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06.03.2023 from 
Campus + City
From triathlon to seminar

The motivation: "I was simply curious to see what I was still capable of," recalls Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld. "After all, the goal wasn't the Ironman, but the university triathlon." Determined to make it, the postdoctoral of Sports Science signed up. But her motives were more diverse: to take on a challenge, to improve her fitness, to gain own experiences she could contribute to her teaching. A colleague filmed the competition. Therefore, Dr. Rehfeld can at least analyze the running techniques or the changes between the stations with her students, for example in the course of studies Sports and Engineering. But the experience will also contribute to her scientific work on sports motor skills, kinesiological diagnostics, gymnastics and dance. To add pressure, she set up an Instagram channel. On it, she let her mostly student followers take part in her training and triathlon.

The training: As a sports scientist, it was easy for Kathrin Rehfeld to design a training plan. A fitness tracker was soon purchased and fed with information on weight, age and height. She invested in a suitable racing bike and set up a "bike fitting". She tackled the first training sessions briskly. But it quickly became apparent that a sports scientist is not necessarily an athlete. In addition, household duties, an almost two-year-old daughter and a fulltime job at the university left only a narrow time frame for preparation.

Swimming: As a former competitive swimmer, this shouldn't have been a problem, Kathrin Rehfeld thought: "The first training session was sobering. I wanted too much too fast and didn't listen to my colleagues' advice to start slowly."

The cycling: Check, because every day she rides her bike to daycare and to work. The training tour of 35 kilometers went smoothly. Only the bike needed some readjustment. "More difficult were the changes from water to bike, from bike to running," Dr. Rehfeld sums up. A colleague practiced with her, because especially the change from the horizontal swimming position to the vertical running position is a real Herculean task for any circulatory system. "It all worked out very well during training, but during the triathlon all the good advice was forgotten. I got out of the water too quickly and had circulation problems," the triathlete recalls.

Kathrin Rehfeld training on the treadmill in a laboratory (c) private Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld Kathrin Rehfeld is happy about her 3rd place with colleagues after the triathlon (c) private Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld
Kathrin Rehfeld trained for the triathlon in the sports science lab, collecting data for research and teaching. (left) After the triathlon, there was great joy about the 3rd place. (Photos: private / Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld)

Running: The motto was getting through it - with legs heavy as lead, after 800 meters of swimming and 20 kilometers of cycling. "I hope I don't get a cramp," Kathrin Rehfeld describes her thoughts during the race. "In the end, I crossed the finish line after 1 hour 45 minutes and am quite satisfied with the 3rd place in my women's age group. I was helped a lot by my colleagues who came to cheer me on and by the fair competition opponents, among whom were also two students of mine."

The conclusion: The sports scientist has collected a lot of material for her teaching courses and realized in the meantime that she needs to allow more time for doing sports again.

Author: Ines Perl
Source: uni:report summer ´22
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