In the last three to four years, triathlons — swimming, biking and running — have gained in popularity, both nationally and locally.
The sport of triathlon has a long history in Cleveland. The first Cleveland Triathlon, originally known as the National City Triathlon, debuted in 1987 and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016. In 1996, Cleveland hosted the Triathlon World Championships, and could potentially host the 2018-19 USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals, according to Mickey Ryzmek, USAT certified race director and promoter of North Coast Multisports.
More people are being drawn to the sport, which is a three-sport athletic competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines: swimming, biking and running.
What draws a person to the sport of triathlon? That varies from person to person.
“I thought it was cool,” says Dawn Maniawski, 45, a mother of one from Chagrin Falls. “I always wanted to try one, but I didn’t think I could; I didn’t consider myself an athlete, although I ran and swam regularly.”
Like others, Maniawski found the open water swim (OWS) intimidating.
“Not knowing what was below me, or being able to swim to the side of the pool if I needed, intimidated me,” she said, adding some advice for newbies. “Don’t be intimidated. Take your training step-by-step and utilize local resources such as coaches, clubs and clinics.”
Expert Advice for Training and Beyond
Tim Edwards, USAT Level 2 coach, offers the following advice for those who are new to triathlons:
- Start slow and easy. The best way to begin training for your first triathlon is to start slow and build in a logical manner to prevent injuries. Consider working with a coach, as the guidance and support allows you to develop good techniques and sound training principles.
- Goal setting. Your first goal should be to have fun in a safe manner and finish your race.