Read time: 3min
By Yan Busset
One thing I fancy the most in my job is to guide first-timers through their initial triathlon experience. Having raced myself more than 200 triathlons and coached people to countless finish lines, I like to think I know a thing or two about this sport. One of my favourite things ever is to predict them what will go through their minds on their first race. Something I experienced and I've heard it so many times that the probability of them facing it too is very high.
Here is the thing:
At one moment in the race, it's going to be hard, very hard. You'll start thinking, "What the hell am I doing here? Why did I sign up for this? Should I quit?"
But then, a strange phenomenon will happen that might very well change your life forever. As soon as you cross the finish line, you'll start to feel like, "It wasn't that bad," "Wait a minute, I could have gone a bit faster or pushed a bit harder here or there," "Oh, and what if I would have done this and that differently?" And the final step of this process can happen a few minutes after the finish or the very next day. You will start to wonder: "When is the next one?" "Yeah, let's do one more."
This life-changing process happened to me three decades ago. I had cramps on the run, cursing on my legs, and as soon as I crossed the finish: I was hooked and after all this time, I still burn for this sport!
Triathlon is actually more than a sport; it's a lifestyle. It's a 3D puzzle; it's not just one sport to solve, but the combination of three that could take as many lives to solve. Triathlon is the ultimate endless game—always something to improve, a new skill to master, a new lesson to learn. Triathlon is the best hack to build a better version of yourself.
If you've been there before, you can surely relate to that feeling of exhaustion after a long-distance triathlon, questioning your life choices. But still, the next day, against the odds, you find yourself browsing the net and signing up for the next one!
I couldn't help myself but laugh so much when once, at an aid station, I heard a fellow competitor shouting from the bottom of his heart, "Ironman! First Time, Last time!!!" while throwing his empty water cup on the floor with rage! I was laughing inside because I knew that guy will be happily clicking on the "register" button on the very next day!
So this is a message to you, future triathletes:
You are about to do your very first triathlon; be aware! This hobby is not just a hobby; it's a game-changing, highly addictive new life. It's not going to be easy; it's going to be hard as hell! There will be moments of doubt and suffering. It will be time-consuming, and it's not cheap. But what you will get in return is priceless! You will enter an endless game of self-improvement, meet great, like-minded people, build a fitness and mental strength that will support all other aspects of your life, professionally and personally. Trust me you will never look back!
Thank you for reading and see you next week!
Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
1. If you are looking for support for your triathlon journey, I recommend you book a 30min 1on1 video consultation with me here.
2. If you are looking for an online coaching service check here.
3. if you are in the Helsinki area and looking for the best training group check here
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