When competing in triathlon you can get stuck in the same cycle and things can become repetitive - so why not mix things up and try a cross triathlon? A cross triathlon, or off-road triathlon, consists of a lake/sea swim, a mixed terrain bike course with a higher degree of technicality and a run that includes dirt trails with natural obstacles (for example stair, sand, logs and more). All these aspects can enhance your standard triathlon skills, and you'll have fun doing so - here are five reasons to enter your first cross triathlon. Adventure When training for off-road triathlons, every session can be an adventure in which you go and get lost in nature and find trails and routes you have never been on before. There's also no need to worry about traffic when you’re on country routes. Take in the landscape and enjoy the change of scenery. Location Every race has an exceptional location - you'll visit the best of the British countryside and even across the world. For example, I'll be competing at the Xterra Cyprus later this year. These events are very attractive due to the amazing locations, but whether it's your first event or you're a pro athlete everyone is th
ere to support you and have a good time. Always make sure you fuel correctly as these events take nearly twice as long as the standard Olympic distance triathlon. Improves Bike Skills Racing and training on a mountain bike will improve your handling skills on the bike - this will make you a more confident rider. Through the winter you don’t need to worry about ice on the roads as you can go out all weathers meaning you’re not stuck on turbo. I often compare MTB to a computer game, there is a hurdle to get over, and you try until you complete the challenge - then you level up. You'll notice your skills improve as you progress levels. Challenge Every course is different and a challenge to complete; even if you do the same course a year apart, it wouldn’t be the same, often due to nature changing. One year the course could be really boggy and the next it could be completely dry, this makes the course entirely different. You don’t know how hard the course will be until the day of the race as the weather can change the dynamic and difficulty of the route. Improves Fitness Mixing up training, going out on the mountain bike and trail running uses different muscles and puts your body under different stress. If your body isn’t used to this, you can get a significant benefit from the training then doing the same practice each week. So why not challenge yourself and go for a run up a mountain or around a forest and enjoy the different types of training you can do. Make sure you go try a cross triathlon!