Monday, August 8, 2016

My Talk with Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Programs!

One of my favorite jobs as a professional triathlete and coach is to promote the sport of triathlon. It has given me so much and I love to give back in any way I can. I had the wonderful opportunity to do so by talking with the kids from two Race4Chase YMCA programs this year. Race4Chase is a program that was developed in memory of Chase Kowalski who loved triathlon and was killed at the Sandy Hook Tragedy. According to its mission:  

The Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon program is a youth triathlon program aimed to provide kids aged 6 to 12 with a safe, healthy non-competitive environment to discover the sport of triathlon.  It brings together kids from all different backgrounds and educates them on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, coaches them to develop a foundation of athletic skills, and inspires them to aim high in sports and in life.

Designed as a six week goal oriented summer program, the program provides kids with expert instruction in swimming, cycling, running, strength training and flexibility, and also teaches them the fundamentals of good nutrition, under the supportive guidance of coaches, lifeguards and instructors. Implementing a custom-designed training program, the coaches provide the youth athletes with all the equipment, knowledge, and one-on-one support they need to become tri-athletes.  At the culmination of the training camp, all the youth athletes come together to compete in a USAT-sanctioned triathlon race.

In addition, this year the kids got a free entry to camp and a free bike if they needed one.

Here is a video on the CMAK foundation which supports the Race4Chase Triathlon Program.



One thing I really love about the camp is that it exposes kids to triathlon at an early age which is so important to the growth of our sport. If kids know about triathlon, learn how to train, and enjoy their experience, they will want to continue to do it. This will only help the future of triathlon!

For my part, I sat them down and talked about the typical day of a professional triathlete including how much I sleep (9-12 hours a day), how much I eat (lots), what I eat (healthy food like pasta, fruits, and vegetables), and my daily workout routine (swim, bike, run, strength, rest). At the end of my talk, I really emphasized the importance of consistency. If there is one thing I know about triathlon, it’s that the more you train and race, the better you get. There are going to be tough races and training days where you just don’t want to swim, bike, or run, but if you keep showing up, you will be rewarded for your hard work.  

Training Day! Everyone wanted to touch my bike...

To finish up, I ran them through my typical warm-up and drills. We concluded with some fun relays which really fired up the kids. The best relay was when they had to run backwards. It was hard enough for them just to keep going, let alone race each other while doing so! The kids absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to help out again next year!


Race Day!


Thanks to the Soundview YMCA and Valley Shore YMCA for having me be a part of this great program!

For more information on Race4Chase and how you might contribute to the CMAK foundation, check out http://www.cmakfoundation.org/.

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