Kym Zest

2021 Fall TRAINING Coach

Kym Zest has been coaching endurance sports for over 15 years.  She’s been an athlete her whole life. 

When she was a shy 14 years old at an all-comers track meet. Her dad, Coach Zhao pointed to a wrinkly silver haired woman warming up and said “If you stick with her, you’ll go under 6 in the mile.” It was a brutal 8 laps in the dry winter indoor air, but she stayed on her shoulder and was so proud of her new personal record. She was just as awestruck by the woman. She set a new goal that day; to be fiercely athletic well into old age.

It meant looking beyond the next race, beating a rival, or a new PR. 

In 39 years she’s had a rich complicated history as an athlete with detours, sidetracks, and many many transformative moments. It’s a life long journey. 

Which is the kind of coach she is. 

Currently she and her husband own Zest Ed; coaching enthusiastic recreational athletes who are feeling stuck or lost continue to pursue goals that bring more meaning to their lives. It’s more than a training plan, it’s big picture thinking, strategizing, and reflection. 

She lives in an old apartment in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis with her kitty Pigeon and husband Will. Her favorite comfort food is ramen, show is The West Wing, and author is Bill Bryson. You can learn more on her website, Instagram @zest_ed_athletics, and blog

Education and Certifications

– Wilderness First Responder through WMA, 2019 – present
– USA Triathlon Coach Level 1 and Professional Member #2013394150 , 2011 – present
– National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer #7203750410, Professional Member #10-01-25-030, 2009 – present
– Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hour level #152707, 2014 – present
– Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Michelle Pietrzak-Wegner  level 1 2014, level 2 2015
– Total Immersion Swimming Certified Coach, Level One, 2011 – 2020
– USA Swimming Coach #041282KYMJZEST , 2015 – 2018
– USA Track and Field Level One and Two Coach Certificate #L1-03-2222 Level two coach certificate #L2-06-2-118, 2002 – 2007
– Bachelor of arts in psychology Concordia University, St. Paul, MN May 2003

Professional Experience

– Coach for the YWCA Minneapolis Otters Swim Team (private lessons, masters group, youth strength training) 2010 to 2020
– Total Immersion Swimming Certified Coach, Level One, 2011 – 2020
– Coach for Vertical Endeavors climb team and club September 2019 – March 2020
– Endurance Sports Coach and Personal Trainer for the YWCA of Minneapolis 2010- 2017
– Yoga Teacher (YWCA classes and private) 2014 –2017
– Assistant Race Director – Training Coordinator for the YWCA Women’s Triathlon  2014-2017
– Founder and Head Coach of Bumble Beez Athletics for youth 9-14 2002 to 2008

Personal Experience Highlights

– Personal Urban Ultra Challenge 45.39 miles in 14:19 November 2020
– Rib Mt. Adventure Race – 8 hour.  2017, 2018, and 2019 as team Velocikitty Snuggles.
– Exploring gymnastic, acrobatic, and dance movement 2016 – 2019
– IronMan Triathlon 140.6mi North Carolina Beach2Battleship 2015 finish time 13:33:13
– SuperiorMan Triathlon 70.3mi Duluth MN 2013 finish time 6:08
– Canoe Expedition Voyageurs Nat’l Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: 19 days 246.5 miles 2012
– Winter Wilderness Camping: 20+ days in Porcupine Mountains, Voyageurs Nat’l Park, and BWCAW 2010-present
– Bike Commuting year round in Minnesota since 2009
– Competing in triathlons since 1997
– National Outdoor Leadership School Alaska Sea Kayaking 13 days 2006
– International Rock Climbing Festival 2005