Embracing the Community
When starting out in triathlon, the magnitude of the journey ahead can often be quite daunting. What distance to aim for, what kit do I need - how should I train and what should I focus on. It's not until we surround ourselves with like-minded athletes, when much of this falls into place.
We recently got chatting with Sophie Pierre - an ambitious young athlete who's recently made the transition from runner to triathlon. We talked about the need for 'community' and she explained how the many intangible benefits were already helping her along her own journey.
Over to you Sophie:
I personally started off training for long-distance running by myself, with no knowledge of the importance of diversifying sessions and how to push myself. To be fair, I wasn’t doing badly by myself, but I wasn't reaching my full potential, often finding myself really lonely and de-motivated.
When I decided to join make the transition from long-distance running into triathlon, I joined my university team as I needed help for the other two disciplines. Little did I know how much it would change my perception of running, making a huge difference in how much I enjoyed it. I wanted to chase even bigger goals.
Here is what I came to learn:
Everyone knows it can be difficult to remain motivated. Sometimes you wake up on top of the world and wanting to run 10miles, and other days, the thought of running is already a workout in itself.
Being accountable to a team and people, you previously made plans with, will help you get out the door. I know personally that when I had track at 8PM on a Friday, the only way that session got done is because I knew people were counting on me to show up.
There are countless of blogs and sources of information out there about optimum nutrition, training plans, but it's often tricky knowing what source can be trusted.
I now turn to the community as the best sources of information; my team mates helping me through what they’ve tried and what works.
- Performance boost
Although having a team and community is incredibly supportive, it can also provide you with a huge performance boost.
There is nothing better than a little friendly competition to get your legs turning over faster and your butt out of your saddle for those uphill climbs.
The sense of belonging a team of like-minded and passionate individuals, has to be the most important factor.
When you’re a part of a team, you’re all supporting each other, encouraging each other along. For me, this feeling of 'belonging' is a fundamental human need - making a drastic impact on both my physical and mental health.
Community now is more important to me than ever before.
Since this whole lockdown, I've seen the online community really come to life: Ballet barre, yoga, salsa classes to sweaty HIIT sessions and virtual running races.
I have personally loved getting involved in these classes and find them very engaging – I often laugh at the little comments people write and like knowing that I’m not suffering alone in the workout!
Strava has also been a great motivator, helping me hit my weekly distance goals. Seeing the achievements of my friends also makes me want to train even harder!
We are all one big community
I have found that during lockdown, the value of 'community' has been incredibly important. I'm now looking forward to being able to train again outdoors with team mates in person!