy and quite frankly there are times it hasn't been fun. I'm constantly driven by the desire to compete with the best in the world. It's taken me 6 years of training and racing to get where I am. (The first 2 years were a waste because of how naive I was.)
If you're planning to get into this crazy sport or are already in and looking for help in being successful, here are some tips to help you succeed.
1. Figure out why you chose this sport. (Lifestyle, enjoy competing, lost a bet, etc.)
2. Set goals
3. Go back and make sure goals are realistic. I always set realistic goals and then have on that may be just out of reach.
4. Develop a schedule as to when you are going to work out. Don't try to "fit it in." Set aside time each day.
5. If training and racing become cumbersome refer back to #1. There will be days that you're miserable. The good days should far outweigh the bad days. If they don't, you need to remember why you started in the first place. Train safe. Race fast!