AP NEWS

Aiken pediatrician offers tips for young athletes training for 2019 Kids Triathlon

May 16, 2019

An Aiken pediatrician has some tips for local kids and teens who are training for the upcoming Aiken Standard Kids Triathlon. The triathlon will be held Saturday at the Aiken Family Y in Graniteville.

Dr. Paula Luther, a pediatrician with Southside Pediatrics, said training for an event like the Kids Triathlon is important, especially when the participants are children.

“Children and teens are already encouraged to do 60 minutes of physical activity once a day, everyday – and this is completely necessary when training for an event as strenuous as the Kids Triathlon,” she said.

The young athletes need to remember to rest properly, allowing their bodies to heal after physical workouts, she said.

She said hydration is another vital aspect of training, and kids need to keep up with their fluid intake.

“Drink plenty of water,” Luther said. “A person must stay hydrated in order to function properly.”

Parents helping their children train should also be aware of their calorie intake, Luther explained.

“It’s always suggested that children eat meals regularly, but if they are physically exercising to train, then they are burning off calories and need to take in more,” she said. “Kids also have higher metabolisms. They need to restore their energy, and eating properly will ensure they keep those levels up.”

Some kids are more competitive than others, but Luther said everyone should remember to not overextend themselves while training and participating in the Kids Triathlon.

“There are a few things parents can look at to recognize if their child is overextending themselves,” she said. “If they have an increased fatigue and are not drinking enough water – then they are overextending, which increases their chance of having a heat stroke. Remember, the event should be safe and fun.”

The Aiken Standard Kids Triathlon is for children and teens ages 6 to 18. On Saturday, they will be divided into groups by age, and the distances for the events three legs will be shorter for the younger participants and longer for the older ones.

Aiken Standard offers a sample triathlon training program online for those participating.

The program suggest athletes choose one of the three triathlon activities – swimmings, biking or running – to perform at least five days a week, for 30 to 45 minutes. It is also suggested that trainees pick one day during the week to rest.

The Aiken Standard Kids Triathlon begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Aiken County Family YMCA, 621 Trolley Line Road, Graniteville.

For more information on the event or proper training, visit aikenkidstri.com.