Can triathlon help you lose weight?

Posted Ella Villas Articles

I came across a story on reddit today of this woman who lost a lot of weight after committing to finishing a triathlon within 1 year. Here’s her before and after photos:


Here’s the quote from her husband who posted this:

It’s funny, I remember she’s always admired the ironman competition – but I thought it was because of the intense athletic milestone it is to achieve – that or because she liked seeing strong dudes sweating it out in tiny pants.

It wasn’t ever conceivable that she would ever actually compete – she could barely balance on a bike and couldn’t swim a lap of a pool and couldn’t even run 100m without keeling over as if nearly dying.

The kids had a school sports day and they wanted her to run in the “parent’s race”. She did it for them but felt embarrassed that she couldn’t run the whole way and couldn’t keep up – her goal was to be able to run in the next parent’s race, so her kids would be proud of her, not embarrassed by her.

She began running and riding and met other riders along the way that encouraged her to do a triathlon and the rest is history…”

So, can triathlon help you lose weight?

The answer is…yes! But it’s not likely the reason you may be thinking.

It would be easy to make the assumption that training produced the results this woman experienced.

But this is likely not the case. This is evidenced by so many examples of people who do sports like triathlon and distance running, and cannot seem to get down to their ideal body.

But triathlon can definitely help with any weight loss or fitness goals, if it is combined with the right mindset (psychological awareness) and proper nutrition, as well as rest & recovery.

For this woman, and likely for others who have had success losing weight with triathlon, the very act of commitment to doing the race, and sticking with that commitment were the keys to making fitness gains.

My guess is this commitment spilled over into other areas of her life.

A better diet and sleep schedule are necessary to train for any distance triathlon.

And the discipline it takes to stay with the training will help improve your self image, leading to greater confidence and belief in yourself!

So training and staying with it can mean shedding off those undermining voices that say “You can’t do this” and turning them around into a belief in yourself, a belief that you can master swimming, biking, and running, and that you ARE a triathlete.

Will hard, long workouts on their own lead to weight loss?

Not likely.

It’s the combination of the wholistic fitness approach of psychology, nutrition, rest, and finally workouts that will lead to success stories like this woman on reddit.

Have a great week of training!