Triathlon training class effective for beginners and professionals

Athletes compete in last year’s triathlon on Wartburg’s campus. -Marketing & Communication

The Wartburg-Waverly Wellness Center is offering a class to prepare members for a small-sided triathlon held in Waverly.

The class, beginning on Feb. 8, is taught by Carrie Tysdahl, a certified coach and member of the USAT triathlon association, and Janet McCullough, an accomplished triathlete and USA swimming coach.

Heather Zajicek, the assistant director for aquatics, said the experience level of the class’s participants varies.

“We have a lot of members that are interested in the sport but maybe don’t know how to train or how to transition between the different activities,” she said.

“Then we have experienced triathletes that are very familiar with the sport that will come and try to get new ideas. They kind of help and learn from each other,” Zajicek said.

This class is 12-weeks long and meets for between 90 minutes to two hours every Wednesday night.

Each class session focuses on at least two of a triathlon’s disciplines.

The course finishes with a simulation of the TriByKnight triathlon course, which features an indoor 300-yard swim, 15-mile bike ride and a 5K run.

“The TriByKnight, kind of spinning off the 12-week class, is a great option for beginners,” Zajicek said.

Megan Kaestner, a Wartburg student who participated in the class and triathlon two years ago, had never completed a triathlon prior, but did have experience in training for half marathons.

“Training for a Sprint level triathlon was equally as rigorous as training for a half marathon,” she said.

“Going from biking to running is an extreme physical transition.”

Mallory McDonald, another Wartburg student and first-time triathlete, said while the class focuses on preparing the athletes for the event, it also teaches them how to improve their techniques within the sport.

“Coach Tysdahl would film us during our swim workouts so we could watch ourselves and see where we needed to improve,” she said.

The participants also learn how to eat right, maintain their equipment and train on their own, McDonald said.

While there are not any student participants in the class this year, Kaestner and McDonald encourage students to get involved not only to get in shape, but also to interact with members of the community.

“As a college student that’s not from this part of Iowa, I was able to meet and connect with people in the community who I still see around today,” Kaestner said.

The two also agreed that participating in this class taught them about staying healthy and improved their mental toughness.

“If you are thinking about doing a triathlon or want to try out a new way to workout and get in better shape, I would definitely recommend signing up for this class,” McDonald said.

“It’s a great opportunity to push yourself, learn about the sport, and meet new people.”

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