I am going to be frank with you.
In return, I ask you to be frank with me.
I have been competing in and enjoying the triathlon world, being part of triathlon classes and clinics, learning from coached triathletes of all ages and abilities, eating (and thinking about promoting triathlon nutrition products) and of course, doing triathlons myself for more than five years, so I’ve asked (literally) thousands of endurance athletes about why they do this sport.
What motivates you to do triathlons?
Why in the world do you bother riding your bike for 2 or 3 or 4 hours? Why would any person bother going to a pool and swimming back and forth in the middle of the day?
If you said anything to the extent of “improve my blood pressure,” “relieve stress,” or “set a good example,” I’m not buying it. I call these logical motivators. There is nothing wrong with those motivators and I agree they are excellent benefits – but let’s get real. I asked you to be frank with me. You don’t swim, bike and run multiple hours a week for the sole purpose of improving your health profile.
You do triathlons for emotional and irrational wants and fears.
You do triathlons so you can prove something to yourself. What is your worth? Do you have what it takes? Can you conquer your personal Mt. Everest? Can you show everybody who was better at you in sports growing up that you’re just as good, maybe better?
You do triathlons to prove something to other people. I really am that good, that fit, that motivated, that focused. If my neighbor did it, I can do. I’m better than them. I’ll beat them this year.
You do triathlons because you did just one, this one time, and then you got sucked into the vortex and you had to keep coming back and trying to beat your performance from the previous year. In other words, you want to prove to yourself that your body is getting better, not worse.
You do triathlons because all your friends are doing it and who will provide your social support if it’s not the triathlon club?
You do triathlons because running is boring and you don’t have that kind of attention span.