Holidays are usually about sun loungers, cocktails and eating more than I should, but this summer I was a little more active on a cruise ship when I trained for a triathlon! However don’t let that last statement fool you – I wasn’t up at dawn pounding the track or swimming the sea in extreme temperatures, I just incorporated a little more activity into my holiday… and it was easy and fun!
British Triathlon, the governing body for triathlon in the UK is raising awareness of triathlon as a sport for all with its #YourGOTRI campaign which runs until the end of September. It aims to break down the barriers that people perceive are there when it comes to the sport – like it is too intimidating or it is only for middle aged men! In fact, women are the biggest growth area in triathlon – encouraged by the recent #ThisGirlCan campaign which celebrates women doing sport – any sport, and generally getting active.
The idea of triathlon had never occurred to me before if I’m honest. I just didn’t consider myself ‘sporty’ enough, but after chatting to the team who look after the marketing for this campaign, I thought ‘why not?’ and decided to give it a go! It is easy to get involved – you simply go to the website at www.gotri.org and head to the button marked ‘create your triathlon‘ to get started!
After choosing the activity I would do from a range of options, here is the certificate they gave me for pledging to do my own triathlon.
As you can see, a dip in the sea and a ride on a pedalo don’t sound too scary do they? But these are acceptable ways to complete the swim and cycle part of this personal triathlon – you can do triathlon in your own time and your own way. If you are more athletic you can pledge to do a longer swim or more distance on a bike. British Triathlon hopes that by creating this fun and easy personal triathlon challenge, real, everyday people like you and I will consider the possibility of doing a full triathlon – once we see how accessible it is.
So my personal triathlon challenge was a triathlon taster that I completed on my holidays. I decided to create my own ‘Rio’ themed challenge, as I was on a hot and sunny cruise ship and thought the athletes of Team GB did brilliantly in the Olympics.
— Nadine Hill (@businessmum) August 20, 2016
My dip in the sea turned into 20 minutes swimming in the ship’s pool and I picked a quiet time before all the kids wanted to play to complete it!
The cycling part of my triathlon was going to be a ride on a pedalo but instead I had access to this fabulous SkyRide track which is exclusive to Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship Vista so I made use of that!
Some fun facts about the SkyRide – it was invented by the same guy who created the Rollerblade brand so he knows how to get you moving! I would have to cycle 14,520 laps of the track to cover the same distance as the Tour de France! Of course I went round only once as there was a queue for this ride, but at least it counted as my cycle!
The team at British Triathlon are a supportive lot – they sent me emails along the way with motivation tips and ways to easily get started if I was feeling stuck. As it happens, I was on my cruise holiday having a blast when these emails came though, but it’s nice to know that you don’t just sign up then get forgotten about! They really want to help encourage you to fulfil your pledge and once you have done your triathlon elements, you get this certificate to be proud of!
As I am back from holidays it is nice to think that I was a bit more active on this vacation than usual, and now the children are back at school, I can start to get back to my running routine again. Having a go at my triathlon taster has opened up my mind to the possibility of doing a full triathlon in the future, whereas I never would have considered it before.
If you are looking for a way to get fit or a goal to work towards, logging on and making a #YourGOTRI pledge is a great place to start. After you have created your own personal triathlon you can visit www.gotri.org to find a GOTRI training session near to you. This will help you build up the confidence, fitness and skills to take part in your first full triathlon, with the guidance of British Triathlon qualified coaches.
An entry level triathlon starts with a 400m swim, 10km cycle and 2.5km run, and from there you can build up to the Sprint distance, Olympic distance and beyond… You can get access to training plans from the coaches and athletes working with British Triathlon and there are even opportunities to get discounts on triathlon kit and event entries.
So what do you think? Would you consider a triathlon? Have you ever done one before? Let me know in the comments!
I am working with British Triathlon to share the #YourGOTRI campaign.