Hot off the presses, news about what is happening with Melanie.

Melanie McQuaid wins US Championship

XTERRA Tri The Dirt Promo

Go Camping with 3X XTERRA World Champ, Melanie McQuaid

 From by Pamela Hunt

Close your eyes and imagine your ideal coach. Tough, kind, incredibly knowledgeable, totally trustworthy, and maybe a bit of a badass.


If you just imagined three-time XTERRA World Champ Melanie McQuaid, you are in luck. This year, McQuaid will be leading the Tri the Dirt off-road triathlon camp from April 27th-29th at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, British Columbia. She and former pro mountain biker, Adam Walker will offer intense mountain bike coaching for both beginners and expert off-road athletes.


“For XTERRA and mountain bike racing, fundamental technical skills are always going to be a limiter if they are not in place,” said McQuaid of her decision to offer a camp. “So I figure the most important coaching I could offer are the technical aspects of XTERRA and off-road triathlon. I partnered with Adam, an experienced skills coach, so together we can offer a camp of technical coaching that will blow people away.”


The camp is a natural progression of McQuaid’s coaching and skills clinics. Last December, she offered a swim and run camp that was highly successful.


Tri the Dirt Camp will kick off Friday evening with a hill running session and dinner. Saturday will begin with a mountain bike skills workshop, a session on bike set-up, and continue with a lesson on skills, including angulation, rotation, cornering, and pumping. The day will conclude with an open water swim practice. Sunday will be equally awesome and will include another mountain bike skills session and a duathlon to practice transitions.


McQuaid added that her camp is neither a train-cation nor a mad, overtraining opportunity. “We are going to make you better technically. You will see immediate results and take away knowledge that will continue to improve and break through to new levels in your sport.”


But this is also camp, meaning that the weekend is pretty much guaranteed to be a blast.


“In general, mountain biking demands a laid back attitude,” said McQuaid. “It’s part of the culture.  So as soon as a mountain bike is involved, people relax, have fun, and enjoy the connection to nature and other athletes. You are coming to Canada. We pride ourselves on friendliness, politeness, and kicking serious ass on mountain bikes. We would love to demonstrate all of the above at Tri The Dirt Camp.”


For more information on Melanie McQuaid’s Tri the Dirt Camp, visit

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Should you take out a professional triathlon card?

Training with younger athletes reminds me of my own struggle to find my way in sport early in my career (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth).  I remember balancing a zero budget, university studies, international travel and worried parents with my intense desire to progress in the sport.  Looking back, I never expected my career to follow the path it has. I love being around young athletes and I am constantly encouraging them to have the courage to follow their dreams and pursue their highest potential, no matter how intimidating that seems. 


The few athletes that make it to the top rise out of the ranks of beginners just as everyone else.  There are a handful of athletes with outstanding success in the sport and many more with moderate to limited success.  Challenging yourself to pursue the highest level in triathlon requires a considerable conviction, determination and resilience.  It also requires sacrifice including financial hardship, postponing education, postponing other career choices, missing major events in life (birthdays, weddings, parties, etc.), physical challenges (injuries, illness, etc.) and strain on your personal relationships.  These are all real costs associated with following your dreams.

This advice is not limited to youngsters though–the same applies to amateur athletes going after their goals later in life. Whether you’re a young athlete pursuing the Olympics, or a middle-aged athlete who just learned to swim and wants to qualify for Kona, your goals matter. 

While you’re working on achieving your goals, you’ll experience a journey unlike any you can have outside of sport.  When you explore the world on your bike, it looks a lot different than it does from the seat of a plane, car or a bus.  Being an athlete allows you to meet a wide spectrum of people with whom you may not have anything else in common, but through sport you find a connection.  Racing lets you experience the scents, sights and elements with an intensity that makes them hard to forget, regardless of your results. 

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Equal is Equal


My article posted today at  I hope you weigh in on the equality debate.

Chasing Gender Equity in Ironman


Equal is Equal

The sport of triathlon is a tiny step away from being one of the few examples of true equality among men and women in professional sport. Collegiate sport has Title IX regulations in the US which demand schools receiving federal funds to have equal rosters for men and women, so young athletes can get their start in athletics with equal opportunity. The regulations state, “The athletic interests and abilities of male and female students must be equally effectively accommodated.” [1] This amendment from 1972 would be considered reasonable by most people in North America in 2015. Maybe not in other countries or continents, but certainly here. Equally accommodated and proportionally accommodated are two different things. It’s time for triathlon to end the proportional accommodation of female professional athletes at the World Championship and take that last step towards true equality- and in the process become an example for all professional sports and to the world.

I tried to think of any professional sports that are equal in prize money, event distance, coverage, and opportunity between men and women.  Car racing is equal given that women are competing directly against the men but I don’t know enough about the sport to know whether the handful of women racing are treated equally. There are some women competing in Olympic bobsled with the men this season. It’s rare that the best women can beat the best men in sports purely demanding physical strength and stamina, although women are getting closer in longer endurance events. My research did not come up with any professional events where it was 100 per cent equal, but that doesn’t mean the example isn’t there, only I haven’t found it.

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Mel’s Musings: Goal Setting Part Two

Goal Setting Part Two: Engaging the Process

As published at



The first step in goal setting is to outline your Outcome Goals for the season which set out the desired performance result (see SMART goal setting).  If the Outcome Goals are broken down into a series of steps, then the journey towards success is mapped out in a clearly defined and measurable way.  In that way, even if a race day  doesn’t end up as planned due to unforeseen factors (i.e. a flat tire or another disaster occurs) then there can be a lot of satisfaction in going through the process and knowing that there has been improvement. 


Setting Process Goals is the next step in goal setting.  These goals should reflect controllable development of fitness, strategy or skills on a shorter timeline.  By focusing on improving these aspects of your racing you can map the route to achieving your Outcome Goals.  To establish a Process Goal you must first set out the timeline for your Outcome Goal.  Next, break this timeline  down into  smaller objectives with associated dates that lead you in a focused and purposeful way to the date you plan to attempt your Outcome Goal.  For instance, if your outcome goal is to run 10 minutes faster for the run in a half Ironman race in July and you begin training in January, you have a seven month timeline to work with.  Some ideas on how to break that Outcome Goal into Process Goals might look like the following.  Keep in mind, these are goals to focus your running objectives within your overall run training program.  On their own, process goals are not the training.  They are simply goals that allow you to monitor and focus your training to maximize your potential success in achieving the stated Outcome Goal.

January – Build hip strength and stability through a focused strength program.  Get up to three sets of ten one leg squats.

February – Complete a six week technical running course to maximize efficiency.  See improvement in video by end of course.

March – Build up tempo running at goal pace.  Be at 30 minutes comfortable at goal pace by end of April.

April – Start working on mental approach in training.  Focus on thoughts during hard workouts and how to turn them to positive affirmations.  Test this on tough workout days.

May – Incorporate tempo runs at goal pace with bike workouts.  Complete 30 minutes at goal pace off the bike by the end of May.

June – Run a time trial at slightly faster than goal “off the bike” pace for 21km as a negative split.

July – Fine tune mental approach.  Attempt your Outcome Goal at your key race.


Process Goals need to be measurable and realistic within a short time frame.  This will help you to focus your attention, mobilize your effort, maintain your persistence and develop your strategies for race day. 


By specifying and monitoring Process Goals, you can celebrate smaller improvements as you build towards your Outcome Goal.   If you look at all your training days as small opportunities for achievement, or even as mini process goals, these small achievements will one day add up to a big one. 




Introducing Mel’s Musings – Triathlete Magazine Canada

I will be posting regularly on Triathlete Magazine Canada’s online magazine as well as writing for the back page of the print version.  The online contributions will be on a variety of topics, the first of which is part of a series on organizing your thoughts to better estabilish and plan your goals for the race season.

Mel’s Musing – SMART Goals

XTERRA Victoria Highlight Video

I will talk about the Steelhead IM 70.3 event I did last weekend in Michigan tomorrow… first check out this fun highlight video from the XTERRA Victoria event put on by Mike Neill and his crew at Human Powered Racing. It will make you so inspired to try it next season!

Enjoy 🙂


Four-Time Triathlon World Champion Melanie McQuaid Selects Polar USA as Official Heart Rate Training Solution

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lake Success, N.Y. (June  27, 2012) – Polar (, the leader in heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment technologies, today introduced that Melanie McQuaid, an accomplished triathlete with more than 40 major professional victories in the last 10 years, has chosen Polar USA as her official heart rate training solution and sponsor.  McQuaid won the inaugural ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship and recently claimed victory in the Ironman 70.3 California. 

The versatile triathlete has excelled in both off-road races and half-Ironman events, and has also created informative yet entertaining videos, which take on subjects such as triathlete spoofs and even cooking.  She will now offer tips and explore the smart coaching benefits that heart rate training can offer – for elite athletes like herself, or recreational runners and multisport enthusiasts.  In the coming months, McQuaid’s video series will be available on Racergirl Television, as well as

McQuaid is also offering an exclusive giveaway of the Polar RCX5 in red.  To be entered in the giveaway, fans can guess what McQuaid’s maximum heart rate was during the 2012 XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, VA.  For more information, please visit

“Whether I’m in the water, on the bike, on the road or at my computer, I’m looking for information that’s going to help me train smarter and get faster, and that’s why I’ve always relied on  Polar training computers,” said McQuaid.  “Now I’m upping my game with the RCX5, which listens to my body’s cues to optimize every training or racing scenario.

“As a professional athlete, Melanie possesses unmatched athletic ability, competitive persistence and training intelligence which make her a natural match for the Polar brand,” said Herb Baer, President, Polar USA.  “Whether a person is out to break a personal record like Melanie, lose weight, or create a more active lifestyle, our products can help them train smarter on the path to success.”

For more information about the Smart Coaching benefits available in Polar products, please visit

About Polar
Headquartered in Lake Success, NY, Polar USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finland-based Polar Electro OY, which invented the first wireless heart rate monitor (HRM) in 1977. Polar now operates internationally in more than 80 countries and its products are sold through 35,000 retailers globally. Polar heart rate and fitness assessment technology delivers unparalleled insight into the human body from valuable training guidance and feedback, to enabling individuals to improve their fitness level and sports performance. Polar technology is key to the success of leading fitness facilities, athletic teams, corporate wellness facilities, health insurance providers and thousands of physical education programs around the world. Today, Polar training computers are the number one choice among consumers worldwide. For more information, visit

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

2012 XTERRA Richmond Preview

Luck Stone, a presenting sponsor of the XTERRA East Championship, has a comprehensive slate of coverage planned for Sunday’s pro race at 8am EST, that can be found at

Luck Stone AwardOn one screen they’ll bring you live video feeds from eight spots around the course.  On another they’ll showcase a social media (GIS) map of the course with detailed positioning and tweets from strategically positioned spotters and finally, in a first for XTERRA, they are equipping every elite with a GPS tracking device that will allow followers to see their every movement.  The “” device reports location, speed, distance, and elevation.

Google Chrome seems to be the best browser for viewing, but fans can use any web enabled cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Droid. Just go to the website, and follow the various links. Home viewers can do the same from their computer.  Our suggestion is to open up multiple browsers and have fun. 

And, for those on-site at Brown’s Island Luck Stone will have four 70-inch big screen TVs broadcasting the coverage. Those on-site are encouraged to share their experiences via twitter with hashtag #xterraRVA (on a related note be sure to find the picture XTERRA Pro Damian Gonzalez posted of Cpl. Todd Love, who is doing the swim as part of the Team X-T.R.E.M.E. relay).

On Sunday, click on the name of the athlete to go directly to the specific URL for that racer.

On that note, here is a little background on my last 12 years here in Richmond.  My second year at this race I passed out unconscious at the finish line, woke up and puked on my shoe sponsor in the medical tent.  Good times!!  Looks like the weather should be worthy of some war stories so enjoy the coverage tomorrow!


What have you done every June since 2001?  Some might have a traditional summer vacation spot or a birthday celebration, but for 3x XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid – it’s crushing it at the XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, Virginia.


Melanie McQuaidSince she emerged on the scene in 2001 the former World Cup mountain biker from Canada has been remarkably consistent, making her way to the podium every June for 11 consecutive years, including wins in 2004, 2008 and 2009 – and six runner-ups.


“I’ll tell you what, I don’t remember actually finishing all of those,” McQuaid said with a smile at the annual media day on Brown’s Island with the city skyline looming in the background.  She was referring to some of the collapses at the line she’s experienced as a result of pushing the envelope in stifling heat.


While McQuaid (pictured in Richmond circa 2002) might not remember it, age grouper David Karasik does – in fact, it’s one of his favorite memories.  “I remember Melanie just melting after finishing in second place in 2007, and then being dragged to the medical tent, loved that.”  To be clear, he loved it because of the effort.


McQuaid’s all-in, do-or-die type of racing has endeared her to fans for more than a decade, and you only have to look back to October for the most recent example when she collapsed with the lead and a hundred yards to go at XTERRA Worlds.


McQuaid was 28 when she made her first trip to the James River, and her success in the first one may have been the spark that ignited her career in XTERRA.

Fun post-Oceanside 70.3 Interview With Triathlete Magazine

I had a quick chat with Aaron Hersh at the finishline in Oceanside, CA about my race and my new Trek bike. You can tell I was somewhat stoked about the event.


I meant it when I said XTERRA is where it is at. Although I am in the process of adding some paved challenges to my schedule as we speak 🙂


I decided maybe I need one more kick at the 70.3 World can.


Enjoy the show.

Chek News March 2012

Since I was very sick on the weekend there was little opportunity for me to create the RGTV episode I was planning featuring the XTERRA Vegas course. The only thing more annoying than the constant UM punctuation I tend to use when I speak is sentences punctuated with a barking cough. For this reason, RGTV will not be aired this week.


Luckily I have a feature from Chek news that really tells a story about Victoria, BC. My hometown is an absolute factory for endurance champions from a variety of sports disciplines. The folks at Chek were kind enough to do a feature on me after I won in Oceanside and I really like the story because of how it describes how the other athletes in Victoria are really an inspiration to me.


There is a training camp in Victoria at the end of the month hosted by the Pacific Cycling Center ( I am planning to participate in. If you are looking to do a Granfondo this summer or do the Victoria Grandfondo on July 24th you may want to take part. Houshang Amiri is leading a camp specifically geared towards that event that I think is going to be great training for me and my half Ironman goals as well. Check out his website and maybe we will ride together?

Thanks for all the support, next up is the AVIA Wildflower triathlon in California. Time to get healthy and then get back to work.