IMG 09161 1024x1024

“Just” A Sprint Triathlon?!

Have you ever had a conversation that goes like this?

You: “… I won’t be able to make it to ______ because that’s the day of my triathlon.”

Co-worker: “You’re doing a triathlon?!”

You: “Yea!”

Co-worker: ”Oh, like an Ironman? That’s crazy! What are the distances? Don’t you have to, like, run a marathon?”

You: “No, I’m not doing an Ironman. It’s a Sprint Triathlon. I have to swim ½ mile, bike 14 and run 5k.”

Co-worker: “Oh, just a sprint… that’s not that bad… sounds easy. I could do that.”

Then you smile politely, but you’re really going crazy inside and thinking, “WHAT?! JUST a sprint triathlon? I’ve been training for 3 months for this race and you’re calling it easy?! Seriously?”

Or maybe you’re training for your first triathlon and you downplay it by telling people that you’re “just doing a sprint triathlon”, or “oh, it’s only a sprint distance”.

Calling a triathlon of any length easy is crazy talk. Saying it’s just a sprint triathlon or only a sprint distance? This drives me crazy. Like, so crazy I’m writing a whole blog post about it.

The reason this makes my blood boil is because it’s not just a sprint triathlon. It’s a freaking SPRINT TRIATHLON! There’s no just. It is still a challenging race that most people won’t even try to attempt. It’s still a TRIATHLON and it takes lots of hard work and effort to prepare for one.

Triathlon training inspiration |

The phrase, “just a sprint triathlon” really detracts from the magnititude of what a triathlon entails and besides that, it’s just plain discouraging and frustrating to hear that something that you’re training very hard for is easy or to let yourself think that because it’s not an Ironman, it’s not a big deal.

Training for a triathlon of any length is just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. The reality is that there will be people who make comments and say things that will discourage you and possibly make you want to quit. But don’t quit. Keep on training and moving in the direction of your dreams.

Triathlon training inspiration |

Focus on what this race means to you and be confident in your ability to train for and complete a triathlon. Remind yourself that doing a triathlon is a big deal… because it is. (And while you’re at it, remind yourself that doing a triathlon is pretty awesome.)

You know from first hand experience that training for a triathlon is challenging. You make sacrifices and push yourself in your triathlon training.

You are a triathlete |

My point in writing this post is to say that if you’re training for a triathlon, I think you’re AWESOME! It’s a big deal and a triathlon of any distance requires time, dedication, training, sacrifice and commitment.

So don’t downplay your goals by using the words “only” and “just” and don’t let other people minimize them by using those words either. Your goals are just that… they’re YOUR goals and they are important to you.

So get out there and swim, bike and run your heart out! You’re a triathlete and you’re AWESOME.



About Author

Trainer DaveyTrainer Davey is an Orange County personal trainer at heart, but has since moved to Nashville and taken on the new challenge of triathlon training. Of course, he misses his home of Surf City...but Music City ain't so bad either!View all posts by Trainer Davey →

  1. llh

    Thanks for this post. I really get the feeling sometimes that it’s ‘just’ a sprint – big deal – anyone can do it. One of my friends put his foot in his mouth today when he made a comment about the training that some people do that is so minimal and that he can beat those people(because he isn’t real fast). No matter that he beat me a week ago at a race. UGH! I only have limited time to train based on my other commitments; but….I want to do triathlons; and I will devote my training time to improve even if it is ‘only a sprint’! I will do my best not to compare myself to others!

    • Jess

      You’re so welcome! I think you hit the nail on the head by saying you’re going to do the best you can with the time you have and not compare yourself to others. I often find myself stuck in the comparison game and it’s a sucky feeling, so I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I think the key is to get out there, do your best, beat your OWN time, and most of all, HAVE FUN! I’m impressed with how you fit your training into your busy life! You rock! Keep on doing those triathlons… you’re AWESOME!

  2. Travis West
    Travis West07-17-2013

    It never ends. I told someone today that I did IronMan last November. He said, “Oh, in Hawaii?” I said, “No, that’s the IronMan World Championships.” He said, “Oh so it was just another IronMan.”

    • Jess

      HAHAHA! And you’re right… I doubt those knucklehead comments will ever end. 🙂 ::sigh:: Well, I’d like to say congrats and awesome job on finishing a freaking IRONMAN! That’s amazing!

  3. Ashley @ Twynmawrmom
    Ashley @ Twynmawrmom07-18-2013

    It’s SOOOOO true. I used to say “I just do, like, a sprint every year” and downplayed it a LOT, even though, of course, it was very important to me and I took my training very seriously. And now I’m training for my first half-iron, and how many times do people hear the word “HALF” and kinda go, “okay..alright…sounds good…” and tune me out. Hilarious.

    • Jess

      Hahaha! Can’t wait to read about your half! Love your post on why every women should do a triathlon… especially the last point. It’s annoying when people think it’s “just” a sprint, but I love it when they hear the word “triathlon” and think it’s totally hardcore! Yea!

  4. Trainer Davey
    Trainer Davey07-21-2013

    Haha, so typical…

    What they don’t understand is that it’s just that…a “sprint!” Sprint, by definition, means that the distance is shorter, but you push it to go as fast as you can, in less time.

    And nobody ever said SPRINTING was easy!