What is a newbie?
In the world of Triathlon, we hear the term Newbie thrown around a
lot. I have heard it used as an excuse (I bonked on the run, but hey,
Im a newbie) as an epithet (My transition was ruined because some
F*&#@!G newbie knocked over my bike), as a website address
(www.trinewbies.com), and even as a nickname (hey, Newbie, looking
good out there).
The problem is that no one has really defined what a newbie is
and what exactly constitutes newbiehood. I mean, this is my second year
in the sport, and I did 7 races last year, so Im not exactly new
anymore, but I still consider myself a newbie. On the other hand, Steve
Larsen won Ironman Lake Placid in his first year in the sport by
applying his years of professional cycling experience, so Im sure that
he didnt EVER consider himself a newbie.
Some definite signs that you are NOT a newbie include:
If you know your Vo2 max on the bike and run, you probably arent a newbie
If you have more than 3 bikes, you probably arent a newbie
If you can walk around in a speedo (or Tyr) suit and not feel the slightest bit of shame, you probably arent a newbie
If you can change a flat in under 2 minutes, you probably arent a newbie
If you think 9 workouts a week is a rest week you probably arent a newbie
My wife, also in her second year in the sport, likes to refer to
herself as a Triathlon Sophomore. I, on the other hand, like to refer
to her as shmoopie, but that doesnt really apply in this article.
I think at the end of the day, Newbiness is a state if mind. A newbie
is usually a little bit scared about this whole crazy sport. A newbie
usually has a minor inferiority complex from begin surrounded by
superfit people in tiny spandex outfits. A newbie probably doesnt have
the newest, spiffiest equipment, or if he does, he doesnt know how to
operate it properly. A newbie brings WAY too much stuff to the
transition area, but still manages to forget something important. A
newbie often had razor nicks and cuts on his ankles and the backs of
his knees. A newbie might be the last out of the water, the last on the
bike, and the last across the finish line, but will always have a
I hope I stay a newbie forever.
Jason King of the Newbies Berkowitz
Editors Note: Jason Berkowitz triathlon career highlights
include finishing last in his age group at the Bonelli long course in
2001, and bottom quartile finishes in 6 other races. Despite his shaky
results, he continues to train hard, and demonstrate the unbreakable
ability to laugh at himself and to NEVER take the sport too seriously.
Jason will be moderating the Beginners Training e-mail sublist and
leads a weekly beginners ride in the Valley, every Saturday at 9am.
Check the club calendar for details.