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Fitness Newsletter | July 2012 | 
Ready to "Tri" Something New? 


TriathlonTriathlons are one of the fastest growing sports in America. Last year, USA Triathlon, the national governing body of the sport, sanctioned over 3800 events across the country.


We understand that the thought of swimming, running and cycling in the same event can seem daunting, but don't let that stop you. While these events certainly have their share of elite athletes, there is plenty of room for those of us who are just looking for a challenge. Plus, the physical benefits of cross training for three different disciplines are too numerous to count.

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Before signing up for an event, here are a few things to consider:

1. Triathlons come in different sizes. The most common distances are sprint, olympic, half and full. For your first triathlon, the sprint is recommended. The distances may vary slightly, but most sprints consist of a .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. With some experience in each discipline and a little dedication, a couple months training can get you to the finish line.


2. Keep the equipment simple for your first event. The experienced triathlete will bring a specialized wet-suit and expensive bike to the event, but for your first sprint-tri, you can get by without. As long as the water is warm enough, a bathing suit will do just fine and any bike easier to pedal than a beach cruiser will suffice.


3. During your training, avoid processed food. Eat real, whole foods and choose water instead of beer and soda. Basic, healthy habits leading up to the event will keep you going. 


4. Follow a training program. The most important thing you will need is the structure and discipline that comes with following some type of training schedule. If you miss a day or two, it's not the end of the world, but having the schedule as your guide will pay off in the long run. Check out our Train for Your Tri program below!


5. Don't get overwhelmed. Thinking about all three disciplines at the same time can be intimidating. Follow your schedule, put in the work suggested for a particular day and you will exceed your expectations. 


Keep these simple tips in mind, look for an event that works for you and enjoy the sense of accomplishment as you cross the finish line!

New Program: Train for Your Tri 


Train for Your Tri is a 4-week program is designed to you help you prepare for your first sprint triathlon. Gain the confidence, conditioning and knowledge to be able to tackle a .5 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. This training leads perfectly into the Patriots Sprint Triathlon on September 9. Training is provided by experienced personal trainers, triathletes and Master Swim Instructors.

The program meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:15 - 11:15 am, August 6-31 at Great Neck Recreation Center. Cost is $79. Register online or in person at any recreation center.

Cool Down with Homemade Açaí Sorbet  


Looking for a cool treat? Here's an idea from that's a healthy alternative to ice cream and fun to make at home. 

SorbetThe ingredients are simple:
4 pure açai pulp smoothie packs* (4 oz. each), thawed
¾ cup agave nectar
2 Tbs. lemon juice 


*Acai pulp packets can be found in the frozen section of most of your health food stores. You might have to search a little, but it's worth it. 

Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a 9-inch square, metal baking pan, and place in freezer. Stir with a fork every half hour, scraping frozen bits from the sides to keep from freezing into a block. Scoop into bowls and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Meet the Trainers: Sam Roberts & Mary Roberts

Sam Roberts

Sam Roberts is a Performance Enhancement Specialist certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a Certified Athletic Trainer through the NATA Board of Certification. She completed her Master's Degree in Exercise Science from Oklahoma State University. Sam has worked with a variety of clients from high school and college athletes to individuals striving to achieve personal goals such as weight loss, increased muscle mass and, most importantly, a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys strength training, swimming, hiking and running with her dogs. Sam understands how important it is for an individual to enjoy exercise for it to be a lifelong change and she is dedicated to helping each of her clients do just that. She will be taking new clients at Great Neck.

Mary Roberts
Mary Roberts is a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise. Along with her personal training experience, she joins our team with experience teaching yoga, cycling and Zumba®. Mary enjoys teaching all types of classes from the upbeat cardio to the slower stretching and yoga classes, and enjoys working with a wide variety of clients and their individual fitness levels. Outside of work, Mary runs many local races, enjoys swimming and biking, plays soccer and loves to travel. Her love of fitness has been passed on to her three children, who love to be active and play sports as well. Mary will be training and teaching classes at Kempsville Recreation Center.

Complete a Personal Training Request if you'd like to get started with personal training.
New! Month-to-Month Memberships Available

For Adults, Seniors & Non-Residents


New Membership Option!Want to join our recreation centers, but don't want to pay for a full year up front? Now you can enjoy all of the great benefits of a membership, without the annual commitment!


Our new month-to-month membership option enables you to pay a low monthly fee using a credit or debit card, with the option to cancel at any time with a 30-day notice. No commitment and no joining fees. Ever. 


Month-to-Month Rates
Adult | $11/month
Senior | $9/month

Non-Resident | $31/month

Sign up for a month-to-month membership at any Virginia Beach Recreation Center. As always, annual memberships are available for kids, adults, seniors and non-residents. Learn more about our membership options.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


Bow Creek Recreation Center will close on August 25 for a long-term modernization project. Expected re-opening is September 2014.

Great Neck Recreation Center will be closed August 27 through September 2 for annual maintenance.

All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed on Monday, September 3 for Labor Day. Parks remain open for your enjoyment.


Bayside Recreation Center will be closed September 10-16 for annual maintenance. 


Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If your child requires additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.