When I started running in 2006, it was my secret dream that the rest of the family would pick up the sport, too. The hubby eventually started running and he completed his first marathon at the first TBR Dream Marathon in 2010 (good choice for a first, eh?) We ran NYC Marathon together later that year.
As for the kids, they would run shorter races with us. Sometimes, I would take them out on weekends for short bike rides and runs. But, I never ever wanted to push them into taking the sport more seriously. I believed that if I wanted them to enjoy this sport as much as I did, they had to want to do it for themselves. And so, through the years, I’ve been living a very active lifestyle allowing the kids to see me come home after a long run, pack my running gear for a marathon abroad, or simply listen to me wax poetic about an awesome run. At the same time, I prayed, hoped, and waited that one day they would ask me for more serious training.
After years of waiting, that day finally came! At least for my older son, Anton, who is now 12. (12 already? How time flies. Sigh.)
Indulge me for a moment here and allow me to tell you about this not-so-little boy of mine. He’s a good boy. He’s quiet, respectful, obedient, and humble. (I won’t argue with you, he probably got this from his Dad haha!) At the same time, underneath all this shyness, he’s also smart, a deep thinker (a trait he got from him Mom. Er, that’s what people tell me.) His teachers tell us that he’s an old soul who throws out questions like an adult sometimes. Last March, he graduated from Elementary school. He was one of only two kids who bagged ALL the awards given out that day. I was floored…and, I was overjoyed. It was truly one of the proudest moments of my life. The feeling beat a marathon finish 10x over.
- That’s my boy! –
- with the proud Mama and sis! -
If that weren’t enough, a few weeks after graduation, with summer upon us, Anton gave me even better news: he wanted to run and bike with me. My reaction? First, I was ecstatic! Okay, let’s do this! I had images of me and my boy running and conquering hills together and riding past cars (and Vin Diesel in a jeep) all over the city! Then, reality struck. While I could easily take him running longer with me, I worried about biking out with him. Wasn’t it irresponsible of me to send my dearest child out to bike with a newbie biker like me? With visions of me struggling to uncleat and dismount as I try to save him from an oncoming truck, I thought it best to find a coach to get his feet wet into this world the right way.
DUATHLON CLASSES WITH COACH NORMAN
Lucky for me, I’ve got a lot of great coach friends around. I texted coach friends like Ani de Leon-Brown and Norman Pascual who I know train kids regularly. After checking schedules (my daughter decided to take up swimming with Ria Mackay’s Aqualogic Swim Classes. More on that next time) and figuring out how I could possibly train for Ironman 70.3 in August while taking two kids to different sessions this summer (gaaah! the life of a tri mom!), I decided to go with Coach Norman’s Duathlon Sessions for kids in SM Mall of Asia every Wednesday and Friday. I thought if he wanted to get into triathlon later, then it would be easier for him already.
As for his gear, I chose NOT to spend to much on this just yet. The only thing we really invested in were his shoes: Asics Gel Kayano, a few months ago. (I love run shoes and one should never compromise on this. So there!) I got Anton a very cheap mountain bike in Cartimar a few months ago and this was what we use for now. For shorts, the hubby lent him. For his tops, I gave him some of mine. Hey, stop laughing about how frugal we are! I’ve got a couple of barely used football shoes, a tennis racket, and goggles gathering dust at home to remind me about spending too much too soon. I just told Anton to prove to me first that he’s interested in doing this long term and we’ll support him all the way.
The first few sessions were one-on-one which was awesome for a beginner like Anton. Coach Norman started with basic mounting and dismounting lessons, gearing, and even rode out with him around SM MOA a couple of times.
- with Coach Norman -
- Running seems natural for this kid. He actually leans forward and lands on his mid foot –
- After running, he gets on his bike –
By the next sessions, four other kids, all siblings, joined Anton for more fun sessions. They raced with each other and even rode MOA in drafting positions. During the last sessions, Anton even learned how to do a flying dismount, something I can only do in my dreams.
- They rush to wear their shoes, helmet, head off to bike, then run –
- The bigger kids biking -
– Little Sis comes out to watch Kuya. I’m hoping the bug rubs off on her too -
For now, Anton enjoys every single session and, for that alone, I am thankful. I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll continue this even when school starts in June. Just yesterday, he asked me: Mom, when can I get a nicer road bike? Aaaah, it may burn a hole in our pockets, but, hey, it was music to my ears!
MORE INFO ON TRIATHLON FOR KIDS
If you want to get your child started in triathlon or swim, bike, and run, here are some info that may help.
- Coach Norman Pascual – 0917.862.6224, tricoach firstname.lastname@example.org
- Coach Ani de Leon-Brown – 0915.444.0290, anikarina@gmail. com
RACES FOR KIDS (click on the links)
- Junior Triathlete – published by Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and Coach Ani Brown