helen kaiser


Provide a little background info about yourself
I am an older athlete (66) and have had a lot of life experiences. I’m married to a wonderful man who supports my athletic adventures. We have 2 children and two granddaughters. I’ve always been athletic. As a kid I swam competitively. High school sports for women didn’t exist for girls or at least not at the school I went to. I would have liked to try to play basketball. I swam competitively in college. After college I started running, after all it was the 70’s and this was the new fad. I liked running and found that I was fairly good at it. I qualified for and ran in three Boston Marathons. In the 80’s I started X-country skiing and with the help of a few years of living in Europe completed the Worlddloppet ski marathon series to win my Worldloppet medal in 1986. I turned to triathlon in the 90’s. I completed my first Ironman at the ripe old age of 53. Since then I have completed two more full distance Ironman races and several Half Iron distance races. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go to Worlds in the Half Iron distance twice and to participate in Age Group Nationals Olympic distances the last three years. I’ve also had two wonderful careers over the years. I was a dental hygienist for 12 years and then changed careers in my mid-thirties and am now an Occupational therapist.

How long have you been affiliated with SBR?
I first came to SBR in the summer of 2009.

Why did you join SBR? Why have you stayed?
Desperation drove me to SBR. I had completed two Ironman full distance triathlons as a self-coached athlete but I was always showing up at the starting line exhausted and not very confident in my training. I’d complete the races but was a total physical wreck after them. For example, after my 1st Ironman I ended up in the medical tent needing multiple IVs. I sought Coach Jessica’s help for my 3rd attempt at Ironman Wis. This time it was a whole different story. She had me cut out all of the junk miles and gave me a more focused training program. It worked. I improved my finish time by almost an hour, never saw the inside of the med tent, and quickly recovered from the event. Needless to say I have stayed because of the excellent coaching.

What is your favorite class, service, or event with SBR?
My favorite class at SBR is the winter Performance Based Cycling. It’s a great way to maintain or even improve your biking fitness level, meet new and interesting people, and it also makes the winter go by a lot faster. My favorite service is Jessica’s dynamic bike fitting service. I can’t speak highly enough about this invaluable service. It has increased my comfort level on my bike, increased my efficiency (think watts and endurance) and helped to prevent injury by indicating muscle imbalances I’ve had. 4.

What sport do you primarily participate in?
I now primarily participate in the Half Ironman distance triathlons. They seem to be a better fit for me. I feel like I don’t have to give up my life to train for them, yet they are challenging events for me. Here’s the thing about being an older athlete, yes there are fewer people in your age group, but the people that are there are really, really good. As I found out last September at the Half Ironman World Championships in Chattanooga Tennessee a lot of the women in my age group were x-Olympians or x-pros who have joined the age group ranks. So get yourself a good coach if you are thinking about Worlds.

What is your favorite part about training with SBR? 
I have two favorite parts about training with SBR. First is that I have learned so much about correct training (periodization) and about using correct form in all three sports. Correct form helps you move more efficiently and it also helps to keep you injury free. I find that SBR coaches are very good at spotting incorrect movement patterns and at helping you correct them. My second favorite part is meeting new and interesting people that share a common interest in triathlon. Fellow athletes participating in various coaching programs I’ve been in have always given me support and I have been motivated by them to do my best. I know that I would not train as hard on my own or have as much fun going through tough workouts.

What are your training and/or racing goals this year?
My racing goal this year is to go back to Age Group Nationals for the Olympic distance triathlon and finish well enough to qualify for World’s next year, which will be held in Lausanne Switzerland.

What is something interesting about yourself that people might not know? 
I lived and worked in Luzern Switzerland as a dental hygienist for three years (1983-1986). In 1984 I went to the winter Olympics held in Sarajevo as an alternate on the Swiss women’s X-country team. I never skied but I was there and it was a great experience.