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.
BT's 10 Year Anniversary!
It's here! My thoughts on triathlon, the website and the next decade.
I remember it plain-as-day back in early 2003. I was checking my first website 'mindbodysoul3.tripod.com' while on lunch break when it said 'Site unavailable - bandwidth exceeded - check back later.' This was a website about my first triathlon along with some basic informational pages. 'Bandwidth exceeded' - that means people actually READ this thing!
That summer I changed mindbodysoul3.tripod.com to beginnertriathlete.com as I needed to upgrade bandwidth, which required a domain name. It's not that I was looking to start 'beginnertriathlete.com' back in 2003 - I had to just to maintain service to what few pages I had. It was kind of cool having a website in those early pioneering days.
I'm not sure what kept me going with it. I think it was the small, but steady stream of emails thanking me for the information - as basic as I thought it was. So I did. That winter I came out with a slew of free Sprint and Olympic training plans, I paid my first $300 for the programming of a very basic training log with a calendar view, the forums started to pick up speed.
We went through several redesigns on the site during the next ten years, though none of the designs ever were functional - just graphics updates. Our big user surveys and web statistics told me in 2011 that we needed a 'real' redesign. Almost ten years of adding feature-after-feature, the site got way too cluttered - especially for the beginner. New users were becoming much more internet savvy especially during this Web 2.0 period. I spent 2012 and the first half of 2013 on the biggest redesign we have ever done. Many have told me it was a success with an interface that is much easier to use, others not-so-much. We had a lot of technical issues when we went live this May 2013 just due to the redesigning of ten years of code. This was followed by our database server completely crashing without warning in July.
It's been a challenging year to say-the-least. Through it all, many of you are still with me, with beginnertriathlete.com. It was just this July that we peaked at 910,000 unique visits coming off of the heels of the redesign! That is an amazing number. I can't thank you enough for your patience in this transitional period. I also can't thank my critics enough too - jmkizer, Whizzzzz and others who have kept the pressure on me regarding items that needed re-working or that still need attention. This redesign is not yet fully complete and we are working on polishing up a few remaining areas (race log and reports, nutrition log).
The only goal of creating beginnertriathlete.com was to give the 9-to-5'er a better way to get healthy. A safer way to exercise. You can't find a sport that is better for your body and at the same time, is functional. I used to be a gym rat with my lifting routine. But 'just' building muscle really serves no functional purpose. You don't see any American Ninja Warriors that are bodybuilders. When I exit my house everyday, with triathlon training, I am prepared to: swim across a river or flooded area to save myself or others, bike to the next town as a message courier if communications are cut and we are being invaded by aliens, or outrun a bear. Add-in some strength training and you can handle a lot more 'situations' that you may find yourself in. But seriously, most of us will never face situations like these, but I used them for illustration purposes - triathlon is a very functional sport and very natural for your body.
Triathlon works all of your muscle groups, it spreads the stress of a workout across your whole body. It works your shoulders down to your feet. You can train and race triathlon on as little as 20 minute workouts per day. I do it! If you have a lot of weight to lose, you can get in this sport by swimming or biking first, then add-in the rest. Triathlon is truly for anybody. Your training can scale-up from the sprint to the full iron distance races. Whatever your personal and professional life throws at you, triathlon can fit in and keep you a little bit saner. Don't want to run today? Then bike! Is it raining outside? Then swim! Don't want to do anything? Take a rest day - you probably need it! Triathlon is great-like-that..infinite possibilities that will keep boredom and injury at bay compared to single sports. I also fully believe that if you maintain a minimal sprint level training regimen along with consistent bodyweight strength training for the rest of your life, that you will be off of most medications for the preventable diseases that many people are on today, and you will live into your 90's without canes or wheelchairs. You will actually BE HEALTHY during your retirement - healthy enough to enjoy the next few decades of your life.
But it's time to celebrate! 10 years later and we have an impressive amount of statistics and the growth of the community has been amazing.
360,000 registered users
800,000 monthly unique visitors
4,500,000 forum messages
12,000,000 logged workouts
75,000 published race reports
70,000 device uploads
7,500 current races in our database
4,000 user gear reviews
100,000 uploaded photos
2,000 published articles
...and one of the most impressive statistics, over 45,000 training plans used! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! WE HAVE CREATED THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF TRIATHLETES!
But you ask, "Ron, what is in the BT pipeline for the next decade?"
We are currently making a big push to build-out our mobile website then our Android and IOS apps as the transition from desktop to mobile continues This will be complete in the next few months. We will be coming out with redesigned stock training plans next month. We plan to integrate more ways to update your BT logs from other devices and other websites via our API. We will give the custom training plan creator an update to include strength training while also developing a 'personal homepage' and a 'challenge app'. These are the items for the end of this year through next year.
Thanks for sticking with me and thanks for sticking with BT the last 10 years.
Learn more about the evolution of BT.
What does triathlon mean to you? Has your philosophy on 'why you tri' changed over the years? Please add your comments below as I would love to read them.
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