Pouring with sweat, runners toiled Wednesday to get closer to their goal of completing a triathlon. TCU faculty and students began the first day of training at the Lowden Track and Field Complex for the 4th Annual Tri-Benbrook Sprint, a triathlon that will take place in May, where participants will swim 300 yards, bike 13.8 miles and run 3.1 miles without stopping.
Participants signed up for the TCU training program as a group but will compete in the triathlon on an individual basis.
Whitney Graham, a junior biology major, said she thinks the triathlon will help her get in shape and also help with her confidence.
Graham has competed in a biathlon before, which included swimming and running, but said she was excited when she heard TCU was holding triathlon training.
She said she likes training as a group because it’s hard to get motivated running alone.
Students, faculty and local residents participating in the program meet three days a week at the University Recreation Center to train for the upcoming triathlon at the YMCA in Benbrook.
“It takes a lot of talent to move in and out of transition areas with grace and speed,” said Trey Morrison , the assistant director of fitness and wellness for campus recreation.
On Mondays, participants will attend informational sessions where they receive training and nutrition tips to help them achieve their goals, Morrison said.
With as much as the participants are asking their bodies to do, Morrison said, it would be foolish not to get proper nutrition, which is a key ingredient in a successful race.
“It would be like someone deciding to drive across the desert without a full tank of gas,” Morrison said. “Sooner or later, you are going to run out of gas.”
On Wednesdays, athletes will focus on a specific task with their coaches, such as timed running.
Fridays are for brick work, putting at least two of the disciplines together, and general workouts, Morrison said.
“People can run; people can swim and people can ride a bike,” Morrison said. “But now you are asking your body to do all three and to do it fast.”
Almost 70 participants are signed up for the TCU training program, Morrison said, and they all set different goals.
“We want people to set goals and to make goals,” Morrison said.
Drew Myers, the assistant director of football operations and a participant in the triathlon, said he is determined to put in the necessary training needed not just to finish the triathlon but to win it.
Last weekend, Myers ran the Cowtown Marathon and he said he’s excited about taking his mind and body on a whole new adventure.
This is the first year for several students to participate in a triathlon.
Lauren Botts, a sophomore interior design major, said she’s always wanted to be in a triathlon. She said in order to do well in May, she will ride a bike or run for an extra hour outside of the scheduled practices.
Shishana Rice, a 29-year-old senior international relations major, said having a certain place to be and having a set workout motivate her to train harder.