I Kieser to Keep Racing

 

Client Name: Kelly Watts
Centre: South Melbourne
Primary Instructor: Bree Filippone/Grace Williams

After turning 50, Kelly started competing in triathlons. She joined Kieser to get ready for the International Traithlon Union's World Championship in September 2018. Here is her story:

 

“My journey didn't start as a green-and-gold dream; it started because I didn't want to turn 50. Was I going to let my age define me? Heck, no. I was going to define my age and that meant putting my best foot - and my best me - forward.  

I signed up for a half Ironman which consists of a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21km run. The triathlon was significantly longer than the two sprint triathlons I had done laughingly with friends. My daughter's surf life saving coach, Shane Gore, was a triathlete who gave me my first training plan. I still remember how exhausted I was as my body adapted to the demands of nine workouts a week. But the thought of actually doing the half Ironman was so scary and so overwhelming, I followed my training plan like it was going to save me. It did more than that: I finished second in my age category! Maybe being 50 wasn't going to be so bad.

After that race, I was hooked. Over the next two years, I entered Sprint, Standard and 70.3 (half Ironman) distances and, with Shane's coaching, I made podium in nearly all of these local races. The International Triathlon Union's World Championship was being held in Australia in September 2018 and we decided to try to qualify for the Australian team.  

But going for green-and-gold meant "leveling up." That meant adding strength training to my weekly workouts. Shane recommended Kieser. He liked their scientific approach to training; I liked their time-efficiency. Squeezing another two training sessions to my nine weekly sessions was difficult so being quick was key. After all, I'm not a pro; I'm a writer and a mom. And a woman who hadn't stepped into a gym for 30 years.

The sight of all those machines and weights was intimidating. Bree, an exercise scientist, smiled and patiently went through my training plan designed for me and my green-and-gold goal. The summer passed in a blur of very competitive qualifying races around Australia and lots of training. But we made the Aussie team!

Woohoo!

Gulp.

The realisation hit; I was going to be competing with the world's best. How would I stack up? Butterflies filled my tummy whenever I thought about it so I threw myself into my training.  

Then an amazing thing happened: my performance improved. When I swam, I could feel my lats working, thanks to the C1 and C3 machines. My swim time, which had remained stubbornly unchanged for two years, dropped five seconds for 100m. Ask a swimmer; that's big! On the bike, all of my single-leg lifts paid off. My power increased while my effort remained the same.

As for my run, Kieser-ing kept me injury-free which was critical. The one downside to being an older athlete is how long it takes to recover from an injury. I no longer bounce back in mere days; it takes weeks or months. Before Kieser, I commonly suffered from run-related knee and calf injuries. But not anymore.

While I had assumed Shane and I were training at Kieser to get strong, he knew that it would also keep injuries at bay. And it did: we arrived at the World Championship well-trained and injury-free after nearly a solid year of training. That's huge.

The big day finally came. I swam well but a bit farther than planned as I missed a turn and had to correct...oops! I had a great draft-legal ride, working with girls from Australia, USA, Canada and Norway. And besides accidentally throwing a cup of electrolytes - instead of water - over myself to cool off, I held my own on the run. I crossed the finish line 8th in my age group, smelling like orange energy drink and grinning from ear-to-ear.  

I can't believe I made the top 10 for my age. At Worlds!!!! I'm still smiling. And I'm already talking to Shane about qualifying for the Aussie team next year. To compete in Switzerland wearing green-and-gold would be so exciting. With my coach and Kieser, even the podium is possible."

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