Off-road Triathlon Technical Skills

Off-road Triathlon Technical Skills

(Previously published in the print edition of  Triathlon Magazine Canada)

Working on technical skills is important if mixing some off road triathlon in an otherwise paved season is in your race plans  Off road racing technical skills are important as the course is a challenge in itself.  Once you have the technical skills in place you can then plan your strategy to best the competition.

mountain bike penticton three blind mice trails
The trails were technical and fun at ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds.

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Swim and Run Camp December 16-17, 2017

On December 16-17th, I am hosting a swim and run camp in Victoria, BC.  You might be thinking: “Why the heck would I want to go train hard RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS?” or “I’m not interested in training before Christmas.”  Those are fair comments and I get that it is hard to do camps when racing is a LONG WAY AWAY but I am going to explain why I think this camp is valuable at this point in the year.

The Schedule

Swim run camp schedule
Schedule for December swim run camp

The Objective

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2017 ITU Long Course World Championship

ITU Long Course World Championship

With the excitement of winning the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship fueling my excitement to hit a start line again, I was pretty oblivious to some signs from my body leading up to (and in the days following) ITU Multisport Long Course World Championship.  I managed to completely ignore that I had shingles.  Cue the geriatric jokes right now that will go nicely with all of my talk about racing after 40.  LOL.  Sigh.

swim leg itu multisport world Championship
Photo credit Kevin Mackinnon

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2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship

I won the 2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship Elite title.  I dedicate this to all of the ladies in my 40+ age-category and beyond.  Your best races are not behind you -unless you are certain you have done everything possible to maximize your potential already.  Not everyone sees the potential they have and takes the opportunity.  I hope to continue demonstrating being in your 40s is an advantage, not an obstacle.

I am ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion for the second time.

After a perfect day at the Penticton ITU Multisport World Championship I took my fifth world title in off-road racing.  Mountain biking allowed me to become a professional athlete and triathlon gave me a viable career.  I have so much gratitude for everyone at XTERRA, the ITU, and all of the local off-road bike, run, and triathlon race organizers for supporting off-road racing.  Thank you!

Read more for my story… or here is a media report from Triathlon World for another perspective and the men’s story.


Finishline photo at ITU Multisport World Championship Cross Triathlon
2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion

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Plyometrics for triathlon training

Plyometrics for triathlon training

Whether you race cross triathlon or Ironman, you should be using plyometrics for triathlon training.  A beginner to advanced triathlon training program should include some plyometrics to improve form, economy, and durability, and a functional strength program.

Plyometrics for triathlon training benefits include:

  • Greater durability/injury resistance
  • Eccentric overloading helps with downhill running and agility
  • Improves speed without training sprint work
  • Improves running form and economy (decreases ground contact time)

How plyometrics are beneficial

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Racing Triathlons In Australia

Racing Triathlons in Australia

Racing triathlons in Australia is so fun.  This is my fifth visit to the country including two other occasions to race mountain bikes (a World Cup and the World Championships).  On this trip, I raced the 2016 IM 70.3 West Sydney, which saw Annabel Luxford take a convincing win.

The Race

The event is held at the Olympic Rowing Stadium in Penrith where the 2000 Sydney Games were held.  Penrith is a town in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia near the Blue Mountains.  Highlights of the town include a gorgeous walking trail next to the river, a picturesque park filled with mulberry and jacaranda trees, lots of cafes, an outdoor 50m pool, and a bunch of really cool people. Continue reading “Racing Triathlons In Australia”

Best Lap Swimming Pools in Austin

Best Lap Swimming Pools in Austin

I did a lot of lap swimming in Austin before the Ironman event in October 2016.  After visiting a variety of pools in the city I’ve written a tourist guide for other swimmers and triathletes who find themselves in Austin wanting to know where to swim at the best lap swimming pools in Austin. This is not an exhaustive list but does include some of the highest rated options.

The following list of pools to go lap swim in Austin includes my thoughts on the pros and cons as well as the workout I did when I was there. Continue reading “Best Lap Swimming Pools in Austin”

2016 Ironman Austin 70.3

Racing the Ironman Austin 70.3 Duathlon

I raced back to back race weekends of Ironman Miami and Ironman 70.3 Austin.  Dense fog on the lake in the morning in Austin resulted in a 90 minute delay to the race followed by a swim cancellation.  The race proceeded as a time trial duathlon of a 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.

Melanie McQuaid riding Ironman Miami 70.3 bike course
Duathlon is bike plus run ? Wagner Araujo

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2016 Ironman Miami 70.3

2016 Ironman Miami 70.3

I went to the 2016 Ironman Miami 70.3 cautiously optimistic and was satisfied by my result.  I was sixth in a heavy field with a nearly pain-free run for 21 straight kilometers.  For me, this is a huge breakthrough so I am absolutely stoked to know I can finally run the distance.  Now, to get faster!  ?

This race is so fun.  The overall vibe racing with 3000 athletes in downtown Miami in electric.  The strong Latin influence makes the race different.  Many athletes from South and Central America make the trip so it is an international affair.

The race

A variety of things about this race wouldn’t be my first choice including a pancake flat bike course, three hour time change, and very long travel to get there.  Things that turned out to be excellent about this race were the convenience of the hotels downtown to the race site, the incredible organization, and the hordes of fans out cheering.  I absolutely LOVED this race and would go back for sure!


2016 Ironman Miami pro women before swim
Figuring out the swim course – you can’t see the strong current from the dock 🙂

Overall execution

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How to choose a triathlon coach

Choosing a triathlon coach

Choosing a triathlon coach is a process similar to a job interview. Finding the right triathlon coach is an important first step in working toward your goals.  If an athlete and a coach are well matched, it is certain that athlete can go on to reach potential.  However, even the greatest athletes and coaches can be mismatched and find their results together aren’t optimal. Knowing what you should ask potential coaches will help you find the right fit.

my mentor houshang amiri
I have learned a lot about coaching and training from Houshang Amiri, a brilliant cycling coach based in Victoria, BC and owner of Pacific Cycling Center.

Questions to ask when looking for a triathlon coach

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