Airdrie Triathlon Club a great resource for athletes
Swim three kilometres, bicycle 180 kilometres and then run 42 kilometres.
That’s an Ironman Triathlon.
Some people actually complete this murderous race, and not just over the course of their lifetime.
Former Airdrie mayor and current executive director of Creative Airdrie Linda Bruce is part of the Airdrie Triathlon Club, which has around 60 members at the moment, some of whom are Ironman finishers.
For about a year now, this group of audacious Airdronians meets to train for triathlon races of all kinds, from sprints to the Ironman.
“We decided that by getting together we could support each other, provide opportunities to train together, get some training expertise to come in and work with us, essentially provide what we couldn’t easily get on our own,” said Bruce, who is coming up on her third season of competing in triathlons and has completed six so far.
“It’s the personal challenge that you face doing it, the complexity of dealing with multi-sport and planning out how you’re going to train and deal with three different disciplines on a race day. It’s a challenge physically and mentally, and it is a big mental game, too, for triathlon.”
It’s not the easiest thing to train for, and Bruce is certainly putting her time in.
“Sometimes I (train) seven days a week, but sometimes I give myself Sunday off so my body can recover,” said Bruce.
“They always say the fourth discipline of triathlon is recovery and most of us don’t do it very well.”
Right now she trains in spin classes at Genesis Place, takes swim classes through the Nose Creek Swim Association’s adult program, and, of course, runs.
It’s an intimidating venture to think about, but Bruce says that only a few people in the group are Ironman finishers and many are just starting out in the sport, so everyone is welcome to join.
“There’s only a few people that have been at it for a really long time,” she said.
“We’ve got everybody from those who do mini-sprints, which is a much smaller distance, to people who are full on Ironman (finishers). We’ve got one woman in the group who will be doing her third or fourth Ironman this year. She did her first one last year. We’ve got lots of people who have done half Ironman down to the mini-sprints. It’s for everybody from the beginner to the very seasoned triathlete.”
Because there are people who have completed the seemingly impossible, they can be a great resource for beginners with questions.
“Sometimes you get even the little things like a nagging injury and you throw it up on the Facebook page: my knee is bugging me this way, anybody else ever have this, how did you deal with it?” explained Bruce.
“It’s just a great way to keep in touch with so many people who are doing the same thing.
“It’s very much sharing and working together, that way we don’t actually have to always get together as a club … we can do so much of it through Facebook. You can directly message somebody that you know might have the answers for you.”
Sharon Styles, a triathlon coach based out of Carstairs who has helped the Airdrie Triathlon Club with some of their training in the past, says there are benefits to training in a group like this club does.
“It keeps you motivated,” said Styles.
“Peer pressure can be a good thing. That Airdrie group, they seem to work well together, I see them working out in small groups when I’m training myself at Genesis Place.”
Some interesting training sessions the group have include video training for swimming, which Bruce said helped her own stroke immensely, and long-distance bike rides in the Kananaskis area where a particular road is closed until summer, allowing them to bike without any vehicle traffic.
For more information on the Airdrie Triathlon Club, visit airdrietriathlonclub.ca or search Airdrie Triathlon Club on Facebook and request to join the group.