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Toyohashi Tech triathlon team: plenty of pain and even more gain

Most students are satisfied to compete actively in a single sport such as swimming, bicycling or running—not so the members of Toyohashi Tech’s Triathlon Club, who like to compete in all three of these sports in the day.

“The Olympic standard for the triathlon is swimming 1.5 km, bicycling 40 km, and running 10 km,” explains Ryota Nakajima, club leader and fourth-year civil engineering student. “Before I joined the club, I thought it was going to grueling. And it was! Especially in the beginning. But over time it has gradually got easier.”

Out of about 30 members, 15 regularly get together three times a week to train for the three sports. They also meet separately once a week to plan training sessions and prepare for competitions.

Club member Hidenori Mitsuyama, a senior studying civil engineering, happily points out one major benefit from participating in the triathlon. “I can eat as much as I want without worrying because my weight hasn’t changed at all since I joined the Club. It’s great!”

Other members note that their muscles have strengthened and their stamina has increased, making sports in general more enjoyable. Ryo Hirase, a fourth year mechanical engineer, says he has experienced an increase in his muscle density. “I also feel my mental stamina has increased.” Hirase, like his friend Mitsuyama, has come first in the bicycling section of some recent triathlon competitions.

While the triathlon is the club’s major focus, some members also make time for related activities including track and field, trail running, marathon running, and mountain biking.

“We all enjoy training together,“ says Nakajima. “And although the activities are very demanding, when we complete them, it gives us a great feeling of accomplishing something special.”

Situated close to the Pacific Ocean and not far from the mountains, Toyohashi Tech is well located for triathlon competitions. Club members have the choice of swimming in the ocean or in swimming pools, while the mountains provide excellent terrain for tough bicycling workouts.

From left: Ryo Hirase, Ryota Nakajima, Hidenori Mitsuyama

Teppei Ono

Toshiki Matsushima swimming in the Pacific at Cape Irago

From left: Kensyu Irie and Kazumasa Uematsu in front of the famous lighthouse at Cape Irago, located about one hour from the Toyohashi Tech campus.