More than 10 years ago, Riverside resident Reenie Parker started training as a triathlete. Since then, she has spent her time swimming, biking and running her way into the upper echelon of her sport. Recently, she finished sixth place in the women's 50 to 54 age group in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship held in Beijing, China.
The Citizen caught up with Parker to learn more about how she became a triathlete, what makes up her training regimen, and her recent performance.
What makes up a triathlon?
Swim, bike and run. Triathlon races vary in distance. The main international race distances are the Sprint distance (1/2-mile swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run); the Olympic distance (1-mile swim, 26-mile bike, 6.2-mile run); the Half Ironman (1.5-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, 13.2-mile run); and the Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a marathon 26.2-mile run).
How long have you been a triathlete?
For 11 years.
What attracted you to the sport?
Initially, I began for my own fitness and to cross-train, instead of focusing strictly on running. Now, I find it personally rewarding to train myself as well as my clients for triathlons. I run a personal training business, Fit One, featuring "Bikini Bootcamp," "Babes who Bike at Lunch," "Great Guts and Tight Butts," as well as individual and group sessions with clients.
My goal is to help non-athletes as well as seasoned triathletes to reach their goals, whether that be improved times or enhanced performances. Many of my clients are interested in learning and adopting nutritional and lifestyle changes, simply so they have a better quality, and ideally longer, life.
How often do you practice/what is your training regime?
Almost every day. My training varies depending on my race schedule. I train outside as much as possible, weather permitting. In the winter I train less, and take a bit of time off, although I continue riding indoors at Target Training in Old Greenwich or at home on a CompuTrainer.
How much time do you spend on each discipline?
Again, it varies, but typically at least 3 hours swimming, 4 hours running and 6 hours biking per week, plus I strength train and stretch often.
What is your strongest leg?
The bike. I love my new Trek triathlon bike that I just purchased with the help of Greenwich Bicycles.
Your weakest leg?
You recently placed sixth in the world and second in the U.S. in the Dextro Energy Triathlon -- ITU-World Championship in Beijing. Tell us about your experience there.
It was such an honor to be in Beijing and to race on September 11, 2011, the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. I was so proud to be racing on the USA Team, feeling that I had to race well for America in honor of that day
While racing, I remembered watching the same course during the 2008 Olympic race. Racing on the same course was a such a thrill!
What are your plans for the future in the sport?
To continue to race the Olympic and Sprint distances, and I look forward to competing in other National and World Events.