By Diana Gerstacker
TheActiveTimes.com

When you think about switching up your fitness routine (or starting a new routine entirely), you might consider joining a gym, finding a group class or breaking out your old sneakers and taking up a sport you once loved. All of those options, when done regularly, would certainly provide several health benefits. The most important part of any fitness training is that you actually enjoy doing it, but if you're looking for a few extra benefits, you should try training for a triathlon.

We know -- just the word ‘triathlon’ strikes fear into the hearts of single-sport athletes everywhere -- and plenty of other people, too. The multi-faceted race is typically associated with tons of equipment, complicated courses and 70.3 miles of physical activity (and that's only the half).

Among the sports involved, everyone has a dreaded activity, be it running, cycling or swimming and the sheer task of training for each of the parts can be daunting. The fusion of three activities in one race may turn people away from competing but, for us, the challenge is just another reason to love triathlons.

It’s not hard to see how these races or the training alone might be intimidating, but overcoming initial fear is just one of the things you can be proud of at the finish line. And if you decide not to race, triathlon training will still provide plenty of benefits.

Why You Should Train For A Triathlon

More Than Just Physical Challenge
 

More Than Just Physical Challenge

It's clear that training for a triathlon is a physical challenge, but what you might not realize is that it's challenging in other ways too. Chances are you'll have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to training -- you might be a great runner but intimidated by the swim -- and that's part of what makes triathlon so rewarding.

More Than Just Physical Challenge
 

More Than Just Physical Challenge

The opportunity to overcome your weakness and fear is one of the best things about the sport.

Learn More About How Your Body Works
 

Learn More About How Your Body Works

Between getting a feel for body mechanics in all three mediums and actually pushing yourself to your limits, triathlon training can shed light on some things you should know about your body.

Learn More About How Your Body Works
 

Learn More About How Your Body Works

You'll be surprised at how much you can handle and you'll have greater awareness of your body, which will help in all aspects of fitness.

Set Your Own Goals, Even For Competition
 

Set Your Own Goals, Even For Competition

Triathlons are not one-size-fits-all -- there are several different race lengths. The sprint triathlon is the shortest, totaling about 16 miles and they go all the way up to 140.6 miles, which is a full Ironman distance.

Set Your Own Goals, Even For Competition
 

Set Your Own Goals, Even For Competition

Even if you never sign up for a race, setting a goal of completing a sprint triathlon on your own could be a great milestone in your training.

Race Alongside Some Of Best Athletes In The World
 

Race Alongside Some Of Best Athletes In The World

There aren't many sports where people of all skill levels compete on the same course at the same time, but triathlon is one of them.

Race Alongside Some Of Best Athletes In The World
 

Race Alongside Some Of Best Athletes In The World

If you decide to compete you could be sharing the starting line with professional triathletes and that’s pretty incredible.

It's Tough To Be Bored
 

It's Tough To Be Bored

Don't feel like getting in the water today? You can get a workout on your bike or go for a run and still get training in your sport.

It's Tough To Be Bored
 

It's Tough To Be Bored

Triathlon training can afford you daily choice in your workouts and that means you're less likely to get bored or plateau.

Get An Edge In Other Sports
 

Get An Edge In Other Sports

Just as cross-training helps athletes break boundaries in their respective sports; triathlon training can help improve your fitness, improving your performance in other sports.

Get An Edge In Other Sports
 

Get An Edge In Other Sports

Strengthening otherwise neglected muscles can help give you the push you need to excel both within and outside of triathlon.

Build Self-Confidence
 

Build Self-Confidence

It's hard to know just what you're made of until a real challenge helps you figure it out. Training for a triathlon and maybe even competing in one is a unique challenge that elicits a sense of pride.

Build Self-Confidence
 

Build Self-Confidence

Whether it's improving your time, hitting a training milestone or crossing the finish line, triathlon builds major confidence.

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For the complete list of Reasons You Should Train For A Triathlon, go to TheActiveTimes.com.

More From The Active Times:
-- 20 Essentials for Triathlon Race Day
-- 7 First-Time Triathlon Mistakes
-- The World's Best Marathons
-- The 20 Best Running Shoes of 2015

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