SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — This weekend marks the long awaited debut of the Ironman Triathlon in the Roanoke Region. While most of the competitors have focused on swimming, biking and running, one couple has added a unique form of martial arts to their training regimen.
“I just fell in love with it and it’s something totally different that we haven’t done before,” Tyler Bowersock said.
Tyler and his wife, Allison, are getting ready for the Ironman Triathlon with the martial art of Krav Maga.
“From a training standpoint, it’s definitely helped with balance and coordination with reaction time and a lot of things you don’t necessarily get in the weight room when you think about cross training,” Allison Bowersock said. “It’s something completely different and trains all of your physiological systems. And it’s been a lot of fun.”
This fighting system — once developed for the Israeli military — wasn’t part of the Bowersock’s original training plan, but Tyler sees Krav Maga as a valuable tool of self defense for everyday training.
“With running groups and what not, you have so many people out on the greenway running by themselves,” Tyler said. “And if you could help teach other people a few techniques, it could be the difference of something bad happening and getting away.”
The duo, who co-own Runabout Sports in Roanoke, have been doing triathlons for years. However, they’ve only practiced Krav Maga since last September, and it’s quickly prepared them for the physical and mental test that lies ahead in the Ironman Triathlon.
“It has been very humbling to be part of this because it’s totally different from just steady stay running or swimming laps,” Allison said. “It’s a lot more anaerobic but it’s a lot of sustained effort too…I think it just makes you a better athlete. It’s just totally different from what you might do at the gym.”
The training might also give them an edge for a race that they’ve had to wait an extra year for because of the pandemic.
“Everybody is super excited especially having it here in our hometown. It’s kind of a weird feeling leading up to the race,” Tyler said. “You’ve been training so much. You kinda wanna hurry up and get it over with so you can rest and relax a little bit so from that perspective, I’m super pumped.”