**This post has been sponsored by Cooper Fitness to bring you this experience. All opinions are 100% our own.**
Triathlon training is gaining popularity in the realm of youth sports. Even as team sports are becoming more competitive and demanding, triathlon training allows kids at any age and ability level to participate and reap both physical and emotional benefits. The focus is not about competing with the other individuals, but more so on performing your personal best and working to improve on that, eliminating many of the stressors involved in team sports.
Just What Is a Triathlon?
A triathlon is an athletic event or race that combines swimming, cycling and running. They are becoming increasingly popular and can vary in race distances. The most common distances for youth triathlons are as follows, typically split by age groups:
- Juniors (ages 6-10): Swim, 100 yards; Bike, 3 miles; Run, 1/2 mile
- Seniors (ages 11-15): Swim, 200 yards; Bike, 6 miles; Run, 1 mile
Why Try A “Tri?”
Triathlon training is an outlet for children to exercise while gaining confidence in their individual performance, without the added pressure of competitive team sports. Some of the many benefits of participating in a triathlon include:
- Fun: Most kids already love to swim, ride their bike and run outside, so combining those three in one event is a win-win-win. Research shows enjoyment is the number one factor in adherence to an exercise program for children and that having fun is the number one reason athletes play a specific sport. Signing your child up for something he or she loves leads to the potential of him finding a sport for life.
- Physical Activity: It is apparent not all children are meeting the recommendation of 60 minutes per day of physical activity. As we have seen more and more, the amount of P.E. time is declining in schools, the hours of screen time are increasing in our youth, and childhood obesity rates are rising. Triathlon training can help with this minimum physical activity requirement by providing cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and increased coordination.
- Better Academic Performance: Studies show physical activity can lead to better attention and improved academic performance among students. Why not use this as another reason to try a triathlon to get outside and move this spring?
- Camaraderie: While endurance sports don’t require teamwork the same way team sports do, friendships and camaraderie develop as kids train side-by-side for a triathlon in a small group setting like this to reach individual goals.
- Goal Setting: Training for a triathlon helps children learn how to set goals and teaches them that hard work and dedication pay off. This goal-setting skill and sense of accomplishment are applicable in many real-life situations.
Cooper Fitness Center presents a Youth Triathlon Training Clinic with Swim Pro and triathlete Marni Kerner, March 18 to April 29 (skipping April 1). Cooper’s triathlon clinic is the ideal setting for kids ages 8 to 15 to give triathlons a try or improve these skills which might help with other sports or activities. This training program meets on Sunday afternoons and focuses on improving participants’ biking, running and swimming techniques, including transitions between each phase in the event. Children will receive guidance in goal setting and preparing for a triathlon race and even take part in a short sprint triathlon at the end of the clinic. Reserve your spot in the Cooper Fitness Center Youth Triathlon Training Clinic today.
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Lexie McClelland is the Camps and Youth Programs Manager at Cooper Fitness Center. Lexie studied Sports Psychology at Texas Christian University and has played an integral role in the Cooper Youth Programs since 2017.
Marni Kerner is the Swimming Pro at Cooper Fitness Center with more than 15 years of aquatic coaching experience. She teaches novice through competitive swimmers, both adults and children, year-round. She is also the Hockaday swim classroom and swim team coach.