As a physical therapist, I have seen many people sidelined from running by injury. Some of these people are repeat offenders, even with strict adherence to my recommendations. The dreaded question of “should I run?” inevitably comes up. As much as I hate saying no, it is sometimes the only cure. However, in many cases, I recommend triathlon training instead.
You may want to consider training for a triathlon if:
- You’re an injury-prone runner
- Require a lot of rest or cross training to avoid fatigue
- Enjoy variety in training
- Are bored with your current running routine
- Can swim, bike, and run for at least 30 minutes each
The benefits of triathlon training include:
- A lower risk of injury as a result of non-weight bearing training (specifically swimming)
- Improved speed and endurance
- Enhanced muscle performance of muscle groups neglected by running (arms, shoulders, etc.)
- Better mood: more variety, less boredom, different challenges
Just like all running races aren’t the same, there are many different triathlon categories:
- Distance: If you’re currently cross training a lot, you could sign up for an Olympic distance triathlon — swim: .93 miles, bike: 24.8 miles, run: 6.2 miles. But if you’re strictly a runner, the Sprint distance — swim: .47 miles, bike: 20.4 miles, run: 3.1 miles — may be your best option.
- Gender: Female only triathlons are a great way for women to introduce themselves to the sport without the pressure of male competition.
- Water: Depending on your experience, fresh water, open water, and pool triathlons are all available.
- Location: It is often best to pick a triathlon close to your home to ensure first time success with setting up your transition area bright and early.
Related posts about triathlons: