Factors like expensive barriers to entry, a lack of time and fears about open water swimming are the most common complaints, but here are some pretty good reasons for ladies to get on a bike and give multisport a try.
1. For Your Heart1 of 6
Many people think of heart attacks as a men's health issue, but the truth is that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. Being regularly active (at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day) can slash your heart disease risk by as much as 40 percent, according to the American Heart Association.
When you sign up for a triathlon and get your first training plan, you'll be meeting—and usually exceeding—your daily exercise requirements regularly, and your blood pressure will thank you for it. Having a set goal in the future provides that extra motivation to get out there every day and move. And, after about three weeks of doing daily physical activity, it becomes a positive, regular habit in your life.
2. For Your Confidence2 of 6
There are a number of ways that doing a triathlon will boost your confidence, but this is especially true for those who have legitimate apprehensions about multisport in the first place. Maybe you never learned to swim, maybe you got in a bike crash as a kid and never felt confident on two wheels—or maybe you used to be really active and fit, and then life just kind of got in the way.
Guess what? It doesn't matter.
On race day you're going to encounter women with a million different fears or worries they will also have to overcome on the way to the finish line. Each one is valid in its own way, and let's face it—triathlons are hard. It's quite an accomplishment to work toward that goal and then successfully execute on race day. So own it, girl.
3. For That Raise You Want (and Deserve)3 of 6
Recently, Monster.com looked at all the various ways that cardiovascular exercise can help boost your career, and the results were enlightening. Moderate daily activity can boost your work output, increase efficiency and even reduce your stress levels. And when you tackle triathlon training, you're automatically adding an element of time management, simply because of the need to balance training in three disciplines.
Learning effective time management in your personal life can have profound effects on your work life as well. From more self-confidence and better work performance, to simply knowing you are now the "triathlete in training" around the office—you better believe your boss will take notice.
4. For The Peace and Quiet4 of 6
This might seem counterintuitive, but triathlon training is one of the more peaceful things the average woman will do in a day (trust me). From the silence under water as you push off the wall to the sound of your pedal stroke along an early morning road—even when your heart rate is pounding or you feel like you want to stop—that time away from your kids, job, husband and kids (did I say that last one twice?) will seem like a gift from the heavens.
Even those chatty morning run groups have an element of peace to them, simply because you can vent or quietly listen knowing that that time, whether it's 30 minutes or two blissful hours, is your time. And when you open the door and see that your two-year-old is running around naked or discover that your first meeting of the day got pushed up by 30 minutes, well, that peace and quiet will make you a better version of yourself for the rest of the day.
5. For Your Daughter (or Son)5 of 6
We all want to be a good role model for our children. Whether we admit it or not, we live to see that look of awe in our children's eyes when they think something we did or said was really cool. Well, finishing a triathlon is automatic coolness. And time and time again, studies have shown that kids benefit from seeing their parents lead healthy lifestyles—especially young girls, who have to navigate the many obstacles of teenage self-perception, bullying and budding self-confidence.
And when young boys see that women (namely, mom) are strong, determined and competitive, they understand that all women can be. When we eat well, train regularly and show our children that any goal—even finishing a triathlon—is within reach, they believe this for themselves as well.