Last week, I gave a presentation at the TriShop in Plano, TX called Tri 101 targeted at folks that are considering getting into the sport. I get asked that question pretty often and my answer always includes one specific piece of advice. It is to look into joining a club, so here are 4 reasons that I feel that it’s a great thing to do…
- It’s Fun – Triathlon is fun. Training for triathlon is fun. Training with a group of folks is exponentially more fun. You get to meet new people and form friendships that will last a lifetime. A healthy lifetime. Our club also has monthly social events where we get together outside of sport and often times members bring their spouses / significant others and their kids out to these events.
- It’s Safe – We swim, bike, and run together in groups. Group training is more safe, especially with group rides and open water swims. Personally, I do all my outdoor cycling in group rides for this very reason.
- It’s Informative – Our club has ten staff coaches. Most clubs have coaches to help athletes by sharing information during group workouts. For example, I coach two workouts a week; a swim and a track workout. Good coaches are educators. They share their knowledge to help athletes get better. Aside from coaches, the other, more experienced athletes are a wealth of knowledge and I often learn great things from the athletes that I interact with.
- Friendly Competition – Joining a club raises the stakes a bit for a lot of people. Triathlon is very much an individual sport, but as a member of a club, you have the opportunity to race together representing your club at local, national and even international events. Some clubs (like ours) even provide benefits to members for placing first, second, or third in their divisions, which is also quite nice and provides a little more of a boost on race day.
There are a bunch more reasons, but these are the big ones from my perspective. If you have other reasons you want to share… please leave a comment and fire away. I welcome that.
Here are some pictures of our club’s goings on. There are clubs in just about every major metro area. You can find a club local to you at USATriathlon.org.