From Runner to Triathlete - By Jaclyn Murphy

There are many people out there who would think it’s crazy to be training for three sports let alone one sport. There are also many single disciple athletes out there who are confused as to why you may train and compete in a multi-discipline sport when you could just focus on one and be really good at it. I know this because I was one of those people, I used to believe that if I was training for three sports I wouldn’t be competitive or be able to run as fast. But mid-way through last year my whole mindset changed.

From Consistent Injury to Consistent Training:

For the best part of two and a half years I experienced ongoing injury and disappointment, I would recover from one injury only to get back to what I felt was a descent running load to only get injured again and repeat the process. It was at this point I decided that maybe I needed to try something different. Starting triathlon meant that I was no longer just running but I was swimming and cycling too. I was using different muscles and reducing the risk of injury from running. This has meant that I have now been able to train consistently for well over 12 months now.

From Strong Runner to Stronger Athlete

I was always a strong runner and have always loved running but starting triathlon has meant that I am now much stronger in my whole body. The strength that I have gained from cycling has translated to my running, I feel stronger in my legs running up hills and I have greater and more efficient aerobic capacity. Although our swim sets and sessions are a hard workout, these help me recover from a weekend of long rides and long runs, in the long term making me a stronger and more durable athlete.

From Lots of Time Training to Still Lots of Time Training

I could never workout how I was going to fit in running as well as consistent cycling and swimming. But one thing that leads to my consistent running injuries was that I was running too much (although I’d never admitted that!) and that I needed to reduce the amount I was running. So I did, at first, I replaced a mid-week run and a weekend run with riding, and almost straight away noticed the difference. I felt stronger and more recovered when I was running and enjoyed being on my bike. A couple of weeks later I started swimming as well and again noticed the benefits. So while I am still spending lots of time training each week, I enjoy the variety in what I’m doing and know that it’s better for my body and reduced my risk of running injuries.

From Solo Runner to Social Triathlete

The best part about starting triathlon (apart from not being injured all the time!) is that it is social. Running can be very isolating – it’s hard to chat when you’re in the middle of a session or to find someone that you can drag along for your long run. But triathlon training in a group is so much more fun! There is nothing better than long rides on the weekend with the girls or meeting up early during the week to do sessions before work. Goodbye, solo running days!

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