Students who blame school for a lack of physical activity might be out of excuses, as Ohio State is set to offer a course in triathlon training.
The course — which is called Triathlon Training and can be found in Buckeye Link as KNSFHP 1194 — will be offered this spring as a group studies course for a maximum of 20 students. It’s offered through the College of Education and Human Ecology and is set to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-9:50 a.m. and will be worth two credits, said Lauren Updyke, who is set to teach the course.
While in the class, students are set to learn about the history of triathlons and also current events in the sport. But the course extends beyond the desks of the classroom, as students will also train in all three disciplines of a triathlon: swimming, biking and running.
Updyke, an OSU alumna and endurance athletics trainer, said she began triathlons after being diagnosed with depression at age 21. That diagnosis then led to an eating disorder.
Updyke has since been recognized by USA Triathlon as an All American Honorable Mention and has competed in 16 Ironman competitions which consist of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.
“I’m excited to be working with college age kids again. I love how at this point in (their) lives (they’re) all kind of trying to figure out where to go with (their lives) and I totally had the same kind of issue with my life where I wasn’t sure what to do and this sport gave me a huge sense of direction,” Updyke said.
Updyke is not the only one who is excited about the triathlon course. Members of OSU Triathlon Club, a student organization that began about 10 years ago, expressed delight as well.
“I think it’s a really good idea to offer a course because I love sports, that’s been my whole life, but a lot of people when they hear triathlon they just get scared because it’s three sports and they think ‘Oh, I can’t do it,’” said Paul d’Hyver, a second-year in finance and the treasurer of the OSU Triathlon Club.
Madi Collins, a third-year in exercise science and the social chair for OSU Triathlon Club, said there’s nothing quite like the thrill of participating in a triathlon.
“The atmosphere during a race is so exciting, it’s almost addictive, so once you get out there and get into that racing atmosphere you fall in love. There’s no way around that,” she said.
At the end of the triathlon training course, students are slated to participate in a sprint distance triathlon which consists of a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike ride and a five-kilometer run, Updyke said.
She said they are still in talks with a local racing organization in order to discount or completely cover the entrance fees for the students, which d’Hyver and Cory Lien, a third-year in electrical and computer engineering and OSU Triathlon Club’s risk manager, said can cost anywhere from $25-$80 depending on the length of the race and if a student discount is offered.
Still, Updyke hopes that the interest in triathlons at OSU will continue to grow.
“Our goal is to hopefully have a level one class and a then level two class down the road, and the level two class would be a little bit more for competitive athletes,” Updyke said.