CSU Triathlon Club builds friendship through athleticism

Julia Trowbridge

triathlon club members biking
Colorado State University’s Triathlon Club works out together on a Saturday morning. Working out over ten hours a week, the athletes in this club support each other to stay on top of their workouts and their homework. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Working out is always better with friends. 

Ranked as the fifth best collegiate triathlon team in the nation in 2017, Colorado State University’s triathlon club follows this mantra by creating a community with athletes of all skill levels. The club members spend around 15 hours a week exercising together while improving their swimming, biking and running abilities.

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“It’s a community of motivated, dedicated, happy people, is how I’d describe it,” said Josh Johnson, a sophomore studying psychology and a member of the team since January. “I have a support here of athletes, which is different than just a friend group because we train together, we sweat together, we work together and we compete together. We’re pushing each other, every time we get together, to do better. “

Club members encourage anyone who is interested to attend a couple of their practices, regardless of the person’s experience level in any of the three sports. Most of the athletes on the team were not as heavily involved in triathlons before coming to CSU, but they all manage the intense workout loads in different ways.

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“I’d say some people use (triathlons) to get their energy out, and others, who aren’t used to the workload, take naps,” said Sierra Dinges, the president of the triathlon club and a senior studying health and exercise science.

Although a triathlon is an individual sport, in which a contestant is focused on beating their previous time, the team members motivate each other to keep up with their schedules and to attend the workouts.  

“If it wasn’t for this team, I wouldn’t wake up at 5:30 a.m. every day,” said Lindsey Roberts, a freshman studying fish and wildlife science.

They host fundraisers to pay their admission fees to triathlons and the annual national collegiate triathlon. This year, the triathlon club set up an annual indoor triathlon with 25 people who competed, Dinges said. 

I have a support here of athletes, which is different than just a friend group, because we train together, we sweat together, we work together and we compete together.” – Josh Johnson, CSU triathlon club member

Although most of the athletes use their workout structure to help structure their study time, coaches understand that these athletes are students.

“We always make sure that school comes first and that no practices are actually mandatory,” head coach Jonathan Mason said. “As long as they communicate with their coaches as to where they are, and then, if we don’t see them after three to four days, then we know something is wrong and we’ll start worrying about that. “

CSU’s triathlon team focuses on the individual members improving their swimming, biking and running, but also creates a strong community of people who support each other in practice and outside of it.

“After workouts, we eat together as a team,” Johnson said. “That’s what makes this a better experience: this team is more than just training partners.”

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Collegian reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @chapin_jules.