A friend of mine asked me what attracts me to do triathlon, so I wrote reasons why I do triathlon. People started sharing this, so I post here as well.
I do it because I feel good, but why do I feel good? Well, there are many reasons.
People love putting things in and out of our body. We like eating and shitting. We like having sex. We like learning and often people show off their knowledge. When it comes to a physical term, air is something we put in and out of body most. It is way more than food or water. Endurance sport gives us most when it comes to air intake, but why triathlon?
Triathlon has three disciplines. Each of it can be enjoyed as an endurance sport as well, but why? I like it because people are stronger in different disciplines and that makes triathlon dramatic. Even at the very best level in Kona (that is where the world championship for IRONMAN takes place in October every year) there are different ways to win the race. Some goes fast on the bike and keeps the lead. Some overtakes in the run. Swim does not lead to a win, but failing it definitely prevents winning. In order to train three disciplines at the highest level, it makes it very interesting. It involves time management, technique logistics, preparation, etc. We have to be quite organised to do it well and I feel good when things go smooth as I plan.
Another feel good reason is that we learn to strengthen our weakness. It is like a question of a glass being half full or half empty. When you can see the improvements in your weak points and its Improvement is reflected in the total performance, you feel good because you know that you have accomplished something.
Also the body we get from triathlon as well. If we look at top level athletes from triathlon and other sports I like triathletes most out of three disciplines. It is a generalisation, but swimmers tend to have too much shoulders and huge thighs. Cyclists tend to be leg heavy. Runners tend to be too thin for my preference. Why not body building? I like my body to be functional and not for the show. I know that many other sports are good for balanced physique as well. Top football players have fit body for example, but I prefer a lean and mean body rather than muscles to fight through contact sports. I like to wear cool clothes which often come in slim fit.
I also like getting high. I get high from other sports like snowboarding as well. The difference with triathlon is that it gives me a longer high. When I get the right technique and concentrate on each single stroke/stride, it really gets me into a flow experience. I can clear my mind. It is like what I get from meditation classes, but way stronger. I think the sheer amount of oxygen circulating in my body to be burnt in all the muscles gives that extra. And when the body is capable of doing it at its highest capable level, it is such beautiful experience.
Triathlon can be enjoyed in different distances. It makes beginners easy to enter, but also gives me options to step up to longer distances. I started triathlon when I was 18 and I still have not done the full iron-distance (Swim 3.8km - Bike 180km - Run 42.2km). Different distances gives me different kind of abilities as well, which makes it challenging. There are always things to improve. I never get bored.
Triathlon is not a popular spectator sport. It is more of a participation sport. What important as a participation sport is that a sense of involvement. Not many sports allow age groupers to participate on the same course as the pros at their most premium events. We can in triathlon. We can gauge the gap between the the very best on this planet. We can often race against them.
The peak performance in triathlon comes later for longer distances and that gives us longer time to improve our performance. If the peak performance comes in our teenage days, we are took late. Because of the late onset of the peak, non-pro age group competition really interesting as well. The increment of age groups is every five years. That makes it intersting well into our 80s.
In this sport we all know that we sometimes suffer at some stage. We have these moments during the race. It happens during the training as well. For that reason triathletes care about others when that happens. We often ask others if they are okay during competitions or cheer up so they can cross the finish line.
Often I burn 5000 kcal or more during the race or training. It allows me to eat as much as I want. Since I love eating, it alone can be a good reason to do triathlon.
I guess these things motivates me to do triathlon. Many people think it is hard, but once you get into the rhythm its pleasure exceeds the hard part quickly. And when we enjoy things without worries in our head, we stay happy, young and healthy.