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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > September 2019 > 11 reasons to try a tri

11 reasons to try a tri

How the three-in-one sport could add variety, strength and intellectual stimulation to your running

Triathlon. Does the thought of that word make you shake your head and think: “Are you joking? My bike has a basket on the front, I can’t put my head in the water and haven’t done breaststroke since I was a kid!”

You’ll be surprised that you can ride any type of bike at a triathlon (even if it didn’t cost £2,000) and that in some triathlons – up to the longest, known as Ironman – some swimmers do in fact prefer breaststroke.

Triathlons consist of a swim – either in a pool, lake or the sea – followed by a bike, and then they finish off with a run. If you haven’t done a triathlon before, the challenge can feel like you’re taking a leap out of your comfort zone, but starter tris can be as short as a 200m swim, 8K bike and 1K run. Give yourself the chance and you may find the experience is life-changing… running affter a swim and a bike can make you feel powerful, and the whole body workout leaves you with a massive sense of achievement. “A triathlon takes you out of your comfort zone, into the realms of deep water (literally) and challenges your entire body and mind in all sorts of ways that just one discipline can’t,” says Lucy Fry, author of Run, Ride, Sink or Swim.

“It’s also really social as a sport and forces you to cross train, so you’ll be less likely to get injured (swimming is very low impact for example, and cycling more low impact than running). Yes, there’s the weight loss angle and it’s great for conffidence building, but really it’s the variety and social aspect that are key.”

Intrigued? Here are our reasons why you should dip your toe (sorry!) in the water of triathlon…

Improve your running strength

“When you learn how to run affter a 20 or 40K cycle ride, you really learn how to run,” adds Lucy. “Running with jelly legs is no mean feat, and if you’re already a runner you may even find yourself better off than some other triathletes who don’t have your experience.” During your first triathlon you may find the run section feels tough on your legs. But give them time and they get used to the feeling and speed soon returns. Running affter a bike ride will only make your legs stronger.

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About Women’s Running

In the September issue of Women’s Running, we want you to banish the guilt and claim your running for you! We look at some incredible locations where you can regroup, get some me-time, and run your socks off. Go on - you deserve it. If you’re looking to push your training to the next level, we’ve got the ultimate introduction to triathlon, and how a bit of swimming and cycling can benefit your running in so many ways. And now that it’s back to school time, we’ve also included a no-time 10K training plan, for those of us with more than one schedule to juggle. Plus, we speak to the incredible and inspirational Anna McNuff, who is currently mid-way through a 2,620-mile tour of Britain - on foot, and barefoot. As a Girlguiding ambassador, she’s on a mission to inspire girls everywhere to be brave and seek adventure.