If you have ever tried to remove a sodden wet suit — quickly — you will likely appreciate this.
Heck, even if you have never donned a wet suit in your life, you might appreciate this.
When 20-year-old Caitlin Scheder-Bieschin was in junior high and high school, her dad would coordinate her triathlon training schedule. And as most triathletes know, transitions — switching from swim to bike to run in the least amount of time — can be critical to a racer’s success.
To that end, Caitlin’s dad Max, a triathlete himself, would re-create the feeling of a tired, soggy swimmer by soaking Caitlin with a hose, have her fire off a few pushups and then tell her to remove the wetsuit at speed.
“We’d set up a transition area in our driveway and I would run through it like 10 times,” Caitlin Scheder-Bieschin said.
Pretty quickly, Caitlin Scheder-Bieschin of Cotati became one of the top young triathletes in the country, eventually competing in the world sprint distance championships before her senior year at Analy High School. All the while, Max Scheder-Bieschin coached the Analy Tri-gers club, crafting training regimens and workouts for Caitlin and the other Tigers.
“My dad and I always do them together. It’s a way we spend time together,” Caitlin said. “Every California tri he has done with me at some point. He always comes down and cheers. He just talks me through it.”
Caitlin, who also swam and ran cross country in high school, continued to compete in triathlons as an earth systems major at Stanford University but has backed away from the sport some in recent years as school, work and other interests vied for her time.
But this year she is back at it.
In late 2013, father and daughter decided to train and compete together in the full distance Vineman triathlon this month to mark Caitlin’s first full distance competition. But Max Scheder-Beischin’s work schedule derailed his training and he pulled out. Caitlin carried on, training and competing in shorter competitions to ready herself for the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run Vineman on July 26 where she will be the youngest local competitor in the event.
“I want to finish, to have the experience. And from there I will have done basically every distance of triathlon and I can decide which one I enjoy the most,” she said.
The three-discipline sport has always been a favorite for someone who says she is prone to getting bored with just one thing. Plus, other competitions didn’t give her the same feeling of satisfaction she gets after a triathlon.
“I never had that feeling of ‘Wow, this is amazing, I can’t believe I just did that,’ ” she said.
Caitlin’s mom, Ann Scheder-Bieschin, said the father-daughter triathlon partnership has been less about sport than about what she called “the gift of time.”
“She had other people who wanted to coach her,” she said. “Caitlin just really responds best to her dad. They have a neat relationship in that he can push her and she will get frustrated but she’ll come back. He knows how to interact with her the right way.”
The partnership was born about a decade ago when Max Scheder-Bieschin was training for a triathlon and Caitlin asked if she could tag along.