Melanie McQuaid wins US Championship

XTERRA Tri The Dirt Promo

Go Camping with 3X XTERRA World Champ, Melanie McQuaid

 From www.xterraplanet.com 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 http://melrad.com/

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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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RBC Granfondo Whistler numbers

2016 RBC Granfondo Whistler Recap

RBC Granfondo Whistler event was last weekend.  This was my first experience racing the women’s 122km Giro racing event and it was amazing!

It has been a long time since I have pinned a number to my jersey rather than a race belt.

It has been a long time since I have pinned a number to my jersey rather than a race belt.

The RBC Whistler Granfondo is a 122 km ride from Stanley Park in Vancouver to Whistler Village.  The event started as a community ride and has evolved to include more than 4000 riders and include a sanctioned race with a cool $15,000 going to the men’s and women’s winners.  It is the race to do in September if you are a roadie.   I think it is also beneficial to do if you are a triathlete which is why I was there – lots of fitness to be gained from long road races!

The race winner was Alison Jackson, a member of Canada’s National Cycling Team headed to the World Championships in Qatar later this year. I ended up 11th after a 20 minute time trial effort to get away failed as I am not much of a sprinter.  That is 11th out of 15 in the front pack…LOL.  I even went into the penultimate corner in 3rd so I know where to be I just can’t do the sprinting.  It really isn’t useful in Ironman so I’m very rusty.

Thank you to TOIT Events, Inc. Neil McKinnon for the invite, St. Regis Hotel Vancouver for the amazing stay, and to RBC for sponsoring this amazing community event. Congratulations to Alison Jackson on the win! Thank you to the women’s field for making it a fun and challenging race… great to see Olympians in the field like Jasmin Glaesser and Katka Nash out there adding to a strong field! Thanks to my sponsors – I am almost ready to hit the start line for IRONMAN Augusta

Enjoy the show.

 

Coaching Services

melrad racing coaching

Looking for help reaching your goals?  Whether you are racing Ironman, XTERRA, Cross Triathlon, Mountain biking, Grandfondo, or cycle touring….

MelRad Racing Multisport Coaching

is the right program for you!!

Mel’s RAD RACING TEAM was born in 2008 and continues today as a personalized training service for athletes pursuing goals in triathlon and cycling.  Interested?  Please send an inquiry through this website!

Kid takes part in triathlon

Being a mom and a kickass athlete

This story is about Jackie Burt, a wicked pro I coached from Gunnison, Colorado.  There are a lot of truths in the article about balancing being a mom and being a kickass athlete.  I love this story.

 

By Brian Metzler

Gunnison mom balances competitive drive and life with kids
Special to The Denver Post

April 17, 2006

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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