I'm so mad, disappointed and look so stupid. I entered into the Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon and finished miserably. I got beat by people in their late 30s, 40s and 50s. Pathetic. I mean, I did train for it. I can do a 100 mile bike ride with no problem. I can do it fast enough for the bike I have. My swimming sucks, and I know it. I sited horribly, but I can swim 2.5 miles just not super fast. I enjoy doing a lot of these things, but the competition just dragged me down. I don't like coming in near last. Being in the middle of the pack is ok. I feel like if I can't at least be in the middle, what is the point? I'm just making a fool of myself and being the joke of the entire race. I did some research on the elite and high performing triathletes that entered the race. I found out that they have personal trainers and personal coaches which I can't afford. They have these really expensive bikes which I don't have and can't afford right now. At the race, I saw a lot of people with expensive bikes. I don't belong to a swim masters team. ($$) They have access to physical therapists, sports medicine and massage therapists. I don't have these things. I don't even have medical insurance. I have to get care through the VA, and they are not there to help athletes achieve their potential when they have people in wheel chairs and guys who have had their legs blown off. I don't blame them for being that way. The athletes have access to these expensive products for recovery and healing, etc. I don't. It's almost like how much triathlon can you afford?
I liked running a lot better. At least, it was an even playing field. The runners are usually a mellow and fun crowd. Yes, in marathons, you always get those people at the front that are really good, but they don't rub your face in it. I didn't get a good feeling from this past experience. Not all of it was do to my poor performance. My running time was similar to many of them, but not the biking or the swim. I'm so pissed. Whatever. I don't even know why I bother. I got started in this triathlon crap, because I got injured running. I still continue to battle injuries. Maybe I should just find something else, something I'm more suited for. Something that I don't need a ton of money for or a ton of equipment. I'd like to just get into something where people aren't trying to out do each other all the time. It sucks. Every time I pass someone on a bike while cycling, they get all butt hurt. I don't mean to judge, but a lot of them seem to be old yuppie types that always have something to prove, that always have to be the best at everything. It's so annoying. I can't even tell you how much.
Are there any sports out there with people that are fun and down to earth where you can get a good work out? I know running is great, but I don't know how much longer I can do it. My feet are really screwed up with plantar fasciitis and achilles tendon problems. I could run a marathon with no problem if it wasn't for my damn feet.
First I have to ask, do you really look at the people who come in at the end of the race as "fools" and the "joke of the entire race"? At my last race the last few finishers crossed the finish line during the award ceremony which was being held right next to the finish line. As those last few people approached the end of their race, everyone stopped paying attention to the announcer, turned to the finish line and cheered and clapped for those people we knew probably struggled more than the rest of us to finish. I'm in awe of the people who finish ahead of me and in awe of the people who finish behind me because we all had the courage to start and do our best. You are right, there are certain advantages that money can provide and certain advantages that genetics can provide, but you do what you can with what you have. If you want to continue with triathlons I would suggest evaluating where you are at and setting some realistic goals to work toward. When you have a bad race (we all have them), look at it as a learning experience and use it to help you figure out what you can do better as you work towards your goals. Even though you may not be able to afford a trainer you should be able to find a training group that is free. Sometimes just having others to work out with can get you to the next level. If you have truly decided that triathlon isn't for you figure out what it is that you enjoy and go have some fun. Don't waster your time doing something that makes you miserable.
I don't know where I'm at. I don't like competing really. If I'm good at something, I'll get into it and go with it. But if I'm not any good at it and it's too difficult for me, I don't bother. Then, it becomes work, and I already have a job and a stressful one at that. So when I go to work out/swim/run/bike, I do it to have fun and relieve stress. I'm so used to biking being a fun thing to do instead of a race. Everyone around me in Cali. where I live is ultra competitive on their bikes even the cruisers get pissed off when you pass by them. It's so annoying. I hate it. Whatever happened to just having fun? I don't know of any triathlons that are just for fun. Everyone seems to be so serious. I can barely have a conversation with anyone while I'm biking, because they are too busy trying to get past me or keep up with me. I did join a few cycling groups and triathlon groups, but they aren't into socializing which defeats the purpose for me. I mean, I don't expect them to be able to talk to me while they are swimming, but with biking and running you can chatt They aren't into that. I've been on a few century rides, and you can't even joke around with these people or have a good time. Why are these middle aged wanna bes so boring and serious all the time? Do they not realize that they missed the boat for the olympics a long time ago? I don't know, whatever. I just like to run, bike and swim, but it's not my career. I don't want it to turn into a competition every time I go out.
This is something I have seen changing in recent years in the triathlon community more gadgets, more fancy stuffs, more, more, more. I have to admit it bothers me as well, but I know that is just a group that is being blown by marketing tools that try to sell whatever new invention they came up with the promise that it will make you faster, better, etc.
True triathlon is a lifestyle, that you learn to appreciate more than some numbers at the finish line, I just recently saw an interview with triathlon legend Jim MacLaren (1963-2010) that encapsules in one sentence how I view the sport: he said: " Behind every tragedy there is always something to learn from, going out and dealing with darkest side of self and pushing through pain"
We have all being there in one way or another, when you feel you had given everything, feel you can't anymore but keep pushing, at that point no matter how fancy your bike is, or shoes, it is just you and the road, and better be happy with self or it will be a bumpy ride.
The sport is gaining popularity, more people will join, only those that are true to themselves will benefit the most.
Wow. I'm not sure where to start, but what comes through is that you need to change your attitude. If you don't like the sport, don't do it. In every sport someone finishes first and someone finishes last; the rest of us fall in between. Most non-elite athletes I know train and compete against themselves. Sure, it is nice to finish in the pack or in front of it. But if it doesn't happen, how do you feel about your race? Did you go out too easy, too hard, just right? Did you hit your time goals, if you set any? Instead of raging against "middle aged wannabees" what do you do to change? Do you say "Nice job" or "keep it up" or other bits of encouragement whether passing or being passed?
As someone who started triathlons in my 50's, I don't take myself too seriously. I also can get on the podium from time to time (winning through attrition). But I have raced and ridden my bike tens of thousands of miles in my life and have a lot of "muscle memory". Swimming and running, not so much. I did get coaching; just a couple of sessions (so less than a new pair of shoes), read and watched some videos to get an idea of form techniques. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars in triathlon gear, although you could. Swimsuit, goggles, bike (any kind, even mountain bikes), helmet, running shoes. That is it! Elite athletes are searching for seconds; most of us are searching for the Finish Line.
Only you are responsible for you and your attitude. Do what you enjoy. If you like to compete, then do it; if not then don't. If you like riding or running with people (versus solo) find a group that fits you. Not every bike club ride is an "A" ride; many clubs have social rides and no-drop rides. Same with running clubs. I have done centuries where I just led the paceline chatting with people the whole time. We weren't at the front but I didn't get "butt hurt" if people passed by (often we caught them again) or just sat on.
I don't know where to begin, either, but I will start by saying that I am absolutely appalled at the childishness of your post. You begin by saying that you are embarrassed because of your performance, then follow it up by with critiquing everyone else's equipment (using that as an excuse?), then complain that PRO athletes have coaches and trainers (of course they do, they're PROs) and you can't afford one (that's your problem, not theirs). Then you go on and whine in a subseqent post about how the members of your triathlon and cycling groups are "too serious" and you want triathlons that are "just for fun'...WHICH IS IT THAT YOU WANT?? Do you want to be competitive or do it for fun? No one said that you HAD to compete. I know plenty of people that swim, bike, and run and don't compete because they do them for the fun and the fitness aspects.
It just amazes me that you get on here and trash other athletes who take it more seriously than you do, and we're supposed to be ok with that? How about starting by looking inward and deciding what YOU want from triathlon: having a good performance or fun. (PS - you can have both!) Ultimately, it comes down to you. What you get out of the sport is what you put into it. If you dedicate yourself and do the work, you'll have better performances. If you want every workout to be a social event, you won't improve. Whichever you want is what you want...just don't expect everyone else to have the same goals as you, then rant about it.
Beat Down in the Santa Barbara Long Course Tri
OMG...As someone who has been doing tri's for over 20 years, I will get straight to the point. Do yourself and the tri world a huge favor and spend any time/money/effort to get therapy! Clearly, what is holding you back in your tri efforts, and I would suspect life as a whole, is the baggage your carrying around and all the exercising in the world isn't going to resolve your greatest limiter....
I would suggest that you establish a "personal goal" for your next triathlon event. Do your best to stay within yourself and your capabilities. Remember this is about you and the goal that you have in mind.
I would also suggest not being overly concerned about other participants passing you and/or their age, or the amount of training they may have received. This will only hold you back from enjoying the event. Focus on you and pat yourself on the back that you are conditioned to participate in these types of events.
My best advice is bring a fun-spriited attitude to these events. It's free and could bring you much happiness if you put a little more faith in yourself. Don't worry about not having the necessary funds to hire a trainer, buy the best bike etc...Life should be fun so take a small step forward and embrace the journey.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you are a "millenial". The previous replies have been very nice and are helpful, but your post sounds like a lot of "boo-hoo" to me. I disagree with so much of what you claim. I am one of those 50-something age groupers that passed you in your race. I ride a road bike preferably over a tri bike. Very good and affordable road bikes can be found used because sports geeks are always upgrading. Shoes don't have to be super expensive. I don't and haven't used a coach, physical therapist, masseuse, nutritionist, etc. I swim on my own and not with a masters club. There is so much information available, for free, on the net. Coaching advice, nutrition, stretching, training, etc. find it and use it. Just because you are in your 20's and the self-esteem movement has told you that you are awesome doesn't mean that you are. Some of those people in their 30's, 40's, etc have put in years of endurance training. They may seem intimidating with their geeky, expensive gear, but I'll bet if you asked them for advice or assistance, they would cheerfully help you.
I will admit that entry fees for races are expensive, and there's nothing that can be done about that. Pick one or two races throughout the year, and set personal goals. In life there is always going to be someone out there faster, thinner, more attractive, richer, etc. If you really don't like the competition, do a fun mudder, or a color run, or an obstacle run. They are primarily for fun. Bring a friend, or introduce a friend to the active lifestyle. Be the person they will look up to as you set an example for them. While doing that, you can dig in for the long haul, and work towards being faster, stronger, better in your 30's, 40's, and 50's. There's no rule that says you should be faster just because you are younger.
" I'd like to just get into something where people aren't trying to out do each other all the time". Umm... darlin', it is a race after all.
Cheers, Dr. J.