Things No One Told Me Before I Started Triathlons

Looking back on my first year doing triathlons, I’ve realized that I’ve completely changed as a person. My entire life has changed, my mindset has changed, and my athleticism has changed. I have experienced countless learning mistakes with triathlon, although I have yet to start the run with my helmet still on! So, in honor of my one year triathlon-aversary, and all the growing pains that come with it, I thought a list of things no one told me was appropriate.


It’s expensive

Between race entries, the bike, the nutrition, and the extra fun gear, triathlons are pricey! I’m trying to compete in triathlons on a budget, with my most expensive purchase being a $1,000 bike I bought off eBay. However, I still find myself crimping my budget everywhere else just to afford the next race entry.

Some people are naturally good at it, others have to scrape and claw their way to the finish line

PR’s normally don’t come naturally, and it’s hard. It is a fight every day to get better. Other people seem to be able to take the stresses of training easily, and with a good attitude. Others *cough* *myself* don’t do so well at the early morning runs.

It is time consuming

I never realized how much it would consume my life. Everything gets planned around training sessions. And said training sessions take a long time. Yes, you can knock out hour long sessions during the week, but you had better be putting some serious miles in over the weekend. If you don’t, good luck getting your body to handle that duration stress during the race.

Brings a new found confidence

Triathlon has truly changed my self-confidence for the better. Competing against yourself really forces you to accept yourself. Accept your strengths, and flaws, and learn to deal with it. There’s a sense of accomplishment after a race or a hard training session, when you’ve pushed yourself further than you’ve gone before. You learn that everything in life is manageable, as long as you put the work in, and that is an incredible confidence boost.

Intimately aware of how important sleep is

I have never had a better relationship with my bed. I am so in love with that inanimate object, it’s almost to a weird point. Like, I compliment it when I lay down. Sleep is so crucial to recovery, and when you’re putting stressful training sessions on top of each other, you had better get really good at sleeping.

Fellow triathletes, is there anything you wish you had known before starting? I’d love to keep adding to this list! 

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