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Jump on the Tri Club Caravan

Five reasons to get off the fence and join a club.

by Kara Deschenes

Toeing the start line of an IRONMAN might be the beginning of your individual race journey, but training to get there doesn’t have to be a solo effort. With the support and camaraderie of a triathlon club, you can enhance the voyage to the finish and gain like-minded friends along the way. 

Not sure a club environment is right for you? Read on, and doubt no more. 

Training partners galore 

Say goodbye to solitary sweat sessions and dive into group workouts. Triathlon clubs have no shortage of athletes looking to head out for a brick (bike and run sequence) workout or an open water swim. As an added bonus, organized workouts and scheduled partner training helps boost accountability to push beyond your limits.

Gear gurus 

Looking for a recommendation on a reliable GPS watch, fast wheels or energy gels? Don’t fret, just ask around. It’s no secret that triathletes love the latest gear. Belonging to a triathlon club means you’ll have access to real-life gear testers with firsthand product experience. You’ll never have to make a purchase again without consulting fellow racers.

All ages and abilities 

Whether you’re just starting out or consistently topping the podium, clubs have something for everyone. Newbies gain confidence and valuable tips of the trade, while speed demons have a group to challenge their fast-twitch muscles. And with clubs available for any age (kids through masters), membership can truly be a family affair.

Experience advantage

Are you searching for a race with incredible scenery, or one with no hills? A group of triathletes brings a variety of race experiences to the table. Picking the brains of peer racers means you’ll be able to make the best registration decision based on your strengths and preferences. 

Never finish alone 

While race day is about individual effort, sporting your team’s colors brings a flash of spirit and inspiration. Hearing the cheers of teammates on course provides a boost to carry you through the miles ahead, and after crossing the finish line, trading war stories makes victory feel even sweeter.

Ready to join a club, but not sure where to begin? It's as easy as sending an email, says IRONMAN Director of Athlete Development and Communication Liz Kollar. (Think triathlon’s answer to Match.com, minus the pressure of dating.)

Through the IRONMAN TriClub program, athletes can send an email inquiry including where they live, and will receive a response with matching clubs in their area. Kollar says that with over 700 clubs in the program representing more than 85,000 athletes, there’s a group to suit everyone. "Joining the club environment and feeling a sense of belonging in a sport that is completely focused on individual experience extends the IRONMAN journey beyond race day," she says.

Don’t wait. Email [email protected] and find a triathlon club near you.

Kara Deschenes is a freelance health and fitness writer living in Tampa, Fla. 

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2013/05/5-reasons-to-join-a-tri-club-today.aspx#ixzz43fiq0rEs