Opinion: We Don’t Need to Make Triathlon ‘Easier’


Picture an athlete running down the chute towards the finish line, tears streaming down her face. Family and friends cheering as she breaks the tape, arms outstretched towards the sky.

Did she just do something easy? Or is she overcome with emotion because she did something hard—whatever hard means to her?

No matter how fit you are, triathlon is hard. But we do these hard things for a reason. Doing hard things inspires us to become stronger, to work on our weaknesses, to find something deep inside us that we didn’t know existed before. It enables us to achieve goals, to fulfill our dreams, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. So why is it that for so many of us, as soon as we click the race registration button, we start trying to find an easy way out? Why is trying to sell this as easier than it is part of our sport’s marketing?

Can I do an Ironman on ten hours of training per week? Can I skip the long run? Do I really need to swim that much? What if I just buy nicer equipment?

Isn’t that why we sign up for races in the first place? For those challenges, for the gritty moments when we’re expending every last bit of effort and energy, and we reach that point where we dig deeper than we thought we could—and then we surprise ourselves.

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