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How Pro Triathlete Dani Treise Fell in Love with Training

Dani Treise running Photo provided by Dani Treise

I’ll never forget telling a friend my initial impressions after a few months of officially triathlon training. “I just love the training! So many hours of fun!” Coming from a running background, triathlon training was definitely different. Instead of focusing on one sport, there were three to work on improving. Instead of a few hours a week, there were many.  In my mind, this was a dream! I already cherished my time getting outside and having the opportunity to push myself during my runs, but adding biking and swimming to the mix tripled the fun!

Triathlon training isn’t always glamorous or exciting. As an endurance sport, by definition it involves long and monotonous tasks. Daily early morning alarms, hours spent looking at the bottom of a pool, and learning to focus during 4+ hour bike rides. Some people would be bored just thinking about this as a lifestyle!  Learning to love the process is truly the only way to achieve longevity in the sport.

I consider myself extremely lucky in this regard. After moving to a new city as a beginner triathlete, I found myself welcomed with open arms into amazing running, cycling, and swimming groups. These groups were hard working, committed, focused on improvement, but most importantly – had a lot of fun! Runs finished at local breweries, bike rides started at coffee shops, and swims were done outside in the summer watching the sunrise. I quickly made friends who were like-minded and in addition to trying to soak up training tips like a sponge, I laughed so much I usually forgot I was working hard to keep up.  (I also managed to snag a smoking hot husband out of the deal. Pretty cool!)

I’ve since moved to another new city and although I’ve left these training groups, I will take the lessons in finding the fun in hard work with me for the rest of my life. During hard intervals or one more hour on my indoor trainer, I still think of my friends who are out there doing the same thing and how lucky we are to be healthy enough to push our physical limits. Focusing on what I love keeps me grounded and excited for the next day. There’s no better feeling than getting fresh air, breathing hard, and moving my body in the pursuit of big goals and seeing little gems of progress along the way. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s fun to reflect on what I love about training. As they say, “find joy in the process and results will come”. And I’ve found usually far more easily than expected. 

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