Trying out new things usually also means leaving your comfort zone – not only physically, but also mentally. Especially when many people are watching on the first try, there can be a little discomfort.
This is how many athletes feel when they are about to start their first triathlon – especially women. Despite a good level of training, they are often afraid that they have taken on too much or that they will not even finish the triathlon. So a tip for all athletes who are thinking about starting in a triathlon but still have doubts: be sure to read on. RYZON athlete Franzi Reng has written an interesting and quite encouraging guest article on exactly this topic.
By the way, one thing is certain: This does not have to affect every woman or only women. Therefore, the article can of course be interesting for everyone who is about to start their first triathlon.
Doubts are completely normal
"A good friend recently finished her first triathlon. Classically, an Olympic distance at a small event in the region. Not a mammoth project, behind which specific training camps, large financial expenditure or even months of targeted planning would have been.
However, what took a little longer was the process of making up my mind to give triathlon a chance. I had been encouraging Lara to do this for a long time - after all, she enjoys all three sports and yes, with a healthy dose of ambition . So far, however, my attempts had been in vain.
But not because Lara didn't feel like doing a triathlon. Secretly, she has been dreaming of a very specific middle distance in Austria for a long time. For them, however, this goal was in the near future. All three sports in a row? And then in front of an audience? She didn't trust herself.
However, when it became known that the local triathlon event would finally take place again after a two-year Corona break, she suddenly caught fire: A race course on familiar roads, no travel stress, her own bed the night before and that in combination with many familiar faces along the route who would cheer her up when things got tough - that gave her the necessary security to secure a starting place at short notice.
Still, I heard concern in her voice as she asked me for a few final tips for the big day : "Do you think I'll even be able to do this? Or am I just making a fool of myself?”
Where are the doubts coming from?
Maybe I have to go back a little to show how unfounded Lara's insecurity was: Ever since I've known her, she has been a passionate runner and has already finished several half marathons. When she had to take a long break from training due to an injury during her studies, she discovered road cycling for herself. Since then she has regularly gone on long tours, including bikepacking for several days. She taught her how to swim freestyle as a teenager while on vacation with her parents. Out of boredom, as she puts it. A mutual friend who holds swimming seminars for sports students occasionally writes her a few plans, which she then diligently completes in the indoor pool.
Objectively speaking, more than just solid preparation over the years, which would easily be enough without specific coupling units or change training to go into a race on the Olympic distance without any pressure. So where does the fear of not being up to the challenge come from?
I often see this cautious attitude in triathlon beginners. Compared to their male colleagues, they are much more critical of themselves and dare to compete much later, even though they really want to. We women usually think less competitively and are instead more skeptical when it comes to assessing our own performance level. While men are more concerned about how well they will do in comparison to their training partners or peers in their age group, we fear that we will not even get to the finish line and that we have overestimated everything - primarily ourselves .
Completely wrong: In a competition, it is not just about being better than others. No one who takes on the challenge of triathlon can be ashamed. First and foremost, it's about enjoying an extraordinary and extremely versatile sport together . About testing your own limits. In the end, the race is the price for the exhausting training, which sometimes means that we have to clench our teeth properly. The competition is the deserved reward and should be enjoyed accordingly. Of course, triathlon in itself is a sport that can seem a little scary for beginners at first glance. Immediately you think of big time trial machines, disc wheels with deafening idling or athletes with model bodies and maybe feel a little intimidated by it.
Enjoy the triathlon experience!
Triathlon requires more effort than other sports, yes. But in the end it is as simple as it is ingenious : First swim, then ride a bike and finally run. It is important not to go full throttle everywhere, but to use your strength correctly and stay with yourself. Especially when it gets tough. All things in which we women are by no means inferior to men. why?
Of course, a woman cannot train exactly as if she were a smaller, slower man. But that is not an obstacle either. The fact that women and men in sports, like everywhere else, are naturally different and therefore have different needs has fortunately been proven in recent years with the help of sports science and then in the field of training planning, nutrition and Clothing Much made up for. It is not difficult for a woman to go into a race just as confident, healthy and strong both physically and mentally .
So I had no doubt that Lara would finish her race. But the best thing for me as a triathlete was seeing how much fun she had doing it. "I've never done anything so strenuous," she said. Beaming. The feelings of happiness at the finish had paid for everything.
She has already registered for a next race and would also like to find a trainer who will support her in this project. "I'd rather have a trainer," she adds, laughing. Worrying about not being able to do something or making a fool of yourself is a thing of the past. What remains is a newly won passion and a healthy dose of self-confidence .
I would heartily recommend anyone (or anyone) out there like Lara who is even contemplating trying a triathlon to just do it. Dare."
Want to do your first triathlon? Discover our triathlon collection for women , which Franzi also uses for her training and competitions.