One of the things I thought about at this past weekend's Superfrog Half Ironman race was how cool it is to be a beginner to the sport and how you get just as much joy out of being slow as you probably do being fast! So, for those of you who have wondered whether you should try your first triathlon but hesitated on signing up because you thought you would be too slow or that you you should wait until you are more ready or you are simply intimidated by all those fast and fit looking people out there, here are my thoughts for you!
1. When you are a slow swimmer, you don't have to worry about too many people swimming over you because after the first minute, they will all be in front of you and you can have the lifeguards all to yourself! Yes, you can rest assured that there is special attention and extra people looking out for you because you are easier to spot when you're out there on your own! Of course you want to meet the swim cut off time (if there is one) and you want to finish the swim course (which you will), but the good news for us slow folks out there is that we will be well taken care of for our swim!
2. When you are a slow biker, you can thoroughly enjoy the sights and sounds of the race! You can appreciate the scenery around you, live in the moment, and thoroughly enjoy your race! You are not stressed out. It is after all, YOUR race! Just this past Sunday as I was coming down towards the finish of my last lap, I pretended for a second that the reason there was no one around me was because I was coming in first of my pack!
3. When you are a slow runner, you are less prone to injury. Unlike those fast runners who are aching all the time from the lactic acid that builds up from their workouts, I am never that sore! I may be slow, but I'm consistent and that's not that bad.
4. When you are a beginner, you can only improve and get better! The learning and performance curve is so high with every little bit you do, you will only see big changes with the time and effort you put in. When you get to be really good and fast, you have to put in so many more hours to inch out a tiny bit of improvement!
5. When you are a beginner, you are just planning to finish the race, so you don't have expectations on time performance and you have less stress during the race. Also, when you have low expectations, you always end up meeting or exceeding your goals and that feels pretty darn good!
However, the COOLEST thing though with being a beginner triathlete is...
6. You get the same finishing medal and bragging rights for completing the race as the first place winner and all those other fast people out there! And the truth is...the majority of the people in the world won't know what your time means. They will just know you finished a triathlon race and that it was pretty amazing that YOU did it!
Now what are you waiting for?!? Start training and find your first race!