Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TRIathletes vs. TRYathletes

There is a reason why i've named my blog "beyond cut off".

Although the reason is very apparent to most that know me, there are still a few who actually say "wow! cool name... it is because you go BEYOND the cut off? like an extra mile after finishing?"

erm.... not exactly.

for the record, beyond cut off clearly means i always finish beyond the cut off TIME. Not once have i every met any official cut off time.

Now, i suspect there would be a few people who would gasp out loud after reading the above point. Some may even ask "why bother then?" (if you're new to my blog, and found yourself asking this question, welcome on board! and please read my first posting...)

However, if you find yourself nodding, actually understanding what it's like to finish after cut off no matter how 'hard' you train AND actually relating to me, you are very much on the same page as i am.

ta-daaaah! the clear difference between TRIathletes and TRYathletes.

If i went a little too fast there, let me explain:
To me, there are basically two types of people in triathlons. The TRIathletes and the TRYathletes. There have been many verbal, unproven theories of what these two really mean. some say if you are not an elite racer you, chances are, are a TRYathlete. or if you're a newbie and ain't fast enough to meet cut off, you are a TRYathlete. and my very own perception that if you're in it purely for fun in the sun, you are a TRYathlete (fun in the sun itself has many differing perception, but i'll leave that for my next posting)

i personally see myself as a TRYathlete.

to avoid being corrected about what it means to be a TRIathlete (obviously since I've placed myself in the opposing basket), i would like to list out what i perceive as NOT being a TRYathlete:
1. You are not a TRYathlete if you are a newbie.
Being a newbie simply means that you have the choice and power to improve yourself and become a TRIathlete in whatever time frame you set for yourself.

2. You are not a TRYathlete if you are an underdog at triathlons.
Ok, so you haven't clocked the best of times. Some races you beat your personal record only to slump 20mins on your very next attempt. This scenario doesn't make you a TRYathlete... it just wasn't your best race

3. You are not a TRYathlete if you push yourself to train hard and feel extremely disappointed that your training didn't pay off.
You clock average logs of 2k swims, 80k bike and 24k runs (sometimes more) per week. But you see no progress in race times or fluctuating success during races. This is more like you need to reevaluate your training schedule and see what you're doing inefficiently.

4. You are not a TRYathlete if your race time seems to boarder around 3:10 to 3:30, with occasional marginal improvement.
So you're not the fastest bunny on the field, doesn't make you any less a TRIathlete than the other greyhounds you see lapping you. Being a TRYathlete is a mental state and is not determined by what speeds your little feet can carry you.

By now you should notice that it isn't THAT easy to be a TRYathlete. If you've had bad races and/or you've had inconsistent improvements you're not one because being a TRYathlete is not measured by your physical abilities. Like i said... it's a mental state.

It's a mental state because if you are determined to continuosly improve your race time, you automatically place yourself as an underdog and potentially become a great TRIathlete, hence out of the TRYathlete basket.

And as an underdog, you should never feel like a lesser mortal beside the triathlon gods because they were not born that way. and as far as i have learnt in life... anything man-made can be replicated, it's just a matter of how closely you copy the original.

To me, it's a mental state because "TRYathletism" syndrome (if there's every such a word) does not choose you, YOU have to choose to be a TRYathlete.

You choose whether to have pure fun or sweet victory
You choose whether to bonk yourself senseless or dress up for the occasion (hey, if you ain't planning to go fast, you might as well look good doing it)
You choose whether to get your money's worth or consider race day a short getaway with no signs of ROI
You choose whether you want to be admired or teased endearingly

Don't get me wrong.. TRYathletes are not the slumps of triathlons. A talented TRYathlete can, and probably will, kick ass during races. We're merely people of a different mindset. Kinda like the mirror spectrum of the elites. If i were to draft it out, you'll probably have minorities at each end. Say for example, 10% elites, 80% underdogs, 10% TRYathletes.

I've chosen to be part of the TRYathlete minority.

How about you?


petitemeehoon said...

this is the only way for me to have FUN. some of my frens said 'are u crazy? by getting tanned, pain all over your body and few bruises (if u not lucky enough to get one)

well, sort of crazy a bit (a bit only :p)

Al-Ishsal said...

wei, me never meet cut off too, yeay! my official times are 4:08, 4:23, 4:03 ... and i never stop smiling no matter how painful. so can i pls pls be categorized as a TRY, pleasseee?? :D

Vicious Lifecycle said...

didnt you just like won 300 rm?..
thats 5 free entry registration!

sorry ya! i'll put you in the tri basket.

beyond cut off said...


Mental state la... so if you THINK like a TRYathlete.. you are a TRYathlete.

btw, arif and I were just agreeing that you may be a TRYathlete in the making. Esp since you push yourself so tht you can get that 'damn medal' for your daughter. Absolutely noble!

beyond cut off said...


winning that RM300 was a fluke la...

remember! TRYathletes are not the slumps of triahlons. there will be talented ones that can kick ass...

At kenyir, i was 'talented' enough to register for an event that had prizes for top 10 finishers but only 6 participants in my category :)

tryathlete said...


she's a TRYathlete because she did not go to kenyir with the aim of winning money. that's wasn't her motivation. her motivation is to have fun, not to win money. the prize money was just a bonus. therefore, she's very much a TRYathlete

MAJOR K said...

Ah May... compile your writing and sell it! The money can sponsor me to go race.... ahahaha hilarious stuff you got in here!