Hi, I'm Melanie McQuaid
I started as a cross country mountain bike racer racing road and mountain bikes professionally while at university finishing my BSc in Chemistry and Biochemistry. I raced the UCI World Cup for 7 years. In 2000, I tried my first off road triathlon and was immediately hooked on XTERRA. Since I first rode (and crashed, multiple times) a mountain bike, I have raced as a full time professional both for road and off-road cycling, XTERRA, ITU short course triathlon and Ironman. I’ve dabbled in trail running and gravel racing. Basically, I have spent my whole life committed learning as much as possible about achieving the best performance possible in a variety of disciplines of endurance sport. Along the way I have had some big wins and some massive lessons. I have been coaching for more than 20 years and enjoy sharing this experience with athletes of all ability excited about pursuing big goals or exciting adventures as part of the MelRad Racing Squad.
How MelRad Started
MelRad Multisport coaching is the result of my search for knowledge on how to coach an INDIVIDUAL.
For years I was a developing athlete in a high performance program that was not specifically designed for me. Every year I poured my heart into training with a program not appropriate for my level, schedule or experience. I never achieved my potential.
In 2000 I needed a change. I switched to triathlon racing and tasked myself with learning how to coach myself. I learned EVERYTHING I could about my new sport and how to improve. At the time, XTERRA (or cross triathlon) was a new sport and coaching that sport was in its infancy.
Learning to coach myself was a necessity at the time but has been the greatest learning experience for me. I’ve been a student of COACHING triathlon and cycling for 20 years. I have learned from the best coaches as an elite athlete and from amazing athletes who trusted me to coach them. I continue to challenge myself with mentorships and education as I develop my expertise coaching cycling and triathlon.
If you want to know more about my racing career please check out www.melaniemcquaid.com
My program fits your strengths, lifestyle, goals, and ability. It will revolutionize your training and your entire athlete experience. Today Mel’s RAD RACING TEAM, which was the FIRST triathlon age-group team in the US and Canada back in 2009, now includes athletes racing mountain bikes, Ironman, XTERRA, gravel races, trail runs, road races, time trials and swim events. The MelRad Squad is a versatile and diverse group of athletes training according to their experience, goals, and needs. The Squad is built to support and encourage each other in reaching the objectives laid out each season while having fun and enjoying the process. Whether you sign up for the squad or choose to join a weekend camp, you’ll learn how to become a better athlete.
It doesn’t matter if a coach actually was a pro, or even a good athlete. However, it matters what that coach knows, how many years of experience, how well he/she communicates, and whether the coach is curious to know more. I have over 20 years in PROFESSIONAL endurance sport. Over the years I have seen a number of training FADS come and go and have seen the fundamental principles that stand the test of time. There is a lot of misinformation available on the internet. There is no magic workout and there is no revolutionary training system. What you need is a program designed for you that is motivating, inspiring and effective!
I’ve completed NCCP Level One cycling and Level 2 triathlon coaching through Triathlon BC. I also have PMBIA Level One certification – Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association. This is the gold standard of skills based mountain bike coaching and I completed this certification in 2018.
My influences are coaches like Houshang Amiri, Cliff English, Joel Filliol, and Joe Friel’s (just his book). In 2020, I was fortunate to complete the Altis Apprentice Coach Program and be immersed in an elite running training environment. Learning from world class coaches Stu McMillan, Dan Pfaff, and Kevin Tyler (and others) about running mechanics and programming was invaluable to my coaching development. I continue my mentorship with Dan Pfaff at Altis and am furthering my education in Strength Training, Biomechanics and training fundamentals.
I’ve been coaching since 2004.
Professional athletes are immersed in sport. They work with the top coaches, therapists, psychologists and interact with the best athletes in the world. This experience is invaluable.
I was lucky to learn from the best ITU, Ironman, UCI and development coaches. This wealth of experience has shaped my approach to triathlon coaching which is my own. I have my own philosophy and approach which is an amalgamation of the knowledge I took from years of mountain biking, road cycling and triathlon racing. Training science is universal and sports are specific. Training for so many different sports has shaped my understanding of how general preparation leads to specific fitness for any sport.
I’m a lifetime student of sport. My degree (chemisty and biochemistry) taught me to think analytically. My career is entirely documented as a gigantic science experiment on how to optimize performance over time towards shifting goals. I have complete training logs and physiology studies from the late 1990s. I had one of the very first Powertap powermeters. There are few coaches in the sport who have as much personal and professional experience in sport that I have had the opportunity to acquire. Using a record of everything I’ve done since training with the National Cycling team, I taught myself how to train myself and others to optimize potential.
When I started in XTERRA there were NO COACHES that understood the sport. Learning how to train (coming from cycling) was an invaluable experience. Taking what was relevant from great ITU coaches, it took two years in triathlon before I started finishing first or second in nearly every race for a decade (before turning my attention full time to Ironman). Self coaching was only successful because I could access advice, mentorship, and education from amazing coaches. Every coach has learned from someone. I believe I understand how to train for offroad triathlon as well as any coach in the sport but I gained that knowledge by actively pursuing the knowledge from others.
In 2012 I turned my attention to IRONMAN, ensuring I had a broad scope of experience and education to serve any triathlete who turned to me for advice. I asked many coaches about their philosophy, tried a variety of approaches and had some real personal success.
During this time, I learned for myself what it is like to come back from a devastating injury. This type of experience is worth more than any coaching course could possibly offer. There is a lot of mental coaching required for athletes going through injury and that experience is priceless.
I have coached a male athlete to an ITU Multisport World Championship title and the podium at XTERRA Maui in M 30-34, coached a F40-49 to an XTERRA Canada victory and a trip to Maui her first year of mountain biking, coached a M45-49 to multiple age group IM 70.3 wins and IM World Championships, coached a F45-49 to her first podium ever in her life, and have helped athletes find personal bests across all disciplines of triathlon, cycling, and mountain biking.
I coach athletes of a variety of ages, disciplines, and experience and all of their goals are meaningful and exciting to me. Whether it is a championship podium or a backyard challenge, I coach athletes to their potential.
It is pretty awesome coaching an athlete to the podium! But there are equally exciting and fulfilling coach/athlete relationships in MelRad Racing that have nothing to do with actual placing or race results. I love that no matter how fast athlete in MelRad Racing are, every single one of us is TRAINING FOR A RAD LIFE! You don’t need a start or a finish line to challenge yourself, train as an athlete and feel good about how strong, fit and powerful you are. Coaching is about finding the potential in a person and that potential is born in committing to an athlete LIFESTYLE. Feeling Fit is FUN! Let’s have fun getting super fit.
Some of my coach education
My Athletic Experience
1994/96/97/98/99 UCI MTB XCO World Championship
2000 UCI Road World Championship Team
Sea Otter Short Track Champion
BCBR/PISGAH/TR3/Furious 3 MTB Stage Race Champion
2000 Tri BC Series Champion
2009 3rd Place XTERRA Trail Run World Championship
2019 3:13 IM marathon
2019 18:14 Road 5km
2020 10:39 Road 3km