It’s About Time To Give It A Tri

Set for a training ride are (from left) Robin Pratt, Debie Silva, Colleen Tehero, Shannon Wigent, Bridget Wright, Aldrene Scovel and Lesa Ledesma

I’m always fascinated when it comes to running and swimming, because unlike most sports or modern competitions, they are activities that have been around since the earliest days of man. Add the bicycle to the mix and you come away with the triathlon an athletic endeavor that I’ve considered something that many of us mere mortals aren’t meant to attempt.

Not so, says Pam Kruse, who does triathlon training from her Kalaheo location at Fitbodies Personal Training Studio.

“Anybody can do a triathlon,” Kruse said. “It used to be a sport that people thought only elite athletes can do, but that’s not true. Anybody can do it.”

Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Kruse has been getting people into shape for 20 years. During that time period, she has made changes and improvements in accordance with the latest information the NSCA provides.

Lois Lutz and Nancy Pappas dash for the finish of the Hanalei open water swim

“The training has evolved just with the knowledge base,” she said. “Things are changing all the time and I keep my information current. I learn things every year from other coaches and conferences that I go to.”

Having been a triathlete for 10 years, Kruse has seen the expansion of the sport in both number of events and number of participants.

“The reason I got involved was because one of my clients wanted to train for a triathlon,” she said. “When I first started, there were no triathlons on Kauai.”

The environment is much different now, with the Kauai Loves You and TriKauai events springing up in the past few years to meet the growing number of interested parties. The other islands have also upped their annual events, including the “Tinman,” which was just scheduled to take place this past Sunday in Waikiki.

Over time, Kruse has developed her program to best fit her clients’ needs, using special interval training for the bike portion in her studio, then heading outside for the run portion at various locations on the island. She said many of her triathletes are good about their endurance workouts, but that the interval workouts sessions where the intensity level changes require more discipline and specificity.

Edmon Battulyan sprints to the finish of the run portion of the Tri Kauai Spring Series. Pam Kruse photos

She has also teamed up with Swim Kauai Aquatics coach Billy Brown, who assists with the swim portion.

“People live on an island surrounded by water and they go to the beach, but they don’t know how to swim very well,” she said. “It’s kind of amazing, but that seems to be the weakest area for most people.”

We now sit roughly 12 weeks out from the TriKauai (Oct. 30), which is the exact amount of time Kruse says active people need in order to get into triathlon shape.

With the number of local races growing, my own list of excuses seems to be shrinking.