I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.
Why Tri? An Amateurs Perspective
Why Train for Triathlons?Indeed, a good question. I feel that training for a triathlon is a lot better for your body then a single sport...here is my rationale: running tones your legs and belly, burns a lot of calories and is great for your circulatory system. Swimming concentrates on toning your upper body, working your chest, shoulders and back. Swimming also greatly increases your lung capacity and helps circulation, surprisingly just as much as running. Biking builds and defines your legs - letting your quads really show. My opinion is that a triathlon IS SOOOO MUCH BETTER than concentrating on only one event, over working only a few muscle groups and joints. I have seen too many long distance runners who look horrible, like skeletons - very unhealthy to me. I was breezing through a biker mag and yes, they do have impressive legs BUT their entire upper-body was underdeveloped, undefined and very skinny. Swimming is a great all-around sport but I think it does not do justice for ones legs. This is my opinion and I am not trying to step on peoples toes, just my personal opinion. Why brutalize your body by focusing on only one sport? By training for triathlons you will be evenly distributing all of that stress from a few locations to your whole body. This way, as a whole, your body is not stressed but happy. Happy bodies are good.
On another note, cross training will greatly minimize injuries. Let's just say for instance that you are now just a serious, pure runner. You undoubtedly know from experience that once you creep up to a certain amount of miles each week the injuries will be coming on fast. You are focusing so much energy on just certain joints and muscles that you will always have them near the breaking point. You do want to increase your training level with a minimal risk to injury...what should you do? Train for triathlons of course!!! Avoid the injuries through overuse. I bet you might find your running improves too.
Also, consider that you are currently overweight and want to get back into shape. Running is obviously the sport of choice to increase endurance and burn calories fast. BUT being overweight, pure running initially will put too much strain on the joints - you might get injured before you even get through your first month! Starting with swimming, biking, weights and a good diet would get you up to that endurance level without the added pounds to start running safely.
Me? I have no idea why I chose to do one. I first was in my company's corporate challenge. Friday night I swam relays, Saturday I biked 10k and Sunday I ran 5k. It was cool. Obviously the next step was to put them all together for the following summer.
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