Benefits of Joining a Local Sport Club


Posted by Coach Ben Dillon

West Florida Wheelmen (2015), Coach Ben in the middle


Being a triathlete doesn’t mean you need to spend countless hours training solo.   There are many great benefits to joining a local masters swim team, a cycling club, or a run club.


Masters Swim Team

The vast majority of multi-sport athletes do not come from a swimming background or even have the basic skills necessary to enter their first triathlon.  A good initial option for the athlete would be to hire a swim coach and get one-on-one attention to work on being comfortable in the pool and building skills that will translate to a less stressful Open Water Swim (OWS) come race day. After getting some individualized instruction, consider joining a Masters Swim class. What’s great about these classes is that usually swimmers of all ability levels participate. It builds confidence over time to start in the slow, inexperienced lane and make your way down to the faster lanes where the “fish” make it look easy!  The coach can also provide feedback on technique to help you become a better swimmer. When you are around people who are above your ability level, you are able to make much better progress in your own training. Learning to swim efficiently and faster can be frustrating because of the technical skills required. Save time by getting qualified instruction and swimming with those who will push you to become better!


Cycling Club

Like swimming, it takes time to build solid cycling skills and fitness.  Riding with a group will generate confidence and fitness more quickly than going solo. One big advantage to group riding is safety when cycling on open roads open to vehicular traffic.  This is especially dangerous today with all the distracted drivers!  Riding with a group of cyclists greatly increases your chances of being seen.

Some days your training plan will require a specific ride that is best completed by yourself.  Plan your cycling schedule well in advance and you can determine which local group rides can be incorporated into your training regimen.


Run Club

With many of the same benefits as mentioned above with the masters’ swim group and the bike club, joining your local run club could pay huge dividends. One important factor is the social aspect. Training doesn’t have to be laborious all the time. There needs to be a balance between commitment to the training and enjoyment of the process. The format can differ, but usually you will find weekly meeting spots for specific training sessions. For instance, it may be Monday track sessions at the local high school or college and Thursday tempo-style trail runs. Change it up and have fun!


As in all multi-sport training, building a solid foundation of skill and fitness across multiple disciplines and maintaining a healthy life balance greatly increases one’s enjoyment of the sport!


~Coach Ben Dillon

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