HONOLULU - Summertime is the deadliest time of year for Army mishaps, both on and off duty, but triathlete and Regional Health Command-Pacific staff action control officer, Alicia Shoulta, embraces summer safety tips to reach her physical fitness goals.
“Summertime provides so many opportunities to be active outside but with every activity it is important to identify the hazards and know your limits,” Shoulta said.
Shoulta, also a Navy spouse, has completed two full Ironman races and 15 Half Ironman races all around the world. She most recently finished a Half Ironman on Hawaii Island June 4 after training for nearly three years.
“I signed up for the Ironman 70.3 when we moved to Hawaii in 2019 but had the race postponed twice, once due to COVID and the next year because of a knee injury,” she said. “I usually try to do a half or a full Ironman wherever we are stationed, so I can have medals from all over.”
Shoulta said that upon arriving at a new duty station she and her husband look up the triathlon groups, which gives the couple a group of friends to train with and explore the local area.
The Shoulta family moved to Hawaii in 2019 and they have taken advantage of the year-round warm weather to train for races.
“Training helps me stay in shape but also gives me an opportunity to explore this beautiful island from the land and sea,” she said. “My husband is incredibly supportive of my training and really keeps the house going when I am gone for those long workouts.”
Shoulta recognizes fatigue can set in during long workouts and other hazards can become a factor during her training.
“I usually train up to three hours per weekday and up to six hours a day on the weekend,” she said. ”I never go on long ocean swims alone and I usually cycle with a group of people as it is easier to see us all and you can support each other.”
She also suggests telling someone where you are going to workout, bring a cell phone to call 911 in case of emergency and watch out for traffic.
“Sometimes other people can be the scariest part of training,” she said. “Cars driving way to close to me while I am biking in Hawaii is big problem.”
Whether it is a 5k or an Ironman, Shoulta enjoys sharing her passion for physical fitness with her RHC-P teammates.
“We recently had a command 5K for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention month and it was a blast to be able to run with the active duty folks that I work with,” she said. “Those of us that race like to hang our medals in our cubicles and talk about what we’re doing next. It keeps us motivated to train harder."