Parker People Series: Kent King, Triathlon Enthusiast

“Harder Than It Looks: Parking Uncovered” is our podcast dedicated to facilitating connections and illuminating solutions to common problems within the parking and mobility industry.

We aim to do so by highlighting the voices of experts in the space, discussing trends and forward-looking technological innovations, and providing professional food for thought. All in an effort to help one another get better at what we know is harder than it looks…parking a car.

In this special series, we’re excited to feature some of our very own Parker People, by sharing their stories from previous episodes on our podcast.

In this blog post, we explore the world of triathlons with Kent King, our VP of Sales, who doubles as a triathlon coach in his spare time.

From Lakes to Ironman Triathlons

Kent’s journey into triathlons began in college when a friend proposed doing a triathlon every decade. Having grown up swimming in lakes, biking on mountain trails, and running as a soccer player, Kent thought a sprint triathlon would be easy.

However, he quickly realized competitive swimming was a different challenge.

“I was completely out of breath after a 10-minute swim,” Kent recalls. This initial struggle ignited his determination to master the sport.

Mastering the Triathlon: Over 30 Races

Throughout his twenties, Kent focused on sprint and Olympic triathlons, eventually gravitating towards the half Ironman distance. This demanding event includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a half marathon run.

“I loved that distance because it allowed me to compete every other month while balancing training and recovery,” Kent explains. His dedication has led him to complete over 30 triathlons.

Transitioning to Coaching

Kent paused his triathlon journey to start a family and bond with his father-in-law over golf. However, his passion for triathlons reignited as his children grew older. Despite facing several injuries and surgeries, Kent’s enthusiasm never waned.

He began coaching friends in 2015, providing training plans and accountability. His coaching career took off when he joined Lifetime Fitness in Indianapolis, where he still coaches several of his original athletes.

The Hidden Challenges of Triathlons

While the physical demands of swimming, biking, and running are apparent, Kent emphasizes three often-overlooked challenges: mental resilience, nutrition, and time management.

Mental Resilience: Kent regularly coaches his athletes through mental hurdles. “I almost have weekly calls with athletes who feel they can’t do it or are struggling with motivation,” he says. The mental aspect of training is crucial, as self-doubt can be as challenging as the physical demands.

Nutrition: Initially, Kent’s nutrition plan consisted of sugary snacks and Gatorade, which proved ineffective for longer races. Now, he meticulously plans his nutrition, counting calories, sodium, and carbohydrates. “Nutrition is a whole other leg of the race,” Kent states. Proper nutrition can make or break a race, especially for longer distances.

Time Management: Training for long-distance events demands significant time, often up to 30 hours a week. This commitment can strain family life. “You need approval from your family to spend that much time training,” Kent advises. He encourages his athletes to involve their families and maintain a balance to ensure support and understanding.

Getting Started in Triathlons

For those interested in starting triathlons, Kent recommends identifying your weakest discipline and joining local clubs or groups for support.

“There are numerous triathlon clubs in the Indianapolis area,” Kent notes. The triathlon community is welcoming and supportive, much like the parking industry. Finding a group can provide motivation, tips, and camaraderie.

Kent’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and passion. His dedication to triathlons mirrors the commitment we see in our team members at Parker Technology.

Stay tuned for more stories of our incredible Parker People and the hard things they do, both in and out of the office. Listen to more stories on our podcast.

Courtney Cooper

Courtney Cooper

Events + Community Manager

Courtney Cooper has over 7 years of experience in marketing, copywriting, and campaign management. She holds a B.S. in Marketing and Business Administration from Ball State University.