Are you an A, B or C triathlete? When I first heard that term, I didn’t know what to think. When I was in college, and even when I went for my master’s degree, I always got “A’s” for my work or some “B’s.” I never got a “C.” But recently, I was classified as a “C” triathlete.

Should I feel bad that I’m a “C” triathlete? Should I just quit triathlon training because I truly suck at it? Now, I’m labeled.

Here are the definitions of each:

SWIM (a pace you can hold for a 500 pool or open water): A+ (sub-1:30 paces); A (1:30 pace); B+ (1:40 min pace); B (1:50 min pace); and C (2+ min pace).

BIKE (a pace you typically hold for a 90min+ “flat” Ride): A+ (20+mph), A (19 mph); B+ (17 mph), B (15-17mph); and C (13-15mph).

RUN (a pace you typically hold for a 6-mile flat training run): A+ (sub-8 min); A (8-9 min); B (9-11 min); and C (11+min).

After looking at these average paces, I started to feel intimidated. Again, I questioned why I’m doing this? Did I just buy a new bike for nothing? Should I just quit? Where am I going with this?

I understand that the reason I was classified into a category was so that I would find others to train with. But, it doesn’t make me feel good. I guess if I were an “A” I would feel great about this. (I don’t think I’ll ever be a “B” or an “A” athlete. For someone who never did anything ever, maybe I should take the “C” and feel good about it.)

When I was in the open water a few weeks ago, a woman who was classified as a “B” swimmer, said, “I’d like to swim with you guys but I’m much faster.” So instead of it becoming a good thing, it became negative once again.

When my Galloway group meets, we don’t group people according to speed. We all go out together for the long ones. The short ones are for speed training. And you know what, we all have excelled including the faster runners. Plus, it gives everyone an opportunity to get to know each other.

Do you think by classifying people into categories that it makes the sport feel less desirable? Love to hear your thoughts.