Why Do a Triathlon

A lot of my friends and associates don’t get it! They wondered why I put myself through rigorous training and spent hours of my time to become a triathlete. Here’s my answer to them. I have also explained what triathlon is and why you should do it.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Triathlon?

Triathlons are multisport endurance events consisting of swimming, cycling, and running. Participants, known as triathletes, compete in all three events without a break, aiming to complete the entire course as quickly as possible.

Triathlons vary in distance and format, offering options for athletes with different skill levels and preferences. There are three types of triathlons, including:

  • Spring triathlon is typically the shortest and is great for beginners. The distances vary but are generally around:
    • Swim: 0.31 miles (0.5 km) 
    • Bike: 12.4 miles (20 km)
    • Run: 3.1 miles (5 km)
  • Olympic or standard triathlon is often used in the Olympics and is a bit longer:
    • Swim: 0.93 miles (1.5 km)
    • Bike: 24.9 miles (40 km) 
    • Run: 6.2 miles (10 km)
  • The Ironman triathlon is the longest and most challenging, known for its grueling demands. The distances generally vary around:
    • Swim: 2.4 miles (3.86 km)
    • Bike: 112 miles (180.25 km)
    • Run: 26.2 miles (42.20 km, a full marathon)

My Inspiring Story: How I Started Triathlons

In my younger years, I was reckless with my courage, acting bravely in the face of impending danger without considering the consequences. But with experience, I developed wisdom, which, along with courage, helped me develop a successful life through personal development and expanding what I thought was possible.

In my early years of life, I didn’t do Triathlons. In fact, it didn’t even cross my mind. I was 42 years old and had not exercised regularly in years.

One day I was inspired by a friend to start walking daily. That led to increasing the speed of my walking over a period of months. Soon, I decided to start running. At first, it was a struggle to run even a mile, but I was determined.

After a couple of years, I ran 5 miles every other day, and another friend mentioned a half-marathon race in San Diego. I saw myself accomplishing this, so I signed up.

Then the real fun began!

I will never forget the ninth mile of that first half-marathon. Every negative belief I had about myself, my family, my health, and my life came to me at that ninth mile. I was ready to give up; then I started affirming something like, “I am a marathoner with never-ending energy.” I kept saying it till the negative voices left my thoughts.

It was a profound transformation between mile ten and the finish. I found the energy and motivation to complete the race in record time (lol, it was my first race, so it was my best time to date), but more importantly, I realized that I was in charge of the voices in my head. Truly I have found the secret to the inner game of sport!

As I progressed, I combined biking with running and eventually added swimming. Later, I thought of finding a mentor and got one — Scott Ensley. Scott has participated in more than 500 triathlon events and won a few national titles. We became good friends too!

Now comes the main picture — how I convinced myself to do a triathlon.

Tuning into my purpose was the first thing I did. I thought about why I started working out, and here are the superficial answers that came to my mind:

  • Being healthier
  • Lowering my blood pressure
  • Relieving stress
  • Setting a good example

To be honest, these answers didn’t light my fire. So, I asked: “Why is it imperative for me to do triathlons?”

I started getting in touch with the soulful reasons. I realized that I wanted to know the principles of success, not only in doing triathlons but in all areas of life. I wanted to know myself at the deepest level and what can I accomplish in the sport. I choose to understand how my mind, body, and spirit worked together to overcome all obstacles standing in my way. Now I have the reasons to keep me going when things get tough.

Many days it was tough on me. If I’d known how far multisports events would take me out of my comfort zone, I might have chosen another path. But since courage and persistence are two of my core values, I stayed on point and met each challenge with as much willpower and grace as possible.

Looking back, I realize there were many barriers to overcome. The obvious ones are money, nutrition, pacing myself, lousy weather, clothing, and safety in three sports. But there were other issues that I didn’t anticipate, such as preparing for a triathlon race and balancing family, friends, work, and training. Besides, I had to learn technical skills in all three sports.

But I am very happy that I stayed the course!

In 2016 I qualified for a National Triathlon Event in Miami, Florida. In 2017, only 18 participants in my age group were invited to compete in the ITU World Triathlon Event.

In 2017 I was also asked to join Team USA and compete in the World International Triathlon Union Championship in Penticton, BC. It was humbling to compete with over 3,500 athletes from around the world. And I can tell you that by attending the event, I changed.

There were people from different races, creeds, and countries, each representing the best humanity has to offer. I have never met so many kind, loving, integral people in one place. I believe I came away as a better person after that event.

All of my training paid off. I was among the top ten in the world in the AquaBike event. A few weeks after coming home, I received a call from my wife Judy that out of the 3,500 athletes, USAT decided to use my picture for the cover of USA Triathlon Magazine. Awesome!

There were so many blessings along the way. I learned how to overcome any obstacle that came my way in this sport. I overcame bone fractures, sickness, and lack of time, energy, and money. I learned to push myself like never before. I became much more aware of how the body, mind, and spirit work together. I met many new friends along the way and had so much fun.

Benefits of Participating in a Triathlon

Participating in a triathlon offers various benefits, such as:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Enhanced endurance and stamina
  • Mental toughness
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Improved network
  • Improved discipline and time management
  • Stress relief


So, will I do a triathlon again after knowing how much effort it takes? The answer is “Absolutely Yes.” Triathlon is a fantastic sport that has pushed me to be my best. It will help you to become your best too. I encourage you to set up a coaching call with me to help you assess the mindsets you will want to embrace as you change your life for the better. If so, book a coaching session with Ken D Foster.