The Suburbanite
  • World champion triathlete to speak in Jackson Township

  • Professional triathlete and three-time world champion Lesley Paterson is coming to Canton to coach a boot camp and speak at The Bike Shop.

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  • World champion triathlete to speak in Jackson Township
    Finding a sport as an adult is hard. How do we motivate ourselves to stay active? I recently signed up for my first triathlon and half Ironman to be completed this year. I’m really just hoping to survive it at this point.
    When I got an email a few weeks ago that professional triathlete and three-time world champion Lesley Paterson was coming to Canton to coach a boot camp and speak at The Bike Shop, I thought, let’s ask the expert.
    Hailing from Scotland, Lesley Paterson began competing in triathlons at 14, but ended up burning herself out.
    After meeting her husband and moving to San Diego, Paterson was ready for something, but she didn’t know what. The desire to compete hadn’t gone anywhere, but the thought of going back to regular triathlons wasn’t enough to pull her back.
    That’s when she discovered Xterra. Now here was a sport. An off-road triathlon? Yes, please.
    In 2012, Paterson won four Xterra races, including becoming the USA series champion, after only one year of true training.
    Along with competing regularly, she also coaches, is a public speaker, and writes, acts and produces films.
    For the last 10 years, I have felt like a flailing mess when it comes to fitness. I played a little intramural here and there, but without a coach or a goal, it was hard to motivate myself.
    In January, my little sister and I decided to sign up for a half Ironman (we don’t do anything halfway) to be completed in Boulder, Colo., in August.
    So, here I am. About three months into training, and I feel good. However, I’m still not convinced I can complete an eight-hour race.
    When I spoke to Paterson on the phone last week, she had some really good advice for new triathletes.
    • Surround yourself with people that can take you under their wing. Triathlon training is a community-based sport. Get out there and join a club and learn everything you can from other people who have competed.
    • Find the right balance. There is so much to learn right away, new triathletes can get overwhelmed. There are three different sports to learn. Take your time to figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
    • Practice what is going to happen in the race. Get out into the water and wear a wet suit. Make sure you can complete the distances you will face. Eat while on the bike. Run right after a ride. Do what will happen on the big day so it feels normal.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Make a plan. Know what you plan to accomplish each week, write it out and complete it.
    “Finding friends and partners that can motivate you is key,” Paterson said.

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