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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This report filed October 9, 2005 on http://www.insidetri.com
(October is a big month in paradise. On Oct. 9 the ITU Age Group World Championships are in Waikiki, on Oct. 15 Ironman Hawaii comes to Kona, and on Oct. 23 the Nissan Xterra World Championships are held in Maui. Three weekends, three world championships. Let’s kick it all off with thoughts from Melanie McQuaid on the value of training camps as preparation for big races – and then watch Melanie contest for her second world title in Maui…….)
MY FIRST TRAINING CAMP was back in February of 1997 with the Canadian national mountain bike team. Chrissy Redden and I bunked together for the "Russian Death Camp" with head coach Yury Kashirin in Pinos Altos, N.M.. We rode the most mileage of our lives in mountains with climbs more than 10 miles long, were caught in spring snowstorms only a day after the temperature peaked at 80?, and discovered that three weeks in a cabin with anyone is a true test of friendship.
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This report filed August 25, 2005 on http://www.insidetri.com
(Jamie Whitmore and Melanie McQuaid have waged a seesaw war over the past three years of Xterra – Whitmore capturing the world championship on the strength of her run in 2004 and McQuaid using her vicious bike skills to take the world title in 2003. Who will prevail in Maui, at the 2005 world championships on October 23rd? Here, Melanie writes about how a strong rivalry can force competitors to improve beyond perceived limits.)
A rivalry exists when one strives to obtain something simultaneously with another – something which only one can possess. In sport, there can be only one winner, which is why sport inspires some of the greatest rivalries in history. A great rivalry is something quite special. It allows competing athletes to create a history in the sport beyond themselves. It allows their actions, their efforts, and their heart to be permanently recorded with the spirit of sportsmanship and competitiveness. I can think of some great rivalries which will forever be linked with that sport: Armstrong v. Ullrich (cycling); Evert v. Navratilova (tennis); Allan v. Scott (triathlon). The story of their competition remains vivid beyond the victories, and I feel proud that within the sport of Xterra for the last three years I have participated in my own rivalry, McQuaid vs. Whitmore. Having close competition can be one of the greatest ways to explore your own ability as an athlete, and it can make even your losses become some of the best races of your career.
Continue reading “In Her Words: Melanie McQuaid On Rivalry”