Monday, January 27, 2014

Tri-Life: Youth Participation in Triathlon (With Coach Tracy )

I met Tracy through the Rev3 AG Team and knew i wanted to feature her when i found out she coaches young triathletes.  With the approval of NCAA acknowledging Triathlon as an emerging sport for Women, youth involvement will increase and wanted to interview Tracy to find out more.  

Also, anyone in the DC area that knows of a child that might want to get involved with triathlon, Tracy is having a parent/youth information meeting on Wednesday, January 29th at 4:30 pm.(Location: Hefler Performance Cycling, located inside Green Lizard Cycling at 718 Lynn Street, Herndon, VA.20170)  Check TriTeamXcel's FB page for more details!

1. Tell us a little about your background and how you became a coach
I grew up in Kentucky and was never extremely athletic, although I was momentarily on the track team in high school, I was relegated to the shot put and discus rather than the actual running.
I graduated college with a degree in Biology and began working as an Environmental Biologist right away. However, found that working as Photographer allowed me to work and educate my children (through homeschooling) at the same time.

In 2002, I started running for the first time as a way to manage my weight. Like many other non-runners, I always thought that I would get bad knee problems from running. I had a friend encourage me on the right way to run, but my goal was only to run a 5k. Matter of fact, I even wrote an article titled “The word marathon isn’t in my dictionary.”

Well, that was a big joke because, in 2004 I ran the first of (currently) 7 marathons (counting one at the end of an full triathlon)! In 2008, I made the jump into the world of triathlon where I has become an age group winner on several occasions. My biggest accomplishments include 1st place in my age group at the Outer Banks 70.3 Triathlon and 2nd place in the Athena group at Eagleman 70.3.

Although I enjoy getting on the podium, my biggest accomplishments come from breaking my own personal records. Over the course of 10 years, I have dropped over an hour of time off my marathon pace, almost 30 minutes off my half marathon pace, and almost 5 minutes off my 5k pace. I love to help others try to reach similar goals.  In 2010, after taking a coaching course, I started coaching adult runners. I had such a passion for being a coach, that I decided it was time to become a triathlon coach. In 2012, I started a coaching business which then budded into the youth triathlon team it is today.

2. What was your motivation for starting your multisport/coaching company geared to the youth?
I have two children. My son is 15 and my daughter is 8. Although my son has moved his focus from triathlon to basketball, my daughter is still very active and loves triathlon so I really wanted to encourage her in the sport as my initial motivation. What I found was that I just love teaching kids about a sport that I truly love.