Since having a child, last year, I have developed an interest in triathlons. I’m not talking the Iron Man triathlons or even the Olympic triathlon distances, I’m just talking about those little ones called Try a Tri or Super Sprint Triathlons. I did some online research when the thought of completing one first occurred to me but was intimidated by what I found: most blogs, posts and articles I found were adorned with pictures of really fit (mostly male) triathletes. Where were the flabby moms like me? I found training plans but they were often dry and dull.
I almost decided to forget about the whole thing but instead I called an experienced triathlete friend of mine to meet me for coffee and talk about it. I had to ask her the questions I couldn’t find the answers to online such as “what do I wear?” and “what do I do with my hair?” Those sound silly, but when you’re swimming, cycling and running, all against the clock and without a locker room, I honestly couldn’t understand if I should wear a bathing suit or not because I certainly couldn’t run without a sports bra, but couldn’t swim without a bathing suit, so what was a girl to do?
In preparing for this blog post, I started looking again, checking twitter and blogs for posts about beginners and moms. I found a couple of new blogs I hadn’t seen before such as Swim Bike Run Like a Mother and Triathlon Mom but neither particularly spoke to me; the first seems more geared around health and wellness with recipes that look less than appetizing to this bacon and ice cream-loving gal, and the second was intimidating with photos of a clearly very fit woman competing in triathlons I could only dream of… or rather, have nightmares about.
The website Beginner Triathlete is very interesting and has a lot of great material, but looks a little dry and doesn’t seem to have much geared at women, much less mothers. Many triathletes are very serious about competing, but the triathlons I’m competing in are typically geared at hobbyists, with fun, laid back and supportive participants.
If I were to start blogging about this new hobby of mine, I would try to be cognizant of how intimidating it is to take on something like a triathlon. I would also try to have a sense of humour about it. My demographic would have to be more specifically aimed at moms who aren’t typically athletic or competitive. I would have to come up with specific topics such as how to train with kids in tow, perhaps comparing jogging strollers, or baby bike seats/chariots. Equipment recommendations could be made with those demographics in mind; most new moms aren’t swimming in cash, so budget-friendly ideas for training would also be interesting. Stories about engaging the mom’s family in the experience such as craft ideas for signs or noise makers the children could make to cheer her on from the sideline would be fun, too.
When I think back to what made me decide to go for it, though, it was sitting down for coffee with my girlfriend who had done it before and asking her all my silly questions. In essence, my blog should have that kind of feel: I’m just a girlfriend who has been there and here’s what I learned.