2006 Top Ten List

Top 10 ways to prepare for an XTERRA
By Melanie McQuaid

August 17th, 2006 Back by popular demand, two-time XTERRA world champion Melanie McQuaid offers her top 10 tips for XTERRA success. Check out www.simplystu.com for a feature interview with McQuaid and even more XTERRA training and racing information.


10. Start a swim program

Starting a swim program means enrolling yourself in coached practices. Because swimming is such an incredibly technical sport, hacking out miles and miles with a bad stroke is not as effective as less distance with more efficiency. You need someone to help you improve your stroke mechanics first and foremost, so enlist the experts at your local pool, YMCA or triathlon club.

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Exclusive Racergirl Swag – zazzle shizzle

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Racergirl – "wanting to win is everything"

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Racegirl – "i can because i think i can"

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Racergirl – "i’m fitter than you"

Racergirl Mug

 

We have created super cool Racergirl shirts and stuff with fun sayings on the back. Click on a link above to go to zazzle and get it!

Tri As She May, She Won’t Stop

( Note: This story is about Jackie Burt, a wicked soon to be pro I am coaching this season…..melanie)

Gunnison mom balances competitive drive and life with kids

By Brian Metzler
Special to The Denver Post

Jackie Burt, training in Gunnison with daughter Emma, 9, and son Sam, 7, is hoping to take her triathlon career to the next level. (Post / Helen H. Richardson)

Gunnison – Jackie Burt is a stay-at-home mom. Sort of.

Not long after she drops off her children at school, she can often be found at the gym grinding her way through a 90-minute cycling class. Then she might swing by the pool for an hour of swimming. Lately, her typical week has also included alpine skiing, running, weight lifting, skate skiing and even ice hockey.

It’s not that the 34-year-old Gunnison resident doesn’t enjoy a little peace and quiet, but this mom is on a mission.

She’s training like a fiend so she can earn professional status as an off-road triathlete by midsummer and have a chance to shoot for top-10 finishes at the sport’s U.S. and world championships in October.

Most of the events in the Xterra off-road triathlon circuit consist of a roughly 1-mile swim, 25 miles of mountain biking and about 6 miles of running. The pros finish in about 2 1/2 hours. Burt is a reluctant but improving swimmer, an expert mountain biker and a very good runner.

Based on her fierce determination, rapid improvement in recent years and the fact her children – 9-year-old daughter Emma and 7-year-old son Sam – are in school all day for the first time, Burt, who picked up the sport six years ago, appears poised for her best season of racing yet. She also has retained Xterra women’s world champion Melanie McQuaid to coach her this season to make sure no stone is left unturned. Burt’s first race is April 23.

"I’ve always been competitive, and it’s really nice as an old-lady mother to be able to dig that out and use that," she said. "There are challenges, but at the same time, I don’t know how I could survive the balance of motherhood without competition. It’s my very own, and it’s a great way to stay focused in life."

It certainly helps that her husband, Ashley, is a dedicated amateur Xterra triathlete and her biggest supporter, and that they’ve been able to share their love of sports and the outdoors by involving the children in their training and long race weekends. In the summer, the Burts will do running workouts while Emma and Sam ride their mountain bikes on the same trails. In the winter months, the family often goes alpine or cross country skiing together and then returns home to watch a movie on TV as Jackie and Ashley spin on indoor bike trainers.

But with the kids involved in a variety of sports ranging from triathlon to hockey to gymnastics, scheduling can sometimes be tricky. On one occasion last summer, Jackie finished a race near Bailey and then had to scurry to braid Emma’s hair and quickly drive her to Longmont for a gymnastics meet.

"It’s been a fun challenge," said Ashley Burt, 38, who is the president of the Gunnison Bank and Trust and race director for the fourth annual Crested Butte Bank Trails Triathlon on July 30. "I think, more than anything, the kids are growing up in a household where Mom and Dad are athletes who train a lot, and that seems normal to them. And when it strikes your kids as the norm, they don’t really question it, and they actually enjoy it."

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Ironman Arizona by Nicole Newton

This report has been submitted by Racergirl Nicole who had a fantastic day in Tempe – Melanie

 

 

Last week I kicked off another race season at Ironman Arizona. I have to admit, despite all of the long hours in the saddle, countless early morning runs, staring at a lonely black line at the bottom of the pool with glazed eyes, all of the little aches, pains, and a bit of mental anguish, it was all worth the 10 hours and 37 minutes I left on the race course in Tempe, Arizona. I can walk away from this race and say that in the close to 9 years of racing triathlon I had one of the best race experiences of my career. There were a number of reasons for this, the first being sticking to a finely executed race plan worked out with Coach Lynda, second remaining in the moment throughout each discipline, and finely having my close friend and number one kickin’ wing training partner Neily and her hubby Peter Clode (a Kiwi turned American pro triathlete) along for the experience.

Race morning I woke up at 3:30 AM to both Neily and Peter’s demise. At one point Peter remarked that I had it all wrong and that “people come home around 3:30, they do not get up to start the day”. Okay, so maybe he was correct, but we had a race start time of 6:45 AM and I still had to make killer coffee, eat breakfast, put on my snazzy new Fleet Feet race kit, and organize one last time for the adventure that was ahead. Surprisingly we made it out the door of our cozy retreat at the Holiday Inn with plenty time to spare prior to the race start. The minutes passed rather quickly and suddenly the next thing I knew Peter and I were zipping up our wetsuits and heading for the dock ready to make the plunge into the algae saturated waters of Tempe Towne Lake…..

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Slogging Through The Sea Otter Mudfest

 

My first race this season was the Sea Otter Classic, mountain bike racing’s annual pilgrimage to Monterey, California. This race is a big festival with downhill, bmx, dirt jumping, road racing and cross country mountain bike racing mixed in with some fun rides and a big consumer trade show. It is a gigantic circus at the Laguna Seca Race Track where one of the toughest challenges is to find the start and get there on time while riding through thousands of spectators. Mayhem is always on the menu.

I was racing the stage race which was done in Omnium format so each stage carried points rather than time to determine the overall GC. However, the biggest race was the cross country on the final day since it carried UCI points which eventually will determine who goes to the Olympics for their country so most athletes were focused on this final day. There was a star-studded female field with reigning Olympic and world champion Gunn Rita Dahle, cyclo-cross world champion Sabine Spitz, Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist Kiara Bisaro, three-time world champion Alison Sydor, and two-time Olympian Jimena Florit (who has left us to go back to mountain bike with Luna Chix!). I was super excited to test my fitness against the best to see where I am at in this early stage of the season.

 

Although not every race was a great one, I did have at least one trip to the podium and I got some excellent training out of the super marathon of a cross country. I have to send out a big thank you to my bicycling sponsors because this weekend was very hard on my equipment. Thank you to Shimano for the overhaul and to Orbea, Maxxis, Fox Racing Shox and even Saris for your help this weekend (that pump was handy). I am really fortunate to have you guys to help me as well as my coach Houshang Amiri, who was there to see the good, the bad, and the very ugly….Thanks and a shout out go to all this year’s partners (who are all in the Sponsor 2006 section!) but especially Saucony, Nature’s Path, Orbea, Sundog, Shimano, Maxxis, Fox, Aquaman, Gu, Profile, Titec, Fizik, Powertap, Powercranks, Computrainer, Kinesys and Rider’s Cycles for building a top notch machine for this weekend!

 

 

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World Class Performance Points Program

I hate swimming.

Ok, now I that I have said that and made myself feel better, I can now move forward with my new swim performance program designed by Joel Filliol to try and keep me on top of my swim program.

I REALLY hate swimming.

Sorry, just had to slip that one in. In case anyone was wondering, my least favorite part of any triathlon is the soggy appetizer. I am not sure why I became such a hater when it comes to swimming because all I know is the only time I am not really in love with what I am doing is when I am on my way to a pool. This includes the numerous rainy six degree days this winter on the bike and the day I blew to the moon and still had to climb an hour and fifteen minutes up Mt Lemmon AND the day after that when we were running intervals and I couldn’t make my legs go any faster than the I-got-nuthin shuffle. Swimming is still worse. A good day swimming is still crap compared to a bad day biking. However, any day swimming is still better than any day not doing what you love and I guess swimming still gets some love for being part of a triathlon.

Despite my dislike of the discipline, I want to be better. In fact, I want to be just plain GOOD, not just sort of okay. Of course, I still want to be FAST on the bike and run, but I really would like to be a good swimmer and minimize the passing required at the start of races. Unfortunately, the only good way to be a good swimmer is to swim – a lot. The past four weeks I have been swimming an unprecedented amount for me, six practices per week! Unheard of! The results have been promising and as a result, encouraging. So to up the ante, Joel Filliol, head coach at the Pacificsport National Triathlon Training Center upped the ante by creating a little motivational points program for Mel to keep her on her swim game through to Maui…..

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