Trying new things usually means leaving your comfort zone - not only physically, but also mentally. Especially when there are a lot of people watching the very first attempt, there can be a bit of discomfort.
This is how many athletes feel when they are about to do their first Triathlon - especially women. Despite a good level of training, they often fear that they have taken on too much or that they won't even finish the Triathlon race. So here's a tip for all female athletes who are thinking about competing at Triathlon but still have doubts: Make sure you read on. Because it is precisely on this topic that RYZON athlete Franzi Reng has written an interesting and thoroughly encouraging guest article.
By the way, one thing is certain: This does not have to concern every woman or only women. Therefore, the article can of course be interesting for all those who are about to start their first Triathlon .
Doubts are completely normal
"A good friend recently finished her first Triathlon . It was a classic Olympic distance race at a small event in the region. It wasn't a mammoth project that involved specific training camps, large financial outlays, or even months of planning.
What did take a little longer, however, was the process of convincing myself to give Triathlon a chance. I had been encouraging Lara to do this for a long time - after all, she does all three sports with a lot of joy and, yes, with a healthy dose of ambition. So far, however, my attempts had been in vain.
But it's not because Lara doesn't want to go to Triathlon . She secretly dreams of doing it. In fact, she has been secretly dreaming of a very specific middle distance in Austria for quite some time. For her, however, this goal was hardly within reach. All three sports in a row? And then in front of an audience? She didn't dare to do that.
But when it was announced that the Triathlon event was finally going to be held again locally after a two-year break from Corona, she suddenly caught fire: a race course on familiar roads, no travel stress, her own bed the night before, and that combined with lots of familiar faces along the course who would cheer her up when the going got tough - that gave her the confidence she needed to secure a starting spot at short notice after all.
Still, I could hear concern in her voice when she asked me for some final tips for the big day, "Do you think I'll even make it? Or am I just embarrassing myself?"
Where do the doubts come from?
Perhaps I need to backtrack a bit to show how unfounded Lara's uncertainty was: She has been a passionate runner for as long as I have known her and has already finished several half marathons. When she had to pause her training for a long time due to an injury during her studies, she discovered road cycling. Since then, she regularly goes on extended tours, often bikepacking for several days. As a teenager, she taught herself to swim crawl while on vacation with her parents. Out of boredom, as she says. A mutual friend who holds swimming seminars for sports students writes her a few plans now and then, which she then conscientiously completes in the indoor pool.
Objectively speaking, this is more than just solid preparation over a period of years, which would easily be enough to enter an Olympic distance race completely without pressure, even without specific coupling units or change training. So why the fear of not being up to the challenge?
I often observe this cautious attitude among female Triathlon beginners. Compared to their male colleagues, they are much more critical of themselves and dare to compete much later, even though they would really like to. We women usually think less competitively and are instead more skeptical about assessing our own performance level. While men tend to worry about how well they will do compared to their training partners or age group colleagues, we fear that we won't even make it to the finish line and that we have overestimated everything - primarily ourselves.
Completely wrongly: In a competition it does not depend alone on being better than others. No one who takes up the challenge Triathlon can disgrace themselves. First and foremost, it's about sharing the joy of an extraordinary and extremely versatile sport. It's about testing your own limits. In the end, the race is the reward for the energy-sapping training, which sometimes makes us grit our teeth. The competition is the well-deserved reward and can be enjoyed accordingly. Of course, Triathlon is a sport that can seem a bit scary for beginners at first glance. Immediately you think of big time trial machines, disc bikes with a deafening idle, or athletes with model bodies, and you may feel a little intimidated.
Enjoy the Triathlon experience!
Triathlon requires more effort than other sports, yes. But in the end, it's as simple as it is ingenious: first swim, then bike, and finally run. You don't have to go full throttle everywhere, but you have to manage your strength and stay with yourself. Especially when the going gets tough. These are all things in which we women are in no way inferior to men. Why should we?
Of course, a woman can't train exactly as if she were a smaller, slower man. But that is not an obstacle either. The fact that women and men are different by nature in sports, as well as everywhere else, and therefore have different needs, has fortunately been proven in recent years with the help of sports science, and as a result much has been made up for in the areas of training planning, nutrition and clothing. It is not difficult to enter a race as a woman just as confident, healthy and both physically and mentally strong.
Accordingly, there was no doubt in my mind that Lara would finish her race. But the best thing for me as a triathlete was to see how much she enjoyed it. "I've never done anything so strenuous before," she said. Beaming with joy. The feelings of happiness at the finish line had made up for everything.
She's already signed up for a next race and also wants to find a coach to help her with the endeavor. "I'd even rather have a coach," she adds with a laugh. Worries about not being able to do anything or embarrassing herself are passé. What remains is a newfound passion and a good dose of self-confidence.
I can heartily recommend to anyone (and everyone) out there who, like Lara, is even toying with the idea of trying a Triathlon to just go for it. Dare."
Fancy the first Triathlon ? Discover our Triathlon collection for women, which Franzi also uses for her training and competitions.