Triathlon, the multisport which involves swimming, cycling, and running, is gaining drastic popularity in Malaysia. Despite being one of the most grueling sports, the participation appears to be on the rise. Regarded as the ultimate test of endurance, the scene has also seen more young children taking up a high level of passion, fitness, and dedication.
On the 27th and 28th April, all forms of modern parenting were on display Saturday and Sunday morning in sprawling and facilitated EduCity Sports Complex in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, where more than a hundred of children and families had gathered for the Junior Triathlon Clinic Series 1.
With the aim to help every young participant reach their triathlon goals, Sam Seow, a running coach from Run Fast Academy (RFA) and Edwin Thiang, a triathlete from Team TIME and triathlon coach from RC Coaching partnered up to share their combined knowledge.
The first session of the Junior Triathlon Clinic comprising Open Water Swim techniques was conducted by Edwin Thiang.
Children had benefited greatly from the fitness and motor skills they developed from swimming (pool) drafting, sighting, arrowhead/triangle/diamond shape drafting, as well as mass start and swim in between two buoys to practice positioning.
1. Head-up swim, to practice sighting.
2. Straight arm and short fast sprint during the first 100-150m to avoid being held back in the huge pack.
3. Swim from one bouy to another to practice sighting.
4. Practice drafting position (triangle shape/arrowhead/diamond shape) and technique.
5. Mass start to learn how to swim in a pack.
6. Water treading (safety purposes)
Sam Seow’s training session focused on the fundamental of running techniques which included outdoor drill training – perception, body weight, basic movement fundamentals and muscle elastic, pose, falling and pulling drill practice, and running correction drill.
The second session of the day started with a proper warm up and cool down for the flexibility of joints. The objective of the drill practice was to encourage children to accept mistakes and learn from failures. At the same time, they should have fun and correct the errors.
The development of motor skills at an early stage is very important. A good 60 minutes of the workshop conducted by Sam was rather short but absolutely engaging and enjoyable. Children showed their energy, enthusiasm, and playfulness in taking part in multisport.
The last session of the event consisting of bike handling skills and technique was once again guided by Edwin.
The biking session provided the children with Edwin’s tips and tricks to assist them and help them practice new skills. The segment incorporated bike handling, turning and cornering skills with small cones, cycling in a straight line, and using bicycle gears.
Edwin also taught the children the meaning of transition by going through each step, putting on helmet, shoes, pushing out the bike, and getting on the bike, and the same goes to T2.
1. Practice turning/cornering in tight angle. Then proceed to do it with a single arm.
2. Learn how to use the gears, and then apply it through some practice
3. How to hold a bottle to drink while cycling.
4. Mini time trial race.
1. How and when to do hand signaling.
2. Listen to vehicles while cycling.
1. What is a transition area? What is the purpose?
2. How to set up the transition for transition 1 (T1) and T2.
3. Where and how to place your equipment.
4. Visualize and go through the whole process on your mind before your race.
5. Mini practice race.
Upon the completion of the training clinic, the children participated in a mini race at 5.30pm. It was a great way for them to develop competitiveness by performing the fitness and triathlon skills they have learned. Competing in a triathlon would be a good goal for the young and gifted children, not forgetting a rewarding way to celebrate the training it entailed
The competition had the unexpected benefit of getting parents moving too. While the children were working themselves out to finish the race, families could capture the best photos at various stages of the race, while also keeping them engaged and motivated.
The Junior Triathlon Clinic Series 1 was an excellent opportunity for talented kids who like to swim, bike, and run to experience the thrill of competition and unveil the passion of triathlon.