Tari Kelly: I TRI for many reasons - everyone can
Our feature athlete - Tari Kelly, is a member of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy and loves to share her passion for the sport of triathlon. Get inspired to TRI this July at Hawrelak Park.
Anyone can do a triathlon! There are countless reasons to try the sport; for me, it all started so that I could eat what I wanted, and drink beer when I liked, without worrying about gaining weight…true story!
Fifteen years ago, my husband started training to do his first triathlon. I was working full time with a baby and a three-year old child, and thought there was no way I could find time to train as well. Despite that, six years later I dove in and joined a triathlon training swim group :)
I am sometimes known to be a bit pessimistic. At the beginning, I would say things like “I will never have time for all this training”. However, once I started planning my days to include specific training, it was easier than I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days when I get into bed exhausted, but the end results are worth it.
Make a Plan and stick with it:
The biggest challenge with training while maintaining a family, and a full-time job is finding the time to fit it all in. Luckily for me, I train with my husband and son, which makes it a lot easier.
During the week, I wake up at 5am and pack up everything for the entire day. I swim at 6am before work, some days I run during my lunch hour, and other days I do my biking or running right after work. The key is to schedule everything. Not preplanning my day makes it is so easy to skip out on training!
Triathlon, for me, has been a stress reliever, a form of exercise, and, most of all, a great social outing. I’ve travelled with friends to Chicago, Mexico and across Canada to do races, and can say that it’s an amazing experience.
Swim - Bike - Run
Swimming was my biggest challenge. While I knew how to swim, I did not know how to do a proper freestyle stroke. This is where a coach can play a huge role and I highly recommend participating in a coached swimming program. When I began training I swam two times per week and this was enough to get through!
I began my own triathlon training with the St.Albert Road Runners and Triathlon Group (STARRT), and am currently lucky enough to train with the Edmonton Triathlon Academy, under head coach Kevin Clark. With Kevin, my swim has vastly improved. He’s an amazing coach!
Kevin’s advice includes swimming 10, 000 metres per week (YES, I KNOW! 10 000 METRES!!). This number sounds insane, but I try to accomplish it by swimming 4-5 times per week, doing 2000m per day. I do what I can, and remind myself that I am doing this for fun ;)
Biking is my favourite part of triathlon. To me, the best part is heading out for a long ride with a group of friends on a beautiful day. In Edmonton, our winters make it difficult to maintain bike training, but training with a group makes it a lot easier! I recently joined ZWIFT, an online community with riders from over 150 countries, and I really enjoy the virtual rides – it makes the indoor training fun!
Running… well, running is hard! That is a fact! I run with my BFF during our lunch hour, and with my group at the Edmonton Triathlon Academy. I must stress the importance of friends! It is a lot easier to do a training session when you are with people. Besides running in a group, a great way to improve my run is to include one speed session per week. While it is difficult, you feel phenomenal when you’re done!
So Much More!
I have committed a great deal to my training and my results show it! I secured two top 15 finishes at the Grand Final in Cozumel in 2016. This year, my key races are the Ottawa Triathlon and the ITU World Triathlon Series Edmonton. My next big goal will be the 2020 Grand Final in Edmonton when I turn 50!
There is so much more to triathlon than just swimming, biking, and running. I have been doing triathlon now for 7 years. My results have been improving, but more importantly I love to TRI! I love the coffee and breakfast stops after a long, hard weekend bike session. I love being able to go out for wings and beer without worrying about calories! I love the excitement of cheering on my teammates at the races we attend. I love the support I receive from my family and friends (even if some of them think I’m crazy)! I love to travel with a big group to attend the World Triathlon Races.
If you’ve been thinking about Tri-ing, do it! It is a great ride!