New triathlon club brings camaraderie to endurance sports
At first glance, triathlons and football couldn’t be any more different.
Self-dependence is the name of the game in triathlons. It’s all on you to swim, bike and run tortuously long distances.
Football is about the team. Eleven individuals must work in unison in order to perfectly execute a play.
To fare well at either takes athleticism, and Adam Sczech is a big-time athlete. The former Defiance (Ohio) College football offensive guard participated in his first triathlon about a decade ago.
He hasn’t stopped competing since, and he still leans on those football roots.
“Some of the things are the same, and some things are different,” he said. “Football is very much a team sport. You have 10 guys with you at all times, while endurance sports are a little more individual. Some of the things transfer over, like wanting to do well and competitiveness.”
The 30-year-old Sczech, who moved to the Grand Valley from the Cincinnati, Ohio, area about six months ago, is bringing the team atmosphere to triathlon training. He recently founded 3x Fun Multisport, a club for anyone interested in triathlons, duathlons, swimming, biking or running.
“The entire goal for the club is just the camaraderie, the social atmosphere,” he said. “We do some drop rides and some easy rides, stuff like that. It can be a lonely sport, so it’s nice to have people around sometimes.”
The club is open to athletes of all abilities, from triathlon neophytes to world champions. Sczech, a USA Triathlon-certified coach, is available with tips and pointers for those wanting more than mere training companionship.
“We have a couple people on the team planning to do their first sprint, a couch-to-race kind of thing, and then we have a guy on the team going to the world championships for like the eighth time,” he said.
Cycling and triathlons have done wonders for Sczech, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament during his sophomore football season at Defiance. The rehabilitation process involved a lot of bike riding.
That hooked him on biking and, soon after, he entered his first triathlon. So began Sczech’s transformation from a burly, 6-foot-3ish, 315-pound offensive lineman to a sleek, 200-pound triathlete.
With that first triathlon came instant success. He’s competed extensively ever since, both on cycling and triathlon circuits. He soon began passing along his expertise as a coach.
“It really just started with cyclists,” said Sczech, who offers private coaching and works at LTR Sports in Grand Junction. “I started working with some runners and some triathletes. I’ve coached a lot of endurance athletes in biking, running, swimming, speedskating.”
True to his team sport roots and affable nature, it hasn’t taken long for Sczech to endear himself to endurance athletes in the Grand Valley. His club, still very much in its infancy, is up to about a dozen members. He hopes it catches on and grows.
“I was just talking to people, just getting to know some people,” Sczech said. “I’m always seeing people out riding, and I thought, it couldn’t hurt to have a club.
“There’s great riding and running, but there’s not a big or organized club out there, so I decided to do a USAT club.”