All triathletes, new and experienced, run into questions they need answered. Some are technical, some are basic, some might even seem silly, but every question is worth asking. The best place to get advice is from triathletes who've been in the same position. More and more you can find that from the men and women in Active.com's triathlon community. What begins with a simple search for answers often grows into something more powerful, and a sense of family emerges as triathletes laugh and learn while sharing their experiences.
If you're new to this community or to triathlon as a sport, I hope you'll feel welcome, stay awhile and get to know the incredible men and women here. Search the archives, ask questions--even if you think they're silly--and share your training and racing experiences. Triathlon is an amazing sport offering challenging, meaningful opportunities for athletes of all ages and abilities, and it's communities like this that are instrumental in growing the sport we love.
"I came to active by Googling a stupid question, which at the time wasn't so stupid to me: 'what is a snake-lane swim for a tri with a pool swim?'" says triathlete Amigold. She was preparing for her first triathlon and says, "I got about 10 answers from the active community and each one was helpful. Without the community I would have gone clueless to my first tri and been terribly nervous about what to expect."
Since that first snake-lane swim and successful finish Amigold has finished two more sprints, an Olympic-distance tri, and is training for her first 70.3 event in April. She enjoys answering questions in the Newbie section and especially loves reading race reports from fellow triathletes. She's even met and trained with a fellow Active.com triathlete.
"As I get closer to my 70.3 I'm eager to see who is else is going from the Active community especially those who are doing their first one like me," she says. "Maybe we'll get together the day before and share our fears and our excitement."
Signed Up, Now What?
Sometimes, it's that post-registration endorphin rush that brings new and future triathletes to the tri community looking for answers and encouragement.
For several years drmiles85 tried to talk an old friend into training for a triathlon. When the friend finally agreed he assumed they'd train for an Olympic-distance triathlon but instead they selected a half-iron event (Ironman 70.3 Austin).
"I had never run more than a mile or swum more than about 20 yards. And I hadn't biked anywhere in the last nine years. [signing up] was as dumb as it probably sounds." Loaded with questions, drmiles85 felt comfortable asking them in the tri community.
"People here were and still are absolutely wonderful and encouraging for new athletes trying the sport," he says. "Nobody pokes fun at even the most ridiculous questions...and I've asked some crazy ones! Don't be afraid to post," says drmiles85.
As a triathlete you can never have too much motivation and Active.com's triathletes love to support and encourage one another.
"I get a ton of information from active articles and the message boards," says Kapfast. "However, what I enjoy most about Active's Tri Community are the inspirational stories from all the triathletes who have struggled and persevered to reach a goal...that's what the tri community is about."
The motivational threads are also key for triathlete KurtinSC. He originally came to Active looking for a running event but later decided to lead a group of coworkers and help them train for their first sprint triathlon.
"I kept coming back to the boards with various questions about training regimens, injuries, bike maintenance and more," says KurtinSC. After a while he connected with the motivational threads where people talk about their training and racing.
"That kind of thing always gets me going with my own training," he says. It helps knowing you're not alone, especially when you're new to the sport.
"It's nice to know everyone else doing this sort of thing isn't a six-minute miler who can maintain 25 mph on the bike and swim at a one-minute-per-100-yard pace," he says. The slow threads are some of his favorite.
He says the support he's felt within Active has helped him avoid frustration, and stay energized and motivated. His entire group of coworkers--a half-marathon runner, a mountain biker, an occasional road-bike commuter and a couple of weight-room fanatics--all finished their first sprint triathlon, thanks to KurtinSC and the strength of community.
- Introduce yourself, ask a question, or share your race report.
- Search past triathlon community discussions. Type key words into the search box in the upper right-hand corner that reads "This community only."
- Check out the directory of Active.com triathlon guides.
- The Give it a Tri section has beginner resources.
- Watch a variety of videos on Active.com's Youtube channel.
- "Like" Active.com Triathlon on Facebook for daily training tips and advice.
- Or find an event near you. Use the search box on the top of this page or the Active.com homepage.
Sara Cox Landolt is a married mom of three. She's a USAT Level 1 certified coach with 15 years of triathlon experience from super sprint to Ironman. Her passion is encouraging first-time triathletes. Read her blog at ironmakeover.blogspot.com.