After the first season I started back, I looked into tri clubs. While many of them had a lot to offer, in reality it wasn’t plausible.
I examined the training schedules of the different tri clubs and I could tell the way they trained did not fit the way I did things. I had a schedule I liked and none of the tri club activities ever fit into that.
Next, some offered special packages, such as a swim package or a run package. Well, I didn’t need a swim package because not only am I a good swimmer, but I’m a US Masters coach as well. Throw in the fact that none of them had a better pool than Georgia Tech since I am an alumni and I have a membership. The run packages just didn’t work with my schedule.
Lastly, some of the tri clubs have some form of a “satellite” package where you pay a really low fee just to be part of message boards, post-race party tents and maybe one or two other small things. That didn’t do me much good either.
Now, there are things available to you which you don’t have to pay for! Cycling and running stores do all kinds of group activities for free. Check out your local stores for any group rides or group runs that you can do on week nights or weekends. It’s a great way to meet people and there will be a few fellow triathletes in the group.
I would recommend finding a Masters Swim Team. Regardless of your swimming abilities, it’s something that everyone can benefit from. The practices are already written for you. Coaches are always eager to work with swimmers who need help! Trust me on this, it was always nice to work one on one with someone who needed it. Lastly, sometimes the swim team will have a few people outside of triathletes whom are into open-water swimming. It’s always good to get together and head out to a lake if you need the experience! The nice part about USMS swimming is depending on your location, the different clubs have different practice times, which can help you mold your workout schedule.