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Meet My Five-Year-Old Son (and My Triathlon Trainer)

By Elizabeth Odette, Triathlete
May 7, 2017
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This will be my third year doing the YWCA Women’s Triathlon. My five-year-old son is my trainer (no joke!). I feel lucky that I can pay my trainer with cheese sticks and hugs. When he does swim lessons, I’m getting my laps in.

Bike Training with My Son

Last year and the year before, he loved riding in our bike trailer around the lakes and to different parks in Minneapolis. I’d hear “Go Mama go!” as I struggled to carry us up a hill. His enthusiasm (and good memory for when I promised a ride) prevented me from skipping out on a bike ride.

A New Training Technique – Without Training Wheels!

This year, my trainer has upped the ante and wants me to improve my run time. He’s got the perfect tool – a new bike (without training wheels) and longer legs. A couple of weeks ago on a beautiful spring Sunday, we went to Lake Harriet so we could go all the way around, me running and him biking. After my son would go whizzing by people on the bike path, some people commented to me “He’s fast!” and “Better catch up!”. I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time I said “Watch out!” during our training (it was busy and he sometimes got a tad too close to the walkers).

An Encouraging Trainer

Every time he yelled back to me “C’mon Mama! You can do it! Try to run as fast as you can!” I would gasp “I think I am buddy!”. He also would say “C’mon Mama, we can go the speed limit!”.  When it was all done and we were back to the car, he said “I’m proud of you mama!”.

Making Training Memories

I’m going to be thinking of that first run/bike with my son for the rest of my life. It showed me something about myself and about my son that I will treasure forever. When he runs across the finish line with me this year, like every year, he’s earned it!