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Triple the Fun

By Lindsay Wyskowski

megan kellyTriathletes regularly balance training for swim, bike and run in addition to their everyday lives. For Megan Kelly, the balancing act got a little tougher in 2011 when she and her husband welcomed triplets into their family.

Kelly has been competing in triathlon since 2005, but got her start as a swimmer when she was 8 years old. In 2007, she started working with her coaches Eneas Freyre and Dom Gillen at TARGETRAINING, a move which she says set her up to become a stronger, smarter athlete.

“When I started triathlon I was clueless about how to train for one,” said Kelly. “Coming from a swim background, the swim was easy, but I just tried to survive the bike and run. My idea of bike training was biking once or twice before the race and making sure I could finish the run distance.”

With more structure and purpose in her triathlon training, Kelly began to win races. When she got pregnant with triplets, she had to shift her focus from training to fitness. Instead of running, Kelly started walking to get in her miles, and she rode her bike trainer until week 14 when riding became uncomfortable due to her size.

Her background as a swimmer helped her stay connected to her active lifestyle. “I swam up until I was put on strict bed rest,” said Kelly, who was on bed rest for the last 13 weeks of her 33-week pregnancy. “I was not a happy camper when my doctor said no to swimming. Once I was on bed rest, I did special arm and leg exercises prescribed by my doctor.”

megan kellyNow, with three happy, healthy babies, Kelly has found the time to fit swim, bike and run back into her routine. Before, she was able to train for an hour or two in the morning and would sometimes slip in a training session after work. Now Kelly is trying to swim and run at least three times each week, and biking twice. She even takes her children with her on her runs, pushing them in a stroller.

“I think triathlon is an excellent way to get back into shape post-pregnancy, just take your time and set realistic goals,” Kelly said. “I've heard some people say it's impossible to do a triathlon within the first year of having a baby, or you’re taking time away from your baby, but I disagree.”

Not long after the triplets arrived, Kelly was back on the race course at USA Triathlon’s Sprint National Championship in Burlington, Vt., where she qualified for Team USA. She’ll be competing at a number of races this year, including a return trip to Burlington for nationals and the ITU Sprint World Championships in New Zealand in October. “The sprint distance was a realistic goal,” she said. “I also found that taking an hour out of my day to train — just doing something for me, clearing my head and de-stressing — helps make me a better mom and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed with three infants.” 

Will her children one day toe the line at a triathlon? Only time will tell, but Kelly is optimistic that they will share the love she has for multisport. “I would love for them to try a triathlon, but obviously only if they want to,” she said. “The joke when I got pregnant was that I had enough babies to field a triathlon relay team.”

Click here to learn more about Megan and her family.