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Athlete Spotlight: Lubo Koudelka

Name | Lubo Koudelka

Tell us about your family/career.

I am a mechanical engineer by training with a long career in designing precision instruments. Now that I am 82 years old, people tell me I should retire, but I don’t believe in that sort of thing, so I still work as needed. I’ve been married for 54 years, have two kids, and four grandkids.

What is your personal favorite sport/activity?

Fitness has always been important to me. I was born and lived half my life in what was then called Czechoslovakia, where people stayed fit just through daily activities and lots of walking. In those days, Czechoslovakia didn’t have many competitive athletic opportunities for average folks, but there were plenty of non-competitive clubs. I participated in horseback riding, nordic and alpine skiing, rock climbing, and mountaineering.

Outside of training with Tri Fitness, what are some of your favorite hobbies?

I practice yoga everyday and meditate. I like woodworking and doing various home improvement projects. It’s amazing how many calories you can burn by planting a tree or building a retaining wall.

What is your favorite motivational quote?

Always stay active. It will benefit your body and mind.

What keeps you going when you really don’t want to go?

The knowledge that doing difficult things builds character.

What got you started with training/racing?

I began training later in life. Several years after immigrating to Minnesota, my wife and I founded an engineering company. Owning a small business meant lots of long hours in the office and in front of a computer. Not very healthy. After a few years of that, I decided that I needed to do something about it, so I took up cycling and joined a local cycling and skiing club called Ride & Glide. I was in my 60's by then. Training was going pretty well, but I was looking for data and ways I could measure my performance. That is when I found Tri Fitness and began working with Vicki.

How long have you been training/racing?

It’s been about 20 years—part of that time training on my own and then with Tri Fitness. I competed in my first race in 2002 as the biker on a relay team in the Turtleman Triathlon. Since then, I’ve done the Turtleman Triathlon as well as the Minneapolis Duathlon several times. It was always a family affair with various family members forming a relay team.

What is your best tip for someone thinking about starting a fitness program?

Log your workouts and collect data. It will help you make smart decisions about your training.

What is your biggest struggle?

I can’t go as fast or as far as I used to—and it takes more time to recover—but I can deal with it, and keep doing what I can. However, it’s my memory that’s giving me the most trouble.

Goals for upcoming year?

Stay healthy, keep active, and continue to take Jack’s Stretch & Core class. As the weather warms up, I am looking forward to getting out and biking on the Gateway Trail with my daughter Helena and her boys.

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