With the help of some triathlon veterans, T.J. Murphy answers some of the most-asked beginner queries. Plus: Later this week we’ll profile four newbie triathletes who’ve faced some of the most common challenges when just getting started in the sport. Let their rookie mistakes—and our expert-sourced solutions—give you a competitive edge, no matter your racing level.
Q: Triathlon is a loner sport, right? A time trial against yourself, the clock, Mother Nature and all that. Should I do most of my training alone?
Lonely By The Sea, Miami, Fla.
It’s true that six-time Hawaii Ironman champion Dave Scott credited a mental and physical edge to long, hard training sessions on the hot and wind-ripped roads surrounding Davis, Calif. At a Chicago Triathlon near the end of his professional career, he wistfully suggested that he wished he’d spent more time training with his contemporaries. Why? Because it’s just more fun. In fact, it’s the No. 1 piece of advice that Ironman Arizona champion Linsey Corbin offers to aspiring triathletes. “Find a group to train with,” she says emphatically. “You’ll have fun and get pushed to train harder than you can on your own. Plus, it’s a good place to find answers to all the basic questions you’ll have.”