Hundreds of athletes will find themselves emerged in the waters of the Alabama River on Saturday, competing in the first Olympic distance triathlon in the capital city.
What does it take to train for and garner the endurance necessary to compete in such a strenuous activity?
According to author and triathlete Meredith Atwood, all it takes is making a commitment and sticking to it.
Since her first triathlon, Atwood has competed in a variety of races, including a half Ironman. While she had to overcome multiple injuries and other setbacks over the past three years, Atwood said getting to compete is well worth the risks.
“I love the start because as I am standing on the shore of the water, waiting for my turn to swim, I often take a moment to thank God for the opportunity, to thank my body for cooperating and to be grateful for my husband, my family and my friends for helping me across my journey,” said Atwood. “And I love the finish—because that’s where the beer is!”
Are you interested in training for a triathlon and looking for some helpful advice? If so, here’s some tips Atwood has for those hoping to break into the sport.
Begin to move now.
While everyone can think of a reason to put off training, there’s no better time to start than as soon as possible. After all, if you’re waiting for the perfect moment to begin, you’ll likely be waiting forever.
“Do not wait until you are “skinny” or “have better clothes” or “for the moon to be in the right position.” Go now. At your size, at your experience,” said Atwood.
A good way to motivate yourself to get going is to have a goal in mind that’s in the near future. Atwood suggests finding an upcoming 5k in the area to sign up for. This way, you’ll have a time constraint on your training and a purpose for putting on those running shoes each day.
Find a community.
Having support from family, friends and other athletes can serve as one of the best motivators. This way, you have company while you’re training and have an outlet for ironing out any frustrations you have as well as someone to join in on celebrating the small victories.
“Join a local club or find friends at the pool,” said Atwood. “Having a strong support is a big deal.”
Believe in yourself.
It’s important that you’re committing to training for yourself. That way, you will have a built-in support system ready to supply encouragement and remind you why you’re getting up early to go for a 5-mile run in the first place.
Get a good bike fit.
When competing in a triathlon, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Letting someone look over your bike to make sure it’s in top shape could prevent injuries or any problems you might have during the race.