TriKids Training in conjunction with the Houston Kids Triathlon is now at its half-way mark.
I am thrilled for the rest this weekend as we have time-off for Easter. Upon return next week, there are four weeks before race day!
We are beginning the countdown with practice turning to transitions and a mock-tri the week before the race.
As I am overseeing the practices with my team of coaches at the Weekley YMCA, I have some insights to share as parents are preparing through the final weeks, and looking ahead to other races.
– BE Certain your child can swim. Many of the kids come to trainings at the YMCA not being able to swim, or maybe being able to swim a little bit. We do provide swim lessons outside of TriTraining, and help kids be race ready BUT they need to have the ability to swim before they consider competing. One hundred meters is the swim distance for the Junior division at Houston Kids Triathlon. If your child can only swim 50feet, it is not going to be a pleasant experience. I think it might be more traumatic for a child to be pulled from the race because he cannot complete the swim, than waiting until next year to compete when they can swim 100yards.
-Biking without training wheels. In the same thought process as knowing how to swim, your child needs to compete without training wheels. We have had several children arrive who are still learning to ride a bike. In the Junior division, the bike segment is 3 miles long. That is a long way to go if one does not know how to ride.
-Your child needs to become independent. It is challenging to encourage you the parents to empower your child to try on her own. To learn how to dry off and put shoes on after swimming. And yet, your children manage to figure it out. The reality is the athlete has to do this for herself. On race day, only the athlete is allowed in transition. Trust that your coaches are teaching your children to be independent by extending the empowerment to practice. In allowing your child to practice, she will learn the easiest ways to transitionand excel on race day.
-We meet once a week for seven weeks for an hour. The majority of training is up to you and your child. Training plan/guides were provided. If you are not working with your child by biking, running and swimming, you are not helping in the goal achievement. Completing this race can be fun if your child is prepared for it.
-Understand that TRIATHLON is not an easy sport for spectators. You will not be able to see your child do every part of the race. Unlike basketball or soccer, the race is on a course in which you cannot see the entire route from one location. Some races prevent spectators from being at certain locations, or insist that you remain at a certain location until all the athletes have passed. Choose your locations wisely. A great place to see your child is in transition. Or at the finish line. This creates a great opportunity for your child to share what you could not see.
-Have a preset plan after the race to make it easy for your child to find you. Choose a location. Wear fun t-shirts. Carry baloons. There will be many people at the race. Make it simple for your child to find you.
The purpose of the HKT is to not only expose kids to a new sport, but to create movement in the quest to defeat childhood obesity. Get your child involved safely by ensuring he can perform skill sets before registering for the race. Then your coaches can train your child to have the best race ever.