7 reasons why you should train for a triatlon

Source : standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health

Missed out on the London Marathon place? Try a tri instead.


Marathon fever is heating up but unfortunately, not everyone gets a spot in the. The next best thing for a fitness fix? A triatholon, perhaps. The AJ Bell London Triathlon provides athletes with the same opportunity to experience racing through the London atmosphere. 

Phil Paterson, from RG Active the official training partner of the AJ Bell London Triathlon, gives seven reasons why you should take part in a triathlon this summer.

1. Achieve the body of a triathlete

Nowadays, gym classes commonly focus on separate body parts, your abs, your bum, your legs and so on. However, in triathlon we don’t use our body in isolation. Due to the multi-discipline nature of swimming, biking and running, it puts different demands on your body for each discipline, and equates to an increased metabolism, burning extra fat and consequently achieving a triathlete’s physique. The three different legs can have the following effects on your body.

Swimmers typically have a unique body shape, broad shouldered, lean, large lats and pronounced triceps. This is because water is much denser than air so provides greater resistance to push through. As well as this, maintaining your torso’s position in the water forces you to engage your abdominals, hip stabilisers, intercostal, gluteal and pectoral muscles, giving you a full body workout. Swimming also increases your aerobic capacity which can aid you when you’re running, cycling or working out in the gym.

Cycling has long been hailed as a sport that delivers the ultimate one-two punch – building muscle and increasing your cardiovascular endurance. Regular cycling will build and strengthen both the muscles that are actively engaged (glutes, quads, hamstrings, calf muscles etc.) and those used to stabilise the bike (abs, arms, hip flexors), which also increases with incline.

Running is the most natural form of exercise there is. It’s the very movement our bodies have evolved to do and it’s pretty much accessible to all. Over time the impact of running strengthens bones and connective tissue in the lower body. The ability to train on different terrain, on road, off road makes it such a versatile sport, with less restriction from equipment requirements or weather

2. The sense of achievement

Taking part in a triathlon has only been completed by a fraction of the population. Mastering the three disciplines and the transition is not completed by many and is no easy feat, and therefore brings with it a remarkable sense of achievement, one that you will be forever proud to share with your family and friends.

3. Test both your strengths and your weaknesses

The very nature of triathlon, with the three disciplines means that you’re not going to be as good at one as you are another, some will be stronger runners and some will take to the water like fish. You may be more nervous about one of the legs but the three disciplines make you focus on what you’re bad at, there’s no easy escape and therefore you’ll absolutely improve as you practice over time. The swim, bike, run element also provides variety, you won’t be relentlessly basing away at the pavement for miles on end and potentially get bored. You’ll be able to mix it up by going on cycles, open water swims and runs throughout your area, giving you the chance to explore numerous different parts of the city.

4. The experience

There’s not many experiences like the race day atmosphere of a triathlon. From taking to the water to finishing in front of thousands of spectators. Add this to the incredible scenery and you’ve got an experience you’ll never forget. Not many can say they’ve cycled through some of the most famous closed city streets in the world through Westminster or swam in the most iconic of all rivers, in front of 30,000 during the AJ Bell London Triathlon.

5.  Race alongside celebrities and athletes alike

Another great feature of triathlon is that you could be racing amongst superstars in your wave. Celebrity fans of the sport include J-Lo, Kate Hudson and Pippa Middleton. This year at the AJ Bell London Triathlon you could be taking to the water with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, cycling alongside Mark Foster or head-to-head competing against television presenter Steve Backshall. High profile names in triathlon from a variety of backgrounds has been a huge boost to the promoting the sport to many from non-competitive backgrounds who otherwise might not have thought of giving it a go. Also, as many celebrities are often affiliated with charity causes, it’s another great way of raising support for them and inspiring others to raise money for their own efforts.

6. It’s great for your mind

Taking your exercise outside has a big boost on your endorphins and is great for your mental state, as does physically crossing the line with that sense of achievement. As well as this, signing up for a triathlon gives you something to focus on and helps take your mind solely off your work or external stresses that life may offer. Committing to just a few hours a week to train for a triathlon alongside the fresh air can be a huge mood booster.

7. Raise money for your favourite charity

It’s certainly not compulsory but most triathlons support some great charities and give you a chance to raise some money for some very important causes whilst challenging yourself to do something completely different. The sense of accomplishment after completing the event will be even greater if you raise money for your chosen charity alongside.

Source : standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health

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