Occupational therapist by day and triathlete by mornings/evenings/weekends, Kelly Waldo Wilson has been making a real splash on the San Diego racing scene. When she’s not snagging a spot on the podium or winning her age division, there’s a good chance she’s training for it – whether biking, swimming, rock climbing or running around town with her dog, Annie.
Oh, and did I mention she’s a former track & field and cross country teammate from our high school days in Michigan?
It’s been fun following her athletic accomplishments over the years, and I can’t wait to venture down south to cheer her on in person. But until then, I thought it’d be fun to do a little Q&A with this red-hot redhead who is taking the triathlon world by storm…
Kinetic Fix: What sparked your interest in triathlon?
Kelly Wilson: It was 2011 – I was living in Virginia at the time and received a post card in the mail to join Team In Training for a sprint triathlon in Richmond. I have been a runner since high school and have completed three marathons, multiple 10Ks and numerous 5Ks. But I kept getting injured and rehabilitating myself by biking and swimming, so I figured I might as well try out the sport of triathlon and turn my “rehabilitating” into “training.” I did my first tri with Team in Training in June of 2011 and have been hooked ever since.
How do you make time for all the necessary training?
I’m a morning person, so I wake up routinely at 4:15am for a 1-2 hour training session before work. My evening workouts are usually running with my dog and/or swimming with my husband. I am NOT a night person, so I have no problem going to bed while it is still light out to get eight full hours of sleep!
Do you train with anyone?
I train with HERevolution triathlon team here in San Diego. It’s a team started by Darcy Eaton, owner of HERevolution women’s multi-sport shop in Solana Beach, Calif. When not training with the team, I join master’s swim and spin classes at my local YMCA.
What’s on your iPod?
My iPod has a mix of hip hop, oldies, country, reggae and rock. Really anything to distract my mind and that I can sing along to. My best training sessions and races have been when I’ve had a single song in my head repeating over and over.
Got any pre- and post-race fueling tips?
Before racing I believe in routines and sticking with foods that are familiar. I always have a banana and a Balance bar; Mocha Chip and Cookie Dough are my favorites. During races I’m hooked on Espresso-Love Gu packets and Clif Margarita shot blocks. After…fruit; I always crave fresh, cold fruit.
Do you keep a strict diet or can you allow for indulgences?
For about a year and a half I have been experimenting with an anti-inflammatory diet; mainly eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties and minimizing highly-inflammatory foods. I’ve noticed a big difference in my training and recovery while sticking with this “diet.” My favorite indulgence is dark chocolate and wine.
Got any good advice on injury prevention?
I have found that alternating swimming, biking and running has kept me mostly injury-free. I do spend a lot of time on the foam roller, stretching, and I never miss my monthly deep-tissue massage.
What gear can’t you live without?
Compression socks and compression pants. I wear my compression socks daily. I have a pair of 2XU recovery compression pants that I put on after my evening workouts and I wish I could wear 24/7. Once you feel the effects of compression after a hard training session, no other socks will do.
What would you say to beginners hoping to break into triathlon?
I had such a great experience with Team in Training. When I joined the team, I immediately had a coach and supportive teammates who were feeling just as nervous as I was. If Team in Training isn’t an option, I would recommend finding a club though your local triathlon store. For example, The Triathlon Club of San Diego has triathlons and workouts specifically for beginners only.
Finally, do you have a ‘bucket list’ race you’d like to do in the future?
My dream is to do a full Ironman, but I’d like to complete a few more half Ironman distances before committing to a full.