A Scottish woman who took up triathlon events in her late 50s has won an award for the best performance from Triathlon Scotland. BBC News reports that Sue Kingston, who is now 70 years old, won the award for best performance from Triathlon Scotland.
Sue has competed in three international triathlons this year in the 70-75 age group, and carried home silver and gold medals. She is an inspiration for anyone who is wondering if they are too old to compete in this demanding but extremely rewarding sport.
Although it is wise for the over fifties to gain medical clearance before they start training, it is perfectly possible to build up your fitness to triathlon level. The combination of cold water swimming, running, and cycling works different muscle groups and joints, and this can be an advantage for older athletes because it reduces the risk of stress injuries.
Sue explained that she first started on the road to triathlon success with swimming, which she took up when she joined the New Haven Triathlon Club in Edinburgh.
She said: ''I just joined the club to swim and it then grew from there with other people around me doing it. 'I did my first triathlon in my late 50s and it was just half way through the swimming, I said to myself: 'I can't do this'. It's a matter of the more you do it the more you understand how it feels.''
Sue can now swim 750m in open water, as well as run for 5km and cycle for 20km. Swimming in open water rather than a pool can be one of biggest challenges for newbie triathlon competitors, because it requires mastering new breathing techniques alongside developing navigation skills.
The swim then has to be followed by a cycle ride and then a run. Sue said: ''I feel a lot more nervous in a triathlon because there is a lot more things that can go wrong, especially on the bike. What made it difficult is when I finished cycling and then had to run, my legs felt like jelly. I pushed myself very hard in that race even though I felt very uncomfortable.''
Sue has worked with a coach over the past twelve years to bring her performance up to international levels.
Sue's coach, Alan Bremner, said: ''She has been determined for a very long time and has worked many years for this. She finishes all the weekly programmes I give her, which shows she perseveres and never gives up.”
Sue added: “My coach Alan Bremner won athlete of the year in 2015, when he was world champion. 'I am delighted to win a similar trophy as him. The triathlon is such a friendly community, people can do it at any level. Just being able to finish it is a great achievement, you don't have to win gold.''
Whether you want to be competitive or simply try something new, triathlon is an excellent way to get in peak physical shape and meet new people.
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