PSU professor to compete in World Duathlon Championship

It can be hard to remember, but professors have lives outside the classroom.

Dr. Debra Lindberg, professor of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Portland State, competed in the USA Duathlon National Championship in Saint Paul, Minnesota on July 19. Lindberg placed eighth in the 60–64 age bracket, which qualifies her to compete for Team USA in the 2015 World Duathlon Championship held in Adelaide, Australia.

“It makes me proud, of course,” Lindberg said of representing America in the 2015 World Duathlon Championship. “But it also means I haven’t stopped participating in life.”

The duathlon is a three-leg race similar to the triathlon. The primary difference is that it doesn’t involve any swimming. Instead, it consists of a 10 kilometer running leg, a 40K cycling leg, and is followed by another 10K running leg.

“The hard part for me of a duathlon is getting off the bike and then getting [my] legs to work right for that second run,” Lindberg said.

Balancing her career and her active lifestyle is relatively easy, Lindberg said.

“I run when it’s convenient to run,” she said of her training regimen.

With four days of running, and two days of both biking and running, she is mindful of keeping her active lifestyle stress-free.

“This is your release, this is your fun,” Lindberg said. “The active lifestyle helps you come back to your academics with a fresher mind and a gladder heart.”

Lindberg said the biggest challenge leading up to a race isn’t the physically grueling demands of a duathlon, it’s the day before a race.

“I will sign up for [races] because I know I can do them, but I have a huge amount of anxiety the day before,” Lindberg said.

The anxiety causes her to toss and turn the night prior. The hardest part isn’t the race itself, but getting out of bed after fixating upon all she’ll have to endure the next day.

“You know what you’re going to go through and you get up and actually go through it anyway,” she said.

Lindberg’s passion for her active lifestyle does more than win medals.

“Professors who have lives outside of their academic careers are often better teachers,” said Dr. Laura Hickman, director of Criminology and Criminal Justice Online at PSU. “Students in our discipline work in stressful careers. Success in these careers requires a commitment to healthy ways of managing stress.”

Lindberg will maintain her training regimen until Oct. 14, 2015, when she will race along the coast of Australia.