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MAKE TRIATHLON TRAINING FUN
By Kari Duane


That’s right, kids — fun is important when it comes to swimming, bike riding and running. You can be active and get ready for a triathlon, and the whole time it’s like playing a favorite outdoor game.


Your practice times shouldn’t be complicated or boring. Let’s make exercise fun and interesting. Here are a few ideas to get your body moving while having a great time.


You could visit a lake park (make sure a parent or coach is there) and try a backward brick: run, bike, swim. A brick means you are combining two or three sports of triathlon, and doing this backward can be exciting and challenging!


You can also try:
DYNAMIC STRETCHING — it warms up your body and your muscles through movement, not standing still.


WALK-AND-TALK LUNGES — put your hands on your hips and do forward moving lunges while visiting with your neighbor.


GIGGLE-WIGGLE WARM UPS — anything bouncy and fun while telling a joke! A great example is side twists, when you move your hips and your shoulders.


Another fun activity is one with lots of stations that you can pick yourself. This is a great group activity — you and your friends or teammates can spread out at the different stations you create. The number of repetitions (reps) of each fun exercise will depend on your age.


For example, a 9-year-old would do nine jumping jacks at the jumping jack station, then run to the hula-hoop station for nine hula repetitions before running to the next station, and so on throughout each of the activity stations in the circle. A 15-year-old would have to do 15 of each exercise, like ball tosses with a 1-pound ball, 15 seconds of balancing on one leg and then repeat it on the other. A 12-year-old would be asked to accomplish 12 of each exercise activity. This means kids of all ages can participate.


A rotating station course can be set up in a backyard, at a park, just about anywhere. The types of exercise activities are endless and all this physical activity is beneficial for triathlon training. As your interest in this kind of activity increases, I’m sure you can come up with any number of creative ideas.


 


Here’s a list of possible exercise activity stations to get you started:
- Jumping rope
- Hula Hoop rotation challenge
- Run with a noodle held between the knees
- Ball toss
- Balance on one foot at a time (or on a narrow board or on just about anything)
- Bouncy ball horse (use a large ball with a handle; it is big enough to sit on)
- Dance station
- Pushups or cartwheels
- Heel-toe walking
- Vertical jumps
- Skateboard balancing
Use your imagination — anything works!


Kari Duane is a USA Triathlon Youth and Junior Coach. In her spare time she likes spending time with her six kids, traveling and participating in triathlons!


 


 


WANT YOUR PROFILE IN THE MAGAZINE?
Answer the NEW questions in Miles’ profile on page 3 and email your answers (and a close-up picture) to communications@usatriathlon.org with “youth profile” in the subject line.


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