Training improves, confidence rises for triathlon athlete

It’s not quite “crunch time” but with three weeks to go until the Hy-Vee My Y Tri, Cherie Jones knows the time to improve her training is now.

Jones, 60, of Marshalltown, will participate in her first triathlon at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Feb. 23.

The Times-Republican is following Jones throughout her training. The first story on the lung cancer survivor’s training journey ran in the Jan. 20 issue and Jones received an outpouring of support and positive feedback from people who read it in the T-R print edition and online.

“I got calls from four states,” Jones said. “You can’t believe how many text messages and phone calls I got.”

Jones will swim seven minutes, bike 18 minutes and run 15 minutes during the triathlon. She said lately she has been able to combine all three workouts on one trip to the Y. She has noticed the improvement in the past few weeks from training.

The one hiccup in her training is the jogging. She attempted to move from a fast walk to a consistent jog recently but couldn’t sustain it due to her legs cramping up.

“Jogging didn’t last very long but I’m not giving up,” Jones said. “I have three weeks.”

Her plans over the next few weeks are to train five days a week and include more jogging. Her improvement has given the athlete confidence that she can complete this triathlon.

“When I first started training I couldn’t make it the full time on any of the three parts,” Jones said. “Compared to where I started, I now know I can finish at least. I’m not going to shatter any world records but I’m going to try my hardest.”

The Times-Republican will check in with Jones one more time before she competes in the triathlon then be there for the event to see how she did.