Though it may seem like an odd transition, Van Der Merwe was a natural, and won her first sprint triathlon at Lake Pflugerville in Texas. Her first year as an age grouper she completed 25 races--many of which she won--so the next step was to go pro. From there, she transitioned to the River Place Country Club where she was the head tennis coach for 8 years and eventually, discovered triathlon. She earned her pro card years ago at Ironman
With over 35 athletes, Van Der Merwe has noticed her passion has changed from racing and personal goals to helping others reach their personal goals. With customized training based on individual athlete's needs, workouts are very quality-driven and purposeful. Though it may seem like an odd transition, Van Der Merwe was a natural, and won her first sprint triathlon at Lake Pflugerville in Texas. She didn't pursue the sport more until after she met her husband--Austin-based film industry vet Steve White--who encouraged her to see where triathlon could go. When an athlete comes to train with AASA, Van Der Merwe is sure to build out their weekly schedule so that it fits their goals and life. Founded in and named after the iconic volcanic rock fields found at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, LAVA Magazine is the world's premier triathlon magazine. Her afternoon is spent preparing workouts for the week, providing feedback and communicating with her athletes about upcoming goals and races. Weekends consist of a Saturday group bike and Sunday group run workout, or she will be out at local races cheering on athletes and spreading the word about their program at AASA. With faith a big part of her life, she recognizes that coaching is her calling and purpose. She wants to make sure athletes aren't neglecting their family and careers so they can build up a consistent training plan that becomes part of the daily lifestyle. From there, she transitioned to the River Place Country Club where she was the head tennis coach for 8 years and eventually, discovered triathlon. That is, until she was sidelined last year after Challenge Penticton after she was hit by a car while out on a training ride in September. AASA works with the TriDot to build out their custom training plans, so every four weeks athletes do a benchmark fitness test to track their current fitness levels, monitor improvements and adjust their training according to athletes as individuals. Along with the magazine's stunning photography and design, every issue is full of the newest gear debuts and reviews, training advice from the world's best coaches, and in-depth athlete profiles. Those experiences have helped shape her vision, to develop an elite atmosphere for any athlete, where they can getting focused attention from a coach in what feels like an Olympic training facility. Her first year as an age grouper she completed 25 races--many of which she won--so the next step was to go pro. As her coach, Aquatics General Manager--and Olympic champion--Brendan Hansen brought her on-board to work part-time at the Academy, as they wanted to give her enough time to train but couldn't pass up having her join their staff and develop a triathlon program. She earned her pro card years ago at Ironman Though she plans to race the The AASA is the only facility in Austin where triathletes can do all of their swim, bike and run training on-site, all in one place. In the summer, she is at AASA by 5: Van Der Merwe acknowledges that everything she has done in triathlon and racing has helped her become a better coach and relate to her athletes.
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