Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Triathlete or Someone Who Does Triathlons?

Is there a difference?  At the end of last year I felt like a triathlete.  I spent a lot of time learning how to swim.  I read everything I could get my hands on about the sport.  I bought a transition bag, a tri suit, a wetsuit.  And I completed four events.

This year I'm not feeling much like a triathlete.  It's already March and I haven't signed up for a single race yet.

I'm sure most of this is because of  my hip injury.  I thought I'd be over it by now, but I'm not. My training over the winter was so inconsistent because of it.  So I'm afraid to sign up for an event only to be unable to do it.  Or even worse in my mind - what if I sign up for a race that I did last year, and my time is slower?

I know I'm new to this, but I figured I do a few sprints last year, the maybe a couple of sprints and an Olympic distance this year, and in the next year or two I would do a HIM distance.  I pictured a nice straight path of ever decreasing race times and gradually increasing distances.  But it's become incredibly clear to me that this road is anything but straight.  I will most likely only do two triathlons this year - half the number I did last year.  And it makes me feel more like somebody who just occasionally does triathlons, and less like a triathlete.

This is how my triathlon journey is shaping up.

Funny how I don't have the same problem with golf.  I used to play every single weekend.  Now I only play once or twice a month.  But I still identify myself as a golfer.

I'm not really sure what point I'm trying to make here.  I guess I'm just sorting things out in my mind.  Maybe I just need to sign up for a race and put together a training plan so I can start to feel like a triathlete again.


  1. I feel like it;s a self categorization thing. I liken it to when people say there is a threshold for being a runner. In my book, if you run, you're a runner. That's it. So if you do triathlons, you're a triathlete. You're allowed to take breaks That's just life. It really comes down to how you identify.

    I also have no idea if the above makes sense on paper or just in my head...

  2. Triathlon is hard. Whichi is why instead of doing an early season tri or du I opted for a half marathon. I needed a goal and something that I knew if I put in the time I would succeed at. My first du and first tri were amazing because I had no goals in mind other than to cross that finish line. After that it becomes this constant nagging of how can I get better. But getting better in four disciplines (swim, bike, run and transition) is really hard.

    Pick small goals. You know you are getting stronger as a swimmer, so if you shave time off of your swim that's a win.

    I also felt like last year I did too many multi-sport events and just didn't enjoy it. That's why this year I am only doing two tri's and a relay. It needs to be fun, and if it's not why would I keep doing it.

    You'll figure it out. But, yes, I think signing up for something and starting a training program will make you feel like more of a triathlete again :)