Hi there fellow active.com triathletes! I'm working on a short, fun piece highlighting what I think is an awesome & encouraging community here on active.com -- triathlon!
I've emailed a few of you via active.com and I'd love to hear back from many more! If you have questions, let me know via my active.com contact or email me at sklandolt at yahoo dot com.
Questions (answer two or more):
- What brought you first to active.com and then to its triathlon community?
- Tell me a little about the friendships or experiences you’ve had in the triathlon community.
- How do active.com’s communities encourage, motivate and provide support to you as an athlete?
- Have you met anyone from active.com at a race or event or training opportunity?
- What would you tell someone who is new to triathlon and new to online discussion groups and may be unsure about participating?
- If you’d like add your blog link or a short bio.
Sara Cox Landolt
Sara Cox Landolt
Thanks Sara! I always love how you bring the Active community together and promote a more inclusive environment for all kinds of athletes!
I first came to Active because I signed up for a half Ironman (Longhorn 70.3) last year. I had never run more than a mile or swam more than about 20 yards, and I hadn't biked anywhere in the last 9 years. It was as dumb as it probably sounds. I had always wanted to do a tri, and had tried to talk a childhood friend into it for years, and he finally agreed. I figured we would do about an olympic distance (though I hadn't heard of that at the time). Nope. So I had questions - a lot of questions. You can find some of them in the archives here, but I was able to find a lot of them in the 'newbies' section. People here were (and still are) absolutely wonderful and encouraging for new athletes trying their sport. Nobody pokes fun at even the most ridiculous questions - and I've asked some crazy ones!
I haven't met anybody from the forums, but know that some of you are out there. Maybe next year.
If anybody out there is new, I'd suggest posting. Say hi. Ask a dumb question. Everybody else has. Plus, people on Active are way nicer than your feet will feel if you run in your bike shoes.
I'm David, and I live in Denver. I've done a handful of races at this point, and have finished my original goals of a triathlon and marathon. Time to step up. Now I'm planning on an Ironman in 2012 (location TBD) and the Leadville 100 in 2013 - if I can get in. I'm planning on spending 2011 getting faster and stronger - riding the beautiful mountains and enjoying a season of improvement without increasing distances. In the real world I'm an engineer, and a combination of lots of work, buying a house, and mono got in the way of a good season in 2010. I'm trying to talk my wife into joining me for a few short races in 2011.
Sara, what a great thread and questions to ask.
I came to active by googling a stupid question, which at the time, wasn't so stupid to me: "what is a "snake" lane swim for a triathlon that starts in a pool?" A self taught runner for years, I had decided to sign up for my first sprint tri and I was completely clueless about everything. I had bought some books, but they just don't tell you enough detail. I could not imagine how the pool swim worked, how it started, and how it ended, and what you did in between. I got about 10 answers from the community and each one was helpful. Without the community, I would have gone cluelss to my first tri, and been terribly nervous about what to expect.
Since then I've continued to ask questions and get great answers here. I also try to help answer some of the newbie questions, keeping in mind that I am still a newbie too, having only done three sprint tris and one Oly, with my first 70.3 coming up in April (be prepared for more questions from me on that one). I also just like to browse and see what other people are asking, seeing, experiencing, and I love, love LOVE reading race reports from everyone (so please, you guys, keep those coming).
I met up with some other folks from active before my first tri to do some training, and since then they have passed me by (that would include you, Jason Mellet, but you are a lot younger than I am!). As I get closer to my 70.3 I am eager to see who else is going from the active community, especially those who are doing their first one like me. Maybe we'll get together the day before and share our fears and our excitement.
It's fun to just browse the posts, but everyone should also be encouraged to post messages. Especially beginners! I just get so much kick out of reading their stories, including their race day write up. It's very motivating. And as we all know, there are no dumb questions in triathlon!
Keep on running....
Thanks for starting this thread. Being new to the sport, starting my third year of triathlons, the one thing I have appreciated the most has been the support and encouragement from fellow triathletes - like yourself. I get a ton of information from Active articles and the message boards. However, what I enjoy most about Active's Tri Community is the inspirational stories. All the triathletes that have struggled and a persevered to reach a goal, that's what the tri community is about!
David, Ken, Terry,
Thank you for responding & for sharing about your experiences here with our family of triathletes, all ages, all abilities.
I've been using active for years, but discovered the message board piece ~3 years ago. I shopped around between 3-4 online tri communities, but kept coming back to active.com because I liked the feel or tone of its discussion and sharing. That was important to me.
I love getting to know you all a little bit here and I'm happy when first-timers especially feel welcome and supported, and that they come back!
I'd love to read more experiences, so please consider sharing your active.com tri community story. I'm using the responses as part of a short piece highlighting this community -- because I LOVE it! I volunteer here year-round because it's fulfilling and fun.
I'd love to meet and connect with more of you in person in the future. If you come up for IM Wisconsin or an area race, let me know!
Sara Cox Landolt
I think I first came to active a few years back to look for a running event, but it was about a year ago I started looking at the message boards. I had a group of coworkers that I convinced to train as a group for a triathlon, and initially came looking for some events in the area. I kept coming back to the boards with various questions about training regiments, handling injuries, bike maintenance and such. Eventually I got into "motivational" threads... where people talk about what they're doing in their training and how they are doing in races. That kind of thing always gets me going with my own training. Hearing about how others are struggling as much as I am when I was getting started really did help quite a bit... it's nice to know that everyone else doing this sort of thing isn't a 6-minute mile runner who can maintain 25 MPH on the bike and swim at a minute per 100 yard pace. I really appreciate the "slow/overweight" threads in particular.
I've never met another active member at an event... but I'm a bit of a recluse at actual races. I think it comes back from my competitive swimming days where much of the mental preparation I did dealt with quiet visualization and "psyching myself up" inside my head. I really don't want to talk until after I'm done... I'm very internally focused (which probably sounds silly for the level of competition I'm at now).
I'd tell anyone trying to get into this that an online community (or in person one if you have it available in your area) is a big help. The more you talk about a goal like this, the more likely you are to complete it. It's a combination of ecouragement, assistance, education and peer pressure. Yes... I said peer pressure. You can be that after talking about getting ready for a tri for six months, there was NO chance that I'd back out of it before race day or that I'd quit half way through.
Bio: I'm a 32 year old who swam at the USS level from the ages of 6 to 18. I was hyper-fit as a youth, but through college and then working life I lost most of that. I went from 180 pounds with little body fat to 260 pounds and lazy. I'm a type 1 diabetic (since the age of 10) as well. I tried to ramp up some exercise routines over the years, but could never quite keep them up. Finally, my endocrinologist gave me a "shape up" speech, so I tried again. At my work, we had several guys who had been running half marathon distances, a mountain bike rider, a guy who rode his road bike to work occasionally and a couple of weight room fanatics... and I talked them in to attempting a sprint Triathlon. I did this by promising them that I could coach them enough in the swim that they'd be able to finish the 400 meters without dropping over dead. We had 7 people finish the sprint in June (including me at 245). I'm now getting ready for hopefully an Olympic distance in 2011 and am currently at 225 on the scale. And yes... I do think having a community has helped me not get tired/bored/frustrated with the whole thing and quit.