The Triathlete Sub-Culture


You’ve heard the stories, you’ve seen them training, you’ve been inspired and you’ve been confused. We take a closer look at some insights behind this motivated group of normal people who aspire to something extraordinary.

Early mornings are for sleeping; lying in bed, snoozing or just gradually waking from a good night’s sleep – well that’s normal in most households but if you are a triathlete then it is significantly different. Early mornings for triathletes are the time to get a run in, to do a session on the stationary trainer or churn out a few extra laps of the pool all before the start of the day. This is follow by a recovery drink, a stretching session or, on some occasions, a massage from your personal sports massage therapist. And that’s just before 7am when it’s time to get the kids to school and get ready for work.

If the workday is full, then the afternoons are carefully managed to ensure that there is time for an afternoon session possibly at the running track for some quality speed work, or a “brick” session, which includes a cycle, followed immediately by a run session. For some, it is intense intervals in the pool with the local swim squad where 12 year olds are swimming faster than most sea creatures. After one of these mentally and physically taxing sessions it’s time to hit the showers (after a recovery drink) so that there is time to inhale a plate of food (low fat, high protein) meal before doing a late evening session watching videos or re-runs of last years Top 10 races.

The common question as to “why” this is the standard practice for triathletes is yet to be answered and even those who do this on a daily basis don’t and can’t give consistent and rational answers. One must assume that the answer to this question is irrelevant as more and more people are adopting and embracing this new lifestyle in order to complete the personal quest know as a triathlon. In most cases, the elation of crossing the finish line has been what has inspired most to take up this challenge. For some, it has been a desire to make a change in their life habits but for most it is about finding out more about themselves while pushing themselves to their own limits.

Triathletes are young at heart, regardless of their age, because they are letting their inner-child free when they are swimming, cycling or running. There is no limit to the amount of fun you can have while enjoying these activities and if you throw a few good friends into the mix to join you in this adventure, then you have the perfect mix to appeal to each and every one of us. The cherry on the cake, however, has to be “the race” and the hurdle that lies in front of each triathlete. They aim to go further, faster or be better than they were last time. This strong motivation inspires them to train harder, learn more, spend more on products which will help them go faster, hire coaches, massage therapists or whatever it takes to conquer the course.

So who is the typical triathlete? They range from all ages, from all backgrounds and from all walks of life for the simple reason that no one was born proficient and efficient at all three sports implying that the playing field is relatively equal for all who are prepared to sacrifice some niceties in life to achieve. It could be your neighbour, your closest friend or the next sporting superstar who are attracted to this challenge. The desire to achieve seems to consume them all and motivates them to invest time and energy into their next challenge.

If you are considering becoming part of this sub-culture then prepare for a life changing experience. You will be fitter, healthier, happier and make a greater sense of self worth. People will admire you and respect your determination and courage. You will be richer in life but poorer in money as the costs escalate in direct proportion to triathlon gadgets you wish to acquire. Prepare for an amazing experience that will take you to places you didn’t dream of going, you will meet people you never knew existed, in the strangest places but you will all speak a common language, the language of “triathlon”. The stories will be bountiful and the opportunities to learn will never end. Prepare yourself for something special. Prepare to be a triathlete.

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