And I'm really really scared. It's an informational meeting and I'm very shy and I don't really like meeting new people because it makes me uncomfortable. Any thoughts and tips or questions I should ask?
Courage folks! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> 99% of the athletes are nice & welcoming. I don't belong to a tri club but to a running club with a few MSers here & there. They're an awesome group of people though I'm still intimidated by the amount of raw speed there is.
Just do it. What's the worst that could happen? They're mean and ignore you? - Chances are really good that they will be nice, most folks are, and welcome you into their group. I'm a big advocate of doing the things that scare us - it's how you grow, meet people, have new experiences. You'll be great - and if it's awful (which it won't be) you don't ever have to go back.
Ask about group workouts. Group workouts will keep you motivated, earn you many more new friends than you can keep up with, teach you nuances about sport and life, and be an amazing tool to help you kick ass at Timberman.
I'm a pseudo member of a tri-club and they are really nice people. Yo Sake introduced me to her club last summer for OW swims and it was GREAT-I'm looking forward to swimming AND riding with them on the summer weekends.
I don't mean, "just ask about group workouts," as if finding out if they have them. I mean, ask about how they treat newbies, ask what the paces are and how many people show.<br><br>
As an example, my Tri-club has a policy of no person gets left behind. So no matter how slow you are, you will always have company or someone to show you the route. Because of this, we get a fair amount of newbies, many of whom are slow; a good number of semi-seasoned triathletes with maybe a one or two or three under their belt; and a few seasonsed triathletes. This is where the cross pollenation takes hold, because those with experience are able to dispense it, which is very, very important because, mainly, many newbies -- the slow AND fast AND medium speed ones -- are very green and by extension very dangerous to themselves and everybody else. So it helps to have the seasoned guys and gals ride beside them every now and then and give instruction. Otherwise we may find them in a ditch.<br><br>
Because of the different levels of ability, the group takes on a certain personality. Some people swear by the rides while others use it as a way to pass the miles as they go long with riding to the group ride, doing the ride, and riding home. I fall into the latter category, but the first few times I am sure to slow down to help everyone out; but by the time the rides get rolling into May, I'm more focused on using the group ride as a way to break up my long ride, and to possible get myself a solider or two -- and often there are none -- to hammer away with. But I always warn whoever it is who jumps on my wheel that I will be pushing hard and not stopping, so please know it... because otherwise they try to stay on your wheel and you wind up killing them only 10 miles in because they get sucked into pushing hard when they didn't want to, which may sound good but is not when they still have another 20 miles to ride and this is only their second time on the bike since last season.<br><br>
So find out about what the groups offer.
I would bet it would be a nice bunch of people with many newer athletes and people who are only just considering doing a triathlon. You may also wish to look at single sport clubs for the three sports, sometimes there are groups that do things like track work or bike time trials that might fit well with your training. Our local running club is excellent and offers organized workouts with over 100 people showing up, it's amazing, something for everyone pace wise.