With some time and training, a little dedication, great motivation, and much enthusiasm, anyone can finish a triathlon. The 2015 Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town on the 25 and 26 April is a great first tri to try.

Triathlon is a multidiscipline sporting event that consists of a swim leg, a cycle leg, and a running leg. The distances of each leg, and the total distance covered, depends on the event type: sprint or half-Olympic distance triathlons are the shortest and fastest consisting of a 750m swim, 20km cycle, and 5km run. On the other end of the spectrum, Ironman triathlon events start with a 3.86km swim, then a 180km cycle, and ending with a 42.2km run. Olympic and long-distance or half-Ironman events fall in between these distances.

Whichever way you look at it, completing a triathlon is a significant commitment to training and competing, regardless of the distance. But triathlon is a great sport says Kate Roberts, SA Olympic triathlete: “The unique combination of disciplines means three times the challenge but also three times the sense of achievement. Triathlon is an irresistible combination,” she says.

Many reasons to try a tri

Eric Harr in his book Triathlon Training, gives a number of reasons to enter a triathlon. These range from being able to lose a great deal of weight quickly to personal fulfilment and bragging rights. But whatever your reason for entering, triathlons are very rewarding!

Biokineticist Ceejae Miller, who is a triathlete and training for her first Ironman says that training for a triathlon has many benefits. “The strain you put on your body when you’re training for an endurance sport is huge. But, when you’re training for a triathlon, you’re working different areas of your body so you can run a hard 10km and then still cycle a tough 50km the next day because they have a different demand on your body.” Another advantage is that triathlon training targets the whole body. Miller says, “triathletes are healthy inside and out, because the different disciplines target different muscle groups and the cardiovascular system.”

Where to begin?

Miller says that the triathlon experience, on race day and during training, is much easier and more fun when you’re training with a group. Her advice is to join a club and get expert advice. “Triathlons are hard if you don’t know what you’re doing or haven’t sought advice and don’t know what to expect,” she says.

Finally, Olympic medallists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee say that if you’re thinking of entering you should “absolutely do it and train and get on with it; and secondly, really enjoy it.”


For more information on the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town please visit http://capetown.triathlon.org


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