Fighting Middle Age? Try a Triathlon
The Triathlon Lifestyle
Training for three sports also is time-consuming — up to five to six days a week. But many older triathletes commit to the hours in exchange for fitness and a better work-life balance, a desire that seems to materialize later in life. Chagrin began running in his 40s before transitioning to triathlons.
Social and philanthropic reasons also attract newbies to the sport. Nonprofits, which have long used marathons as fundraising tools in exchange for training and camaraderie, now offer triathlons, too.
Chagrin runs the NYC triathlon with Team In Training, which offers support in exchange for fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Some participants don't have a personal connection to cancer but are attracted to the camranderie and training programs, says Veronica Perez, a Team In Training spokeswoman.
“It’s a social outlet as much as an athletic outlet,” says Mike May, a spokesman for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, based in Silver Spring, Md. “It’s just a lifestyle for many people and it’s addictive.”
There are roughly 2 million triathletes in the U.S., 51 percent more than 2007, according to the association.
Chagrin says his training group helps keep him — and his wife — motivated to race. “If I didn’t have a group I can train with, I probably wouldn't get up early.”
Alas, Chagrin won’t be competing in the NYC Ironman. But he thinks a half-Ironman race, 70.3 miles, is within reach: “I think it’s doable."