Nutrition Matters1 of 10
You're not going to get through a 70.3-mile race on donuts and cola (well, maybe you can). But your nutrition plan—often considered the fourth sport of triathlon—can be the difference between a DNF and a PR. Executing a fine-tuned nutrition plan is one of the best, most satisfying aspects of this distance.
Destination Races2 of 10
Due to their large crowds and thousands of athletes toeing the line, you may not have a local race in your backyard. Many 70.3 triathlons are hosted in larger, vacation-friendly areas perfect for families and post-race relaxation.
Eat Everything in Sight3 of 10
Ask your significant other, the training volume required to complete a 70.3 triathlon will leave you constantly hungry and maybe a little, shall we say, hangry. What's the best part of completing a swim/bike brick workout? Stuffing your face for hours post-workout.
Race Amongst Pros4 of 10
IRONMAN 70.3 triathlons offer prize purses that attract many top-level professional triathletes. Triathlon is one of the few sports that give the everyday athlete a chance to race alongside the pros on the same course. You'll likely get smoked, but hey, that's racing.
Test Yourself5 of 10
If you thought an Olympic triathlon was tough, making the leap to a 70.3 triathlon will truly test your mental and physical fortitude. With a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run, you'll be exploring every corner of the pain cave as you make your way through the course.
Swag on Swag on Swag6 of 10
Sure, jumping to the 70.3 distance means you'll also be spending more money on race registrations, but you'll be getting some cool swag once you pick up your bib.
Also, the chance to check out all the new triathlon gear at the race expo is something many shorter distance races don't offer.
Sherpa Support7 of 10
Racing a 70.3-distance triathlon is tough to undertake on your own. Checking gear bags, finding parking and heading over to athlete briefing all takes time and precious energy you'll want to conserve before race day. A well-versed Sherpa (aka significant other) will not only make your pre-race schedule easier, but you'll have someone to celebrate your accomplishments with after the race.
New Gear8 of 10
You're now entering the realm where gear matters. Triathlon bikes are geometrically aerodynamic (and expensive) for a reason, and you'll have a faster and more enjoyable race with tri-specific gear. If you're interested in landing a new PR, leave that surfing wetsuit and road bike at home and invest in the right gear.
Bragging Rights9 of 10
Completing a 70.3-mile race is a serious accomplishment. While you may not be able to get that M-Dot tattoo on your calf just yet, not many people can say they've completed one of the hardest endurance feats in the world. Enjoy all your hard work and revel in the moment!