Long Distances: Why Do You Do It?


That’s Craig Alexander, one of the world’s top triathletes.

I know several people who are triathletes, and believe me when I tell you the longer you are around someone who races, the more you want to participate.  Just go to a few races as a spectator and you won’t be able to deny the thoughts of “I think I could do that” or “That could be fun.”

I’ll admit, I resisted for quite some time, but just recently have found a sincere urge to spice things up a little.  I’ve been running regularly for some time now, and since switching to Paleo a little over four months ago, I feel better than I have…ever.

If I can conquer swimming, I think I would be set to sign up for a sprint triathlon.  I’m thinking a sprint distance is all I’d ever be interested in, however.  I like it because it would bring a lot of variety to my life as far as training goes, but each sport’s distance is so reasonable and easy to work with my busy schedule.

My big question for any triathlon- or marathon- or workout-junkies is this: why the long-distance races?  What’s the point for doing an Olympic, half, full, etc.?  If a person is fit, strong, and healthy, does distance prove anything beyond that?  In fact, at many races, I’ve seen people crossing the finish line who are overweight and seem generally miserable.  Why do they do it, then?

My thoughts are, short distances seem like a better fit for me and my lifestyle, but I’d like to get some opinions from people who appreciate long distances.  Why do you choose them over short?  How do they improve your life?  If you were “selling” the idea to someone who was on the fence, what are the selling points?


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