For Shannon Hoesing, triathlons are a way of life.
This 20-year-old sophomore already has years of experience training for and competing in the grueling sport, where athletes do consecutive long distance, swimming, biking and running. She started competing the summer before her freshman year of college by trying a sprint distance triathlon.
She’s been hooked ever since.
A competitive swimmer her whole life, Hoesing was concerned she would not be able to devote the time to the CSU swimming team during college, so she checked into the CSU Triathlon club.
Next year Hoesing will take over as president of the organization.
Her predecessor said she’s definitely up for the challenge.
“Shannon is tremendously confident,” said Matt Walther, the current Triathlon Club president. “If there’s anybody who I’d want to take over the team and fill in after me, it would definitely be her.”
The team and its success are obviously important to Hoesing. She constantly tries to get the word out about the team and get her friends to join, Hoesing said.
As a matter of fact, two of her sorority sisters are now Tri Team members.
Beth Paregien said living with Hoesing’s influence makes it easier to motivate to train.
Hoesing’s training takes up at least 15 hours per week during the competitive season – January through August. She also maintains her fitness during the off-season.
“It’s still as much as a part time job,” Hoesing said.
For Hoesing, flexibility is the difference between triathlons and a structured team sport like swimming.
“I don’t think the time commitment is any less, but I can do the training on my own schedule,” Hoesing said. “I can do it before school and after work and I have the weekends to train.”
During a typical training week, Hoesing swims twice a week, does at least one interval run, one “brick” workout of a consecutive bike and run, and lifts weights twice. One the weekends she does a 20- to 40-mile bike ride (one to three hours) and a “long” run of six to eight miles.
Hoesing also teaches spinning classes, or stationary biking, twice a week at Pacific Fitness.
She takes Fridays off.
Triathlon training isn’t the only thing to which she devotes her time. Hoesing is double majoring in Marketing and Health Promotion, and this semester she’s taking a full 15-credit load.
Hoesing pays her way at CSU by working15 to 20 hours a week at Hewlett Packard as a marketing intern.
With such a busy schedule, Hoesing has learned the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Eating right by paying close attention to the ratio of carbohydrates and fats she eats and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol are important for helping her feel good when she trains.
Hoesing said she eats small meals every three hours to regulate blood sugar levels and to boost her metabolism.
“It’s really important to have your energy up and to be putting the right things into your body when you’re training that much,” Hoesing said. “If I don’t eat every three hours, my blood sugar drops and I get cranky.”
All of Hoesing’s preparation paid off recently when she competed in the National Collegiate Triathlon Championships in Memphis, Tenn., the biggest event for the Triathlon Team’s season.
She finished second for the CSU women and 60th out of 115 women overall, but more importantly her time of 2:33:30 shattered her original goal of 2:40:00.
Hoesing’s success isn’t going to her head. She lives by a set of priorities she doesn’t plan on straying from any time soon.
“It’s rewarding to feel healthy and in shape and the feeling I get when I finished a race,” Hoesing said. “I’d like to be able to do these (triathlons) my whole life.” s