New JCC Fitness Specialist Is A Real Ironman

by Lisa DeHayes

(Published Aug 19, 2014)

ChadVanDerwall (18)“Swimming for me is like trying not to drown for an hour,” says JCC newcomer and Fitness Specialist, Chad VanDerwall.

Still, Chad has been hitting the waves a lot lately, training for his first full Ironman competition in Louisville later this month. The event includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a full marathon, 26.2 miles…all in one day.

He’s also been hitting the bike trails lately. Chad and his wife, Becky, moved to Indianapolis a little more than a month ago when she got accepted for a yearlong pharmacy residency at I.U. Health. Chad’s been training by biking the Monon Trail…and beyond. One weekend, he continued past the trail to Kokomo (about 80 miles roundtrip in case you’re wondering).

But Chad most enjoys running. The new course he’s teaching, Athletic Performance Training, is designed for runners, particularly those who want to compete in the Monumental Marathon on November 1.

“But it’s really for anyone who wants to increase his or her functional movement,” Chad says.

Chad modeled the course after a run camp in Michigan for people training for a 5k through marathon.

“There were about 1,000 people enrolled in the camp and we divided into groups of five to 10 runners,” he says. “It was designed to help anyone at any level, beginners to pros.”

Chad says Athletic Performance Training is structured so that it can be tailored to the individual. There will be a dynamic warmup, leg strengthening using a variety of Power Pack and Band Shuffler exercises, followed by core building.

“For core work, it’ll be not just abs, but lower back and hips, too,” Chad says.

When he’s not working or training, Chad and his wife are most likely grabbing a bite to eat in Broad Ripple or making a different kind of pit stop with Charlie, their four-legged family member, at the dog park in Broad Ripple Park.

Chad Fast Facts · Favorite restaurant: The jury’s still out, but Boogie Burger is a frequent stop · Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan · Sports: Played and coached high school hockey · Favorite team: Detroit Red Wings (but he’s a fan of Peyton Manning) · Favorite music: Anything by Eminem