Update: Several years after this original post, I completed my own triathlon! I was a fat triathlete and it was a really fantastic experience. I learned a lot from the triathlon and discovered that my obsession with triathlons was well founded – they are incredibly fun and challenging.
Not everyone that completes a triathlon is a skinny and fit person. Triathletes actually come in all shapes and sizes: including fat!
Thanks to my running/triathlon completing friends I am now a bit obsessed with triathlons, especially Ironman. I love reading about formerly fat people completing triathlons and even more, I love reading about currently overweight people doing it!
Though triathlons seem like they are only for thin people who are super in shape, it’s really a sport for all sizes. Below are some sources for inspiration if you are overweight but dreaming of being a triathlete.
Remember, it’s totally possible to be a fat triathlete!
Fat Triathlete Inspiration: Slow Fat Triathlete
Slow Fat Triathlete wrote a book about her tri adventures.
The idea of participating in a triathlon may sound out of the realm of possibility for those without a typical jock-athlete’s honed build, intense focus, and competitive mindset. But now Slow Fat Triathlete opens the door to those who may not come quite so equipped. After years of obesity, poor health, and self-doubt, Jayne Williams took part in her first triathlon in 2002 to prove something to herself and became hooked on the rush of the race. Today she is a self-proclaimed “slow fat triathlete,” unafraid to overcome humiliation, laugh at her foibles, have fun, and accomplish impressive goals. Slow Fat Triathlete is a book for those who may be overweight, out of shape, undisciplined, or otherwise unprepared to enter a triathlon but are curious to try. Through personal stories, practical ideas and suggestions, and uproarious anecdotes, this book inspires, encourages, and proves that with a little training, almost everybody can have a great time and reap huge rewards from pursuing their tri dreams—and that everyone can become a participant and an athlete.
Fat Triathlete Inspiration: When Big Boys Tri
Michael Pate at When Big Boys Tri is a great inspiration for bigger athletes. He wrote a book too. Go figure.
Fat Triathlete Inspiration: Bonnie Crawford
Bonnie Crawford doesn’t have a book deal or a website (that I know of), but she completed the Ironman. Read about her here.
Fat Triathlete Inspiration: Triathlon for Every Woman
Triathlon for the Every Woman is a hilarious, fun and informative read–full of expert advice, training tips, and stories to turn a tired, busy woman into a tired, busy woman TRIATHLETE–no matter her size, age or place in life.
Meredith Atwood, an overweight and overworked wife, mother and attorney, went from the couch to the finish of a half Ironman triathlon in a little over a year. Her book, full of contributions from expert coaches, nutritionists and athletes, takes the reader through the disciplines of swimming, biking and running.
Even for those lacking in time, motivation or hope, Triathlon for the Every Woman will turn everything around and make any woman a believer.
Just Keep Believing!
I actually completed my first triathlon when I was overweight and have loved reading about others who did the same. If you are fat but still want to be a triathlete – don’t worry, you can! Enjoy this inspiration and let it guide you to new experiences in the world of triathlons!
Want more on triathlons? Check out the list of Beginner Triathlon Training Resources!