To Join or Not to Join a Triathlon Club

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There comes a time in every triathlete’s career when the question of “to join or not to join a triathlon club?” comes up; whether you are a brand new triathlete or a very experienced one, more often than not, a strong case can be made to join a triathlon club.  Here are some of the benefits to consider:

Training Partners:  Sure, it’s great to train alone, but it’s also nice to find someone you can train with for a number of reasons. First, if it’s a tough workout, your partner can push you.  Second, long rides and open water swims are safer when you have a partner. Lastly, a training partner can help keep you accountable when you want to skip a workout. 
Knowledge and experience within the team:  When you are a part of a team, you can almost always get an answer to any question just by asking your teammates. By putting a group together of triathletes at all levels, ages and experiences, when you have a question, chances are strong that someone within the group can answer it. 
Sponsor discounts:  Most triathlon teams have set up various sponsor discounts that are good for members only.  In some cases, discounts you get from the sponsors more than pay for your team membership. This makes being a part of a triathlon club a no-brainer. 
Team training events:  Organized training events are one of the best ways to get to know your fellow triathletes. When properly organized, team training serves as specific training for an upcoming event in mind and will educate the athletes on some certain aspect of training. 
Informational clinics and workshops:  No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, there is always new information that can help you.  Even if it’s a topic you already know about, a refresher doesn’t hurt. 
Special race discounts:  Many triathlon clubs offer special team discounts to local area events.  
Freebies:  From nutritional samples to apparel to equipment – the larger, organized teams have access to freebies from a variety of companies simply for those companies to get exposure.  
Camaraderie:  When training for an event, there are things like tough training conditions, difficult or lengthy training sessions, that bond people.  Triathlon teams are a mechanism for strong bonds and friendships, both inside and outside of the sport.
Social events:  What good is a triathlon club if you don’t get out and socialize?  Triathlon teams train hard and play hard. In fact, one of the most popular events for triathlon teams are a workout/social combination where everyone goes to a workout and then gathers at a local restaurant or pub for post-workout refreshments. 
Charity/volunteer projects:  An established triathlon team will almost always either organize some sort of charity, charity event or participate in a race as volunteers to give back to the sport. 
Exclusive priority registration for WTC (World Triathlon Corporation) events:  One development in the last couple of years is an opportunity for registered clubs to have a special “pre-registration” period for new and/or popular WTC events. 
Team support during racing events:  There is nothing more motivating than seeing another teammate out on a race course — most triathlon clubs have a team uniform that is easily recognizable by other team members. When there is a big team showing at a race for a triathlon club, there may sometimes be a team tent where members can gather before and after the event while those team members who are not racing can cheer and support racing members.  The tent also serves as the “hub” for friends and family of the team to gather and cheer on the athletes.

Here is a comprehensive link to all the USAT (USA Triathlon) clubs  you can check out. When looking at all the benefits of being a member of a triathlon club, there is really no reason to not join one. If you have questions about finding the right triathlon club for you, feel free to reach out to me at:  [email protected] and I can help walk you through it!

Train Right,

Coach MJ

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MJ Gasik started competing in the sport of triathlon in 2003 and has completed 12 Ironman distance races including the World Championships in Kona, HI. MJ is a USAT Certified Coach, Ironman U Certified Coach, USMS Level 4 Certified Coach and is the founder and owner of Tri Right Coaching. MJ has coached hundreds of athletes from beginners through elite to personal bests in distances from sprint through Ironman.