Here at Camp Ak-O-Mak, we love triathlon. It’s true! We may call ourselves a swimming camp, but we like to take it beyond the pool into a whole range of water and land sports, including the good ol’ triathlon.
Nothing beats the thrill of that first splash into the water, the speed of the biking leg and that sense of pride as you finally run across the finish line. Beyond the experience of completing a triathlon, there are so many benefits to enjoy from the sport.
Keep reading to get the lowdown on exactly what we love about triathlons, and why it’s such a great sport for teenage girls to take up.
1. Multi-sport training is beneficial for teenage athletes
The majority of sports injuries in youth are caused by overuse. Teenagers who focus their time on only one sport are doing the same movements with the same muscles over and over. This repetition can eventually result in injury, and having to watch their teammates from the sidelines.
Multi-sport training ensures that a variety of muscles are used to prevent injuries from wear and tear. Working a wider range of muscles and movements can help strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the key muscles used in your daughter’s sport of choice.
Triathlon is three sports combined into one, bring the benefits of multi-sport training without really going out your way to do so.
Even if she’s not a year-round triathlete, the strength and endurance she will develop from taking part in triathlon at Camp Ak-O-Mak will help to improve her performance during the school year and lower her risk of injury.
2. Improved confidence and perseverance
Swimming, biking or running for a distance are a workout even at a leisurely pace. Combine them all together into a race, and you’ve got yourself a challenge to overcome!
A triathlon involves setting performance goals (whether that’s achieving a certain time or simply crossing the finish line), putting in hours of training, then pushing through fatigue, thirst and tired legs during the race. It’s hard work, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes at the finish line is all worth it.
There’s no better way for teenage girls to develop confidence and perseverance than pushing their limits and experiencing what they’re truly capable of. Taking part in a triathlon is the perfect real-world scenario to experience and develop these important characteristics.
3. Whole-body strengthening
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s a given that a sport involving three different activities will use and develop a range of muscles. Triathlon’s combination of swimming, running and biking works the body from head to toe. Your teen will use muscles she never even knew she had!
Whole-body strengthening can improve her performance in any sport and help prevent injuries caused by muscle imbalances or overuse.
4. Few barriers to participation
Don’t let the people decked out in specialized, high-tech gear scare you away. It’s a nice to have, but absolutely not a necessity. The only equipment that’s truly necessary to participate in a triathlon is a bathing suit, bike, helmet, a t-shirt, shorts and a pair of running shoes.
With so little equipment required, it’s easy for anybody to “try a tri”. This makes it a great sport for families working with a more limited budget. It also means that if your teen gives triathlon a shot but ultimately decides it’s not for them, you won’t have wasted an exorbitant amount on gear that may never be used again.
5. Practice their math skills
It’s not uncommon these days to see headlines about falling math scores in the news. You may not want to tell them this, but training for a triathlon will help your daughter practice and develop her math skills.
This may sound crazy, but think about it. Your daughter will calculate split times and the pace needed to achieve certain time goals. She’ll determine how many laps of a pool or running track are required to cover a specific distance. She can even work on saving and budgeting for new gear and race fees.
No, your daughter won’t learn calculus during her triathlon training. It is, however, a great way to sneak in a bit of math and financial literacy into her life beyond school work.
6. Develop a life long love for sport and fitness
To be a successful triathlete requires a regular training program of swimming, biking, running and complementary strength and cross-training. Even if your teen doesn’t continue with the sport itself, the skills and habits she learned from her training days will always be with her.
Your daughter will also continue to find ways to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of a morning swim or a run around the neighbourhood. She’ll always remember that sense of accomplishment as she finishes a steep hill climb or when she finally crosses the finish line of a race. This will help her avoid shying away from challenges in the future, and keep seeking out ways to grow and challenge herself as an athlete and an individual.
The fitness routines and benefits established as a teenage triathlete help set the stage for lifelong healthy eating, regular exercise and an overall commitment to maintaining good physical and mental health.
No matter which way you look at it, there are so many benefits to be realized from your teenage daughter participating in triathlon. Summer camp is an excellent place for her to develop her skills or “try a tri” for the very first time. With the chance to swim every day, kilometres of running and biking trails and like-minded peers, she’ll come home at the end of the summer stronger and faster (and with better math skills!) than ever before.
The first of its type in the world, Camp Ak-O-Mak is Canada’s premier sports camp for girls. As one of our pillar sports, we’re proud to offer girls from all around the world the chance to give triathlon a try and develop their skills in this exciting sport with the support of highly qualified coaches who are retired national and Olympic level competitors.
Register your daughter today to take part in our summer triathlon camp in northern Ontario, and get ready for a summer your daughter will never forget!