Triathlon is a relatively young sport and has risen through the ranks of popularity at lightening speed over the past decade which means for many it is a sport that has been discovered as a second or third sport following success in something else. For those age groupers discovering triathlon in their more mature years this does not condemn them to back of the pack results and dwindling timings. Moving through the age group categories it is remarkable to see times maintained well into the classically “middle aged” brackets. If your precious about keeping the oldies in their place by cruising past them triathlon may not be the sport for you as endurance can be something that matures well with age.
So if your discovering triathlon in your youth or in your retirement it will most likely be as an amateur rather than an income generating vocation to help fund that Ferrari on your drive. This tends to mean triathlon for the masses is a hobby. Or is it? With three technical disciplines to master and a frenzied industry vying for your cash is it better described as an obsession? The definition of obsession according to our friends at google is as follows:
“an idea of thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a persons mind”
Mmm. So how much does triathlon affect your daily life? Do you consider nutrition and hydration over breakfast with careful consideration to carb loading from Thursday onwards in readiness for a big weekend set of training? Do your holiday plans include that international ironman you have been dreaming of or hook into some killer mountain ranges where you can take your bike? Forget about flying when you can drive to your destination with your bike safely tucked up on the roof ready for a little break. Do you consider how any new job might impact your training, does the route to the office include a cracking quiet route and that all important shower in the offices of your prospective new employer? What about spotting others out running or cycling as you drive past on your way to the garden centre, does it eat you up inside that you didn’t think to ride and meet the family there? Finances are another signal of triathlon obsession where you maybe consider prioritising spare cash for that all important wheel upgrade over and above a new set of shoes.
If any of these signals ring true and plenty more besides maybe what you have is an obsession rather than a hobby. And we aren’t here to look down on you for that as we are in the same boat. Just popping into the garage of an evening to check on tyre pressures or having wiggle on the home page of our phones just in case we need to order that extra lightweight inner tube. We can’t help ourselves. We’re obsessed. Forget hobby and sign yourself up now.