303 Beginner Tri Project – I’m Hooked! What’s Next?

by Alison Freeman, D3 Multisport Coach

So you’ve completed your first triathlon, or maybe even your third – congratulations! – and you realize you’ve caught the bug. You’re looking to move from “I did a triathlon” to “I’m a triathlete.” Woohoo!!! Welcome to our awesome, if not just slightly crazy, club. And let me be the first to ask: What’s next for you?

To answer that question, you want to think about what kind of triathlete you’d like to be. In other words: how much time time, energy, and yes, money, are you interested in investing in your new favorite hobby? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. All that matters is what matters to YOU and what works for your life and your lifestyle.

Not sure? Here are three possible answers and the “investment level” that goes along with each of them. You might find that one resonates perfectly, or that you’re somewhere in between two of them. No problem – just cherry pick exactly what you want or need and go from there.

I’m Excited About Triathlon, But I’ve Got A Lot Of Other Stuff On My Plate Too

Cool! That works. You basically just want to keep doing what you’re doing. You can pick one or even a few races to do next season – the great thing about the Denver/Boulder area is that there are TONS of races to pick from, so you can have your favorites that you come back to year after year or try a new race each season.

As for training, if what you did this year worked for you – perfect! – just stick with that. Felt like one leg of the race didn’t go as well as you’d hoped? Consider starting to build endurance in that discipline a few weeks earlier this year. But no need to overthink it.

In terms of gear, no need to break out the wallet unless there was something specific that you really wanted to add to your arsenal. If it worked this year, it’ll work next year too. One fun purchase under $10 is speed laces (elastic laces that stay tied and turn your running shoes into slip-ons) – save time in transition and look like a pro too!

 

I’m So Excited To Get More Serious About Triathlon, But Let’s Not Go Crazy

Cool! That works. There are a bunch of ways to dive in deeper without going totally overboard.

First: race distance. Training and racing at the Olympic-distance (Oly for short) is definitely more “serious” than a sprint. Adding one Oly-distance race into your mix next year is an excellent way to up your game without letting it taking over your life.

Second: the races themselves. At the sprint and Olympic distances, you can easily do three or five races a season. Start looking around and talking to fellow triathletes and mentally bookmark some races for next season. Pick one as your “A” race – the race that’s the most important to you, where you want to perform at your absolute best (likely that Oly we talked about above) – and make that the focus of your season, with the remaining races as fitness benchmarks or just-for-fun races.

 

Third: training. Especially if you’re looking at an Oly, getting a little more structured in your training is a great way to get more serious about triathlon. You can refer to the Training 201 article on “getting fancy” with your training, or for even greater structure consider following a structured training plan. Want to go the DIY route? It takes some time, but Joel Friel’s “The Triathlete’s Training Bible”  will teach you everything you need to know to write your own training plan. Looking for a turn-key solution? There are tons of training plans available for purchase on TrainingPeaks, the go-to training calendar web and mobile app for triathletes.

 

Finally: gear. There’s a lot of fun gear that goes along with triathlon! But you don’t need it all – in general, and certainly not right away. You may want to pick one or two bigger purchases each year, so your investment deepens alongside your involvement in the sport. The biggest option is clearly a triathlon-specific bike, but honestly you are fine on a road bike if you already have one in your stable. I would recommend purchasing a tri kit (outfit you wear on race day that works for swim, bike, and run) if you don’t already have one. Another great upgrade if you don’t already have them (and quick way to get faster and stronger on the bike) is clipless pedals and bike shoes with cleats.

 

Sure, I’m Not Getting Paid To Be A Triathlete, But I Can Pretend, Right?

Cool! That works. And how fun when the sky’s the limit! This level looks a lot like “let’s get more serious, but not go crazy” except you get to keep in the crazy. For race distance, I still recommend doing a season with sprints and Olympic-distance racing before looking at long-course races (half and full Ironman-distance races).

For training, you can do a DIY plan or purchase a training plan (see above), and you can also consider hiring a coach for a more personalized training approach along with guidance on everything from pacing to fueling.

Finally, for gear, I still wouldn’t recommend purchasing every triathlon accessory in the next thirty days, but I do suggest at a minimum having a tri kit, clipless bike pedals and bike shoes with cleats, and a multi-sport GPS training watch. Beyond that, a wetsuit, a smart trainer, and a power meter are all valuable – but not necessary – investments.

Time to Tri: 303Radio Chats with Barry Siff

Recently USA Triathlon and IRONMAN teamed up and created the Time to Tri Initiative aimed at attracting 100,000 new athletes into the sport of Triathlon. In this podcast, Barry Siff, President of the USAT Board of Directors discussed how this initiative came to be, what it means for local races and how it will impact the sport overall. The program hopes to inspire grass roots approaches to making triathlon more accessible.

At 303Triathlon, we are starting the “303 Beginner Tri Project”. We will tackle some fundamental challenges beginners face and offer workout goals and key workouts for local races and encourage new triathletes to gather for information and group training opportunities. Stay tuned for more on this. Meanwhile, take a listen to this podcast with Barry!”

 

Triathlete Magazine Makes $100,000 In-Kind Donation to Time to Tri Initiative

Boulder based Outdoor Pocket Media, owners of Triathlete Magazine, VeloNews, Women’s Running, and Competitor.com just announced a huge donation in an effort to support USAT and IRONMAN’s new program “Time to Tri” aimed at getting 100,000 new people into the sport of triathlon. Details of this donation are below.

 

303’s Bill Plock and Mile High Endurance’s Rich Soares recently interviewed USAT President, Barry Siff, to discuss the program more in depth.  This discussion (podcast) can be heard on Mile High Endurance this Sunday, February 25th, and on 303Radio Friday March 2nd.

 


TRIATHLETE MAGAZINE MAKES $100,000 IN-KIND DONATION TO TIME TO TRI INITIATIVE
Multi-channel advertising donation will reach runners and cyclists to grow triathlon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Triathlete Magazine announces a $100,000 donation of advertising space to the Time to Tri™ initiative, a new, industry-wide campaign to introduce 100,000 Americans to triathlon by the end of 2020. Pocket Outdoor Media, the publisher of Triathlete Magazine, will donate print, digital and social advertising space across all its leading endurance sports brands, including Triathlete, Women’s Running, Competitor.com and VeloNews, in an effort to bring runners and cyclists into the sport of triathlon.

Time to Tri is a new, industry-wide campaign launched by USA Triathlon and IRONMAN to grow American participation in the sport of triathlon. The campaign will recruit and support athletes as they pursue their first triathlon, one of the most transformative experiences in endurance sports. Time to Tri provides training and racing advice including a free training plan, motivational tools, and other resources through mytimetotri.com.

The site offers editorial content as well as free, customized sprint-distance training plans to athletes who sign up with their email address. Each plan’s workouts were developed by USA Triathlon Certified and IRONMAN U® Certified Coaches and are based on the athlete’s self-selected skill level in the swim, bike, and run. In addition to the digital platform at mytimetotri.com, USA Triathlon and IRONMAN will also engage in proactive outreach to identify new and aspiring triathletes including single-sport swimmers, cyclists and runners.

“Triathlete’s huge commitment is exactly what we had in mind when we introduced Time to Tri to key industry stakeholders,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Our goal is to bring the sport together to grow triathlon, and nothing says that louder than the industry’s leading media brand stepping up to the plate with $100,000 in advertising.”

“As the world’s most read triathlon magazine, Triathlete is uniquely positioned to aid the Time to Tri effort,” said Pocket Outdoor Media CEO Felix Magowan. “Yet it’s the exposure to non-triathletes through Competitor.com, Women’s Running magazine and VeloNews that offers the biggest opportunity to grow the sport. We are delighted to partner with USA Triathlon and IRONMAN in this effort.”

“We are excited about growing participation in the sport of triathlon,” said Chris Stadler, Chief Marketing Officer for IRONMAN. “Our goal is to help potential first-time triathletes overcome their barriers through proper education, and this generous donation provides the perfect platform.”

 

Previous 303Triathlon post here

IRONMAN AND USA TRIATHLON TEAM UP TO LAUNCH TIME TO TRI INITIATIVE

Industry-wide effort aims to attract 100,000 new participants to the sport by 2020

TEMPE, Ariz. — IRONMAN and USA Triathlon today announced Time to Tri™, an unprecedented industry-wide initiative to grow the sport of triathlon in the United States by supporting and inspiring beginners to complete their first race. With the end of 2020 as a goal of introducing 100,000 new participants to the sport, Time to Tri provides training and racing advice, motivational tools and other resources at its online hub, www.mytimetotri.com.

The initiative, a strategic joint effort founded by both parties, was unveiled this morning at the Triathlon Business International Conference in Tempe, Arizona, in a presentation led by IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick and USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris.

“As an industry leader, we are proud to join forces with USA Triathlon to spearhead the development of Time to Tri,” said Andrew Messick, President and CEO for IRONMAN. “While a lot of effort has gone into this for the past few months, the truth is that we are really just beginning. The power, control and responsibility of this initiative lies with the entire industry and is truly something that should lead to the benefit of all, from athletes, to coaches, clubs, race directors and industry endemics. We all have a common interest in bringing new people into our sport.”

“Since coming onboard as USA Triathlon CEO, my focus has been to increase collaboration across the industry and work together on a shared goal of growing participation in triathlon,” Harris said. “Time to Tri is a critical step in that process, and we are proud to partner with IRONMAN in getting this effort off the ground. But, more importantly, this is an industry-wide initiative, and we will need the support of everyone across all of the sport’s constituency groups to be successful.”

By announcing the initiative at the TBI Conference, IRONMAN and USA Triathlon reached three key groups of industry stakeholders — coaches/clubs, race directors and retailers/brand manufacturers — with a call-to-action to sign a public pledge at mytimetotri.com and make this an initiative powered by the entire industry.

After signing the pledge, which asks stakeholders to spread the word about Time to Tri with their audiences via email and social media, signees will receive a “playbook” and a collection of branded digital assets to use in promoting the initiative. One of four playbooks will be distributed based on the signee’s affiliation as a race director, coach, club or brand, but each playbook includes sample messaging and strategic ideas for recruiting beginners to triathlon. In a public rollout on Monday, February 5, IRONMAN and USA Triathlon will also equip their respective members and athlete database with the tools to get involved.

The content at mytimetotri.com is inspired by qualitative and quantitative research that addresses key barriers to entry, such as swimming ability and open water swimming experience, triathlon knowledge, and the perception of a financial barrier.

The site will also offer editorial content as well as free, customized sprint-distance training plans to athletes who sign up with their email address. Each plan’s workouts are developed by USA Triathlon Certified and IRONMAN U® Certified Coaches and are based on the athlete’s self-selected skill level in the swim, bike and run.

In addition to launching the digital platform at mytimetotri.com, IRONMAN and USA Triathlon will engage in proactive outreach to identify new and aspiring triathletes. The running community is a primary target audience, and Time to Tri will have a presence at running race expos across the country in order to reach those athletes.

Time to Tri will also promote pool and indoor triathlons as a non-intimidating first triathlon experience — directly addressing the fear of open water swimming as a barrier to entry — as well as short-course (sprint- and Olympic-distance) racing, relays and beginner waves.

Building on the success of IRONMAN’s Women For Tri® initiative, Time to Tri will join forces with Women For Tri to increase the percentage of women triathletes (currently, that number is 39 percent) by driving the creation of women’s-only events and clinics while further supporting the Women For Tri online community.

Other outreach opportunities include partnering with the USA Triathlon Youth Splash & Dash Aquathlon Series, youth triathlon clubs and summer camps to recruit more young people to the sport; reaching new audiences on social media during the second annual National Triathlon Week this July; and enlisting the help of 44 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes through the USA Triathlon Ambassador Program.

To learn more about Time to Tri, and to sign a pledge to help grow the sport of triathlon in your community, visit www.mytimetotri.com. For a list of sanctioned triathlon events taking place in 2018, visit usatriathlon.org.