Triathlete Steven Kyker fights through illness and injury leading up to the World Championships

Boulder, Colorado native and Oregon freshman Steven Kyker has been competing in triathlons for a couple of years now. (Ryan Kang/Emerald)

Oregon freshman Steven Kyker has had a rough year in the triathalon world. He had to deal with a tight IT Band and mononucleosis — both of which have derailed his training as he focuses on getting ready for several big competitions this summer. Kyker took the time to talk about his streak of bad luck, how his training is progressing and when his next race will be.

So you have been dealing with some injuries.

Yeah, my IT Band was really, really tight. So it made it painful during running and biking.

Did that happen during training?

Kind of. I tweaked it and it got worse and worse. It got to the point where I was just being stupid and kept training on it. I wasn’t taking care of it the way I should have, so it set me back a couple of weeks. Then as soon as I got healthy, I got mono. It’s gone now, so everything is good. Spring term, I’m enjoying it.

Have you been doing any races?

I haven’t done a race yet in college. There are two in May that I am planning on, whether or not I’m in shape for them. I got over mono three weeks ago, and I wasn’t doing any training at all. I was on my back over spring break. So I haven’t done any official college races yet, but I just registered for Nationals and (the Triathlon World Championships) again.

Where are those at this year?

Worlds is in Chicago and Nationals is in Milwaukee again. Nationals will be in August and Worlds will be in September.

What are your expectations for those races?

Before I got injured, we had some really high goals. But anytime you get injured or you get sick, you have to reassess. It just depends on how training goes. This is the last year of my age group for 19-and-under, so I have big hopes and dreams.

Is that tough, when a wrench gets thrown into your plans?

You just have to accept that it’s part of the process, there is nothing you could have done about it. I could have been a little bit more diligent with the injury, but the fact of getting sick is out of my control, no matter how many vitamins I took or how often I washed my hands. As unlucky as it is, it’s just part of the ride.

Getting back into training must have been difficult.

It was tough. I built up a huge base and got really into it fall term, and then to have to throw all that away winter term is hard. I’m still not a hundred percent back to where I was. We just have to train smarter, not harder. Unfortunately, we have to cut corners to get where I want to be. I still had some of the fitness, but I lost a lot of weight.

How much weight did you lose?

I lost about eight pounds, and that was mainly muscle.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

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