2017 December Swim Run Camp

On December 16-17th, MelRad Racing is 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 December Swim and Run Camp Schedule

Swim run camp schedule
Schedule for December swim run camp

The Objective

This camp is not about mileage, fitness, or testing.  Instead, the goal is to instill habits, knowledge, movement patterns, and understanding.  Athletes need to know where their gaps in competency exist.   A coach can tell you “you need to work on your swim” or you can say yourself “I wish I swam faster” but that isn’t identifying the gap.

There are a lot of reasons swimming can be challenging.  Lack of shoulder mobility, lack of strength in your back, lats, or triceps, incorrect pull in the water, incorrect breath timing, or finally (there are a lot more but I’m trying to keep the word count down) it could be fitness that holds you back. Doing one-arm drills with shoulders that can’t reach an effective pull is not going to effect change on your swimming (meaning drills will be a waste of your time).

The Swimming

There are three swim workouts in the camp.  Each session includes dryland strength and mobility.  There will be three different workouts addressing three aspects of swim fitness: technique, turnover, and strength.  I will teach you what the difference is between these different workouts and why you need all of them this time of year.  Notice there is no testing and no threshold.  We will discuss the foundation of swim fitness and how it is achieved in order to build toward race specific fitness in another phase of training later in the year.

december swim run camp details
Training for triathlon swimming is different than training for pool swimming. Most of the time you are going to be in a wetsuit. This camp addresses that key factor in determining WHAT TO WORK ON.

The Running

The second objective of this camp is addressing running form***.  The most impact of all three sports in triathlon on your body comes from running.  Most triathletes have paid to have a bike fit but next to none have  had any run form analysis.  Most people think they know how to run, but don’t-full stop.  Many people do not understand HOW to run.. they just go out and move their legs at a pace faster than walking.  With little to no run form knowledge there is exposure to significant injury through poor biomechanics.

Triathletes often think they get injured from doing too much speed work and in some cases this is true – but it may not be the speed session itself that is the problem.  I would argue that more athletes get injured because their slow runs are not slow enough and/or when they are really slow, their form is bad and introduces risk of injury.  As we head into the first phase of base training, doesn’t it make sense to get some work on HOW we run?

This swim and run camp is going to address how to run EASY (a feeling – not a pace is the perfect definition from my friend Marilyn Arsenault) with an awareness of the things you should ALWAYS be thinking about when you are running easy.  All running requires conscious thought and engagement.

On Saturday, we are doing a workout with short hills that will introduce how to run WELL, and how to incorporate this work into your program.  Finally, we will cap a great weekend of training with a long run/hike on Sunday in the beautiful trails in Victoria using what we learned about being conscious of our form during all of our running.

We will also being having a fun camp dinner on Saturday night.  Whether you are focused on Ironman, short course, or XTERRA, this swim and run camp for triathletes is a great foundation clinic on how to approach your workouts to make the most of them in the new year and how to take steps to improve your weaknesses in swim and run.

learn some strength techniques at dec swim and run camp
Skipping on one leg is excellent for building specific strength for running – I will teach you how to get stronger with more injury resistance.

How To Sign Up

There are a couple spots left for athletes at this December swim and run camp for triathletes- you don’t have to be coached by me – and the fee for the weekend is $175.  If you are interested in taking one of the spots you are more than welcome.   Contact me through email through the contact form on this site or at www.facebook.com/melradracing.

 

***Actually changing how you run takes a long time.  This camp with introduce how to start but an EXCELLENT program for athletes constantly struggling with injuries and lack of progress is MINDFUL STRIDES with Marilyn Arsenault.  I can introduce you to some of the concepts of run form in this camp and would refer you to Marilyn for a more in-depth overhaul of your running.

melanie coaching swimming with triathletes

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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swim leg itu multisport world Championship

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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Finishline photo at ITU Multisport World Championship Cross Triathlon

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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hitch mount bike rack

Saris Superclamp EX Hitch Mount Bike Rack Review

Testing the Superclamp EX Hitch Mount Bike Rack

A hitch mount bike rack was on my wish list for a long time.  It took me five years to convince my partner that we needed one.  He drives the road tripping travel adventure machine with larger cargo space and snow tires. Without a bike rack, I was always complaining about disassembling wheels and seatposts and he would say: “Nature loves a vacuum.”  He did not want the rack as he figured the more space we had, the more I would fill with stuff.  But then came STEVIE!

Travelling with our furbaby adds a new dimension to our adventures.  With the crate, doggie toys, and booster seat we no longer have room for our bikes in the car so it was serendipity that Saris asked us to test the Freedom series Superclamp EX 2-bike hitch mount bike rack this summer.   This is the review our first hitch mount bike rack????? Read more

skipping rope for triathlon training

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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Video to explain using swim cords

How To Use Swim Cords To Get More Out Of Your Swim Training

I made the following video describing how to incorporate stretch cords into your swim routine.  Many professional triathletes use swim cords as part of their warm up on race day.  This is only one of three ways the cords are beneficial and I outline in the video below how to use swim cords for triathlon training.

use swim cords for triathlon training

Swim cords (or stretch cords) are an effective way to get a good dryland swim specific warmup, improve technique, and build power/strength.

How to use swim cords in your triathlon training:

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melanie mcquaid running Penrith

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. Read more

lap swimming in austin Bartholomew pool

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. Read more

running austin texas

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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