Posts by MultiSport Canada Ambassadors

Angela Lilly – Including Triathlon with Life

It’s time I share some reflection pieces about #MSCWelland and #MSCGravenhurst race experiences as I head into #MSCKTown and more. Life has been busy juggling our family day, school year completion, kids’ activities ending, volunteering, family holidays, my career in the classroom (June is an absolute blur) and then triathlon training on top. Reflections as life gets busier:

  1. Have your seasonal plan but be flexible. Be open to training inside when you want to go out. Be open to a change of training focus for the day; move one day to another and vice versa. Be open to planning your training within your 24-hour day and not as an entire separate part. I am lucky that my husband and kids are so supportive of me biking to & from work instead of driving or running to my son’s baseball games instead of driving with them; it takes a bit more time but then I can be 100% in the moment when we are all home at dinner time.
  2. Keep a paper calendar. We are all so electronically connected but you can’t see the entire overview. I also use colour-coding for training sessions (I know, the teacher in me) which helps see the picture easily for heavy/light sport-specific training improvements weekly and monthly. I also like going back to previous years when in doubt.
  3. Work on your weakness! Do I need to say more? We all know this but really, make action of it. Talk to other athletes about their great training and offer up yours. When it really comes down to the training, you need to be tough. Improving your weakness will take time and probably patience. You won’t like it; I didn’t!  However, now I have developed into a triathlete and not a “strong swimmer that just didn’t know what to do after her career was completed” at 23 years of age. Gravenhurst is a great example where the hills were steep, and I drew upon my training sessions, mental memory, and “hunting” anyone in front of me to run a PB. I can now draw upon that experience to dig deep in the next race and know I can do it and not “blow up”.
  4. There are no limits. I started my triathlon career in my 20’s which seems late in today’s athletes. Maybe it’s because age has never set limits for me that I continue to see any athlete on the course as a competitor that will help me achieve my goals and I too, might do the same for them.
  5. Superstitions are acceptable! I do have many tasks and routines I do every race week. I have “lucky” pre-race morning gear that dates back decades. I can’t believe it still lives another season. I have “lucky” routines 30 minutes before I head out to race with my family. I have “lucky” transition set up. It all makes a difference in your day. Make the time and teach those who support you that it’s the final step to race preparation. They will probably understand better if you do.

Let’s get the race on for #MSCKTown! Sweet dreams for calm water, no rain and some clouds for the run. It’s a beautiful course that has great fans for the entire downtown. I can’t wait to be there in a week!

Race Prep for Your First Triathlon (or First 100 of Them) – Part I

To Do’s 1 Week Before Your Race

By: Brittany Berry, 2019 event ambassador for Toronto Island Triathlon

Race goals and race day experiences are unique to each person. Just how every triathlete has their own training plan, each will have their own needs for race preparation too. I won’t attempt here to give a single race prep checklist that works for everyone, but I hope this article can help you make a preparation plan that’s just for you.

So, it’s the week (or fortnight or whatever short-term countdown period) before your event and at this point, preparation is no longer just training for the body. There are all sorts of practical and mental tasks you should start doing in the lead-up. You don’t want to leave everything until the night before the race. Some things are best to do the day ahead or morning of the race, but not most things. (Don’t worry, there’s a blog post coming up on what to do on the day before and morning of a race too). A good approach to preparing is to start thinking in broader terms farther ahead of your event, then get more and more detailed in the specifics as you get closer to the date. Of course, if you have some travel and overnight stays involved for your event, adjust your plans accordingly and distinguish between tasks to do before you travel and once you’ve arrived.

Here are my tips for figuring out exactly what logistical things you need to do and when in your race prep plan:

Start Visualizing the Race Experience
Simulate going through a triathlon in your head – or even better if you’ve had the chance to do a race simulation in real life. Even if you’re heading into your very first triathlon and feel like you don’t really know what to expect, doing this exercise is sure to bring you at least a few ideas of how you’ll want to be prepared on-course. If you’ve already done triathlons, what items did you use before? Were there any things you didn’t bring that you wish you had? Think about what equipment, clothing, nutrition items, and special preventative or reactive “Help me!” supplies (ex. Body Glide, Vaseline, sunscreen top-up) you will need for all parts of the event:

  • immediately before the start,
  • in each stage and transition of the race, and
  • right after you finish.

MultiSport Canada has a great resource library which includes some pages on things to be ready for in-race too.

Go through the race in your head or for real.

Start Gathering Race Day Items
You don’t need to pack up yet. However, it’s helpful to start setting aside items you have that you will need for race day but won’t be using for your everyday training for the rest of the time leading up to your event. You can even start setting aside some of your things for the night before and morning of the event, like ingredients for your race day breakfast.

Bike in working order? Check! Helmet fits? Check! Sunglasses I found on the ground? Check!

Inspect Your Gear and Get Replacement Pieces
This goes for all event stages but it especially goes for your bike. Take a look at the gear and supplies you have for all race segments, then make note of items you’re missing that you’ll have to get a hold of in your lead-up time. For your bike, give it a good look-over (or quick ride) to identify parts requiring a fix or tune-up, purchase any replacement or spare parts you need, make sure your transportation equipment is ready to go, and, ideally, put together a small repair kit.

Practice Technical Skills You’ve Been Missing
As much as you might practice swimming, cycling, and running in your training, there are always some skills you haven’t practiced that just might (or definitely will) come in handy, specifically in a race. With such short time before your event, the idea here is not to work on improving your fitness level, but to refresh on technical, practical skills so that you’re not held back by the small things. Don’t worry about looking silly in front of your neighbours!

Here are a few ideas of these sorts of skills to work on:

  • For the bike, practice maneuvering, shifting gears, and even handling your water bottles and nutrition while in motion (especially if your recent bike training has been confined to mostly indoor, stationary practice).
  • Mentally run through your transitions, thinking about what items you take or leave and in what order. Physically practice movements that are tricky, like removing your wetsuit, mounting/dismounting the bike, and changing footwear.
  • Review doing basic bike repairs, like replacing flats.
  • For the swim, get some open water practice if you haven’t had much recently. Get familiar with the feeling of your suit and the dynamic movement of non-pool water, practice some race skills like swimming close to other people and sighting, and if you have a phobia for this part of the race like I do, practice your mental strength while you’re in the water (check out Matt McGuckin’s post “Getting (Un)Comfortable” too).

Good suggestion, #RaceTipWednesday!

Review Your Race Info
You know all that stuff that you don’t really need to know right now, but will need to have it in your head on race day? Start downloading it into your brain! If you’ve already registered ahead for your race, you’ll receive an email from the organizer with detailed event info in the week leading up to the race, if not earlier. It’ll include information such as the schedule, directions to the venue, race kit pick-up procedure, course descriptions and maps, race regulations, and race tips.

So, get your pencil and papers out and get planning! Keep an eye out for Part II of this post for tips on what to do on the day before and the morning of your race.

Taylor Speirs – 2019 Gravenhurst Sprint Triathlon Recap

Just like that, my first Multisport event of the year is over. The 2019 Gravenhurst triathlon is one of my favourite sprint courses and I look forward to it every year. For those who are considering signing up next year, I hope this post helps! First of all, Gravenhurst is beautiful. Everything from the small shops, the landscape and the people are all unique and amazing. All of this really sets a tone for an amazing day.

THE SWIM: 700m

The day starts off with the swim, as with all triathlons. What really stands out and makes this race so unique is the steamship. It is so easy to get pre-race jitters, even for an experienced triathlete, however the steamship really helps to eliminate these feelings. The idea of jumping out of a ship makes you feel like a kid again and immediately you feel the nerves decrease as everyone boarded. Once we reached the starting point and launched ourselves out of the side, we were given 10 minutes to tread water which was perfect as it allowed time for a warm up. As the announcers counted down and the steamship honked its horn, the day was off to an amazing start. The swim was extremely well marked and monitored by lifeguards, so if you are new to open water swimming do not fear, it was a very athlete-friendly experience. The end of the swim ends with athletes climbing a ladder onto a boat dock which leads to the transition zone.

THE BIKE: 20km

I will be the first to admit, that of all the legs of a triathlon, the bike is my weakest point. However, there was something about this bike course that made it my favourite course to date. It can often be intimidating when you see a large hill in the distance, but the gradual incline on the out-course made me doubt myself less and keep pushing. Even though it was technically uphill almost the whole way, it was easy to convince yourself that it was flat and therefore increase your confidence. After the turn around it was a beautiful downhill ride and I loved every speedy minute of it.


The run started out with a short trail run, gradually leading onto the road for the majority. It was a beautiful, sunny day so the run was quite hot. I was glad I had sun protection and that there were two hydration aid stations throughout the course. There were a few small hills on the course, otherwise it was a fairly level course. The best part about the run was the finish line section. This section is very crowd friendly and the positive energy is evident. Nothing feels better then crossing that finish line!





The mid-season break and why you need it

By Luke Ehgoetz

So the sun is out, the birds are singing and the temperature has finally and consistently warmed up. You’ve put in some great weeks (or even months) of training since coming out of your basement in the spring and it’s likely you have a race or two under your belt so far this year. You’re on a roll, but should you be thinking of dialing things back for a week or so right in the middle of summer? There are many reasons to answer yes to that question, and I will outline a few of them below.

It is not uncommon for athletes to think that continuing to train after a peak race while in top condition will get them closer to season goals, but in reality, a mid-season break could be the best thing you do for your training and end of season goals.

To ensure your physical and emotional longevity in triathlon, which is different from other sports. Triathlon is a lifestyle that requires the time to prepare, train and recover for the three different sports. In addition to the physical recovery gained from a mid-season break are the psychological rest and re-focus benefits.

Here are some ways a mid-season break is beneficial for any triathlete.

  1. The ability to peak for multiple races. Planning an A or B race early in the summer with a mid-season summer break can allow you to target another A race early in the fall.
  2. The time to refocus. Taking a planned break allows you time to reflect on the training and racing that you have done in the first half of the season and you can then assess whether or not you need to make any changes for the second half and potentially your A race later on. It also allows you time to remind yourself why you are committed to your multisport lifestyle and what you gain from being a multisport athlete.
  3. Allows your body time to rebuild and become stronger and healthier. Taking a sufficient break after a period of early season training and racing makes you less susceptible to injury and allows you to time to rebuild and prepare for your next training and racing block.
  4. Catch up on life and family. During this break, you can finally get to some of those obligations and projects that you have neglected up to this point, or spend some quality time with the family. Planning your mid-season break around a family vacation or a known work trip where training would be difficult anyway makes perfect sense. Just make sure those neglected projects aren’t too strenuous that they defeat the purpose of the break in the first place (ie. Building a deck or moving big boulders during a landscaping project).

How do you incorporate a break during race season? The best time to take a mid-season break is right after a peak race, whether it’s sprint or iron-distance. Try to plan your racing so that you can conveniently take your break and enjoy other life obligations that make training close to impossible.

A mid-season break can be anywhere from a week up to two weeks. You can (and should) still be active, but do not do any hard training or intensity work, and maybe stop looking at Strava 3 or 4 times per day. Just remember not to jump in where you left off when you get back into training. You will need to build up again, but chances are, you have not lost as much as you think you have. In fact, it will not take you long to see how much you have gained from taking that mid-season break.  So put the feet up, grab a drink and picture yourself crushing your final few races of the season refreshed and ready to go!

The Mid Season Training Blahs

By Michael Telpner

Last week I woke up at 5:00 a.m., went down to the basement, got on my bike and said: “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS TODAY”. There comes a point in everyone’s training when you go through the same pre-training rituals that you always follow, but your body just doesn’t want to listen.

I like to call it the “mid-season blahs.”  It’s the time of the year when you’ve been training hard for months, you want to enjoy the summer, but you are still in your training program. You know you should keep going, but your body isn’t listening anymore.

I have been racing triathlons for the past 10 years.  There always seems to be one or two weeks each year where my intrinsic motivation to train fades and I can’t put up the numbers I can.

To manage these times, I have found three things that have worked for me.

  • Take an extra rest day: Yes, I said it. TAKE-AN-EXTRA-REST-DAY.  Sometimes the hardest decision is to NOT train.  When you are dedicated to your sport and disciplined with your training, it is really (really really!) difficult to accept the big, red block on Training Peaks. Recovery from training is often more critical to your performance than anything else, yet we tend to push harder than we should when our bodies are telling us the opposite. If you feel tired, weak, etc. an extra rest day may what you need and restart your training the next day. Remember, taking an extra rest day doesn’t mean you should cram the training you missed into the next day…it means skip it entirely.
  • Change-it-up: Most of the cycling training I do is on a trainer. It can be very lonely. When workouts don’t go as planned, long trainer rides are the first to. This year, I joined the Morning Glory Cycling club. They meet almost every day of the week in Leaside, with a long ride on the weekend. I get a good ride in and focus on the challenge rather than hitting my metrics. Often, I end up riding harder than if I would have ridden alone.
  • Go Naked: Well, that will definitely encourage you to run faster. Train without all the extra gear we have become accustomed to. Sometimes the pressure to “hit” your numbers takes away the pleasure and the reason why we got into the sport in the first place. Separating yourself from all of you “gear” is a great way to rediscover your passion for the sport and separate. Even if your run isn’t recorded on Strava, it still happened.

For me, last week was that week.  It took some convincing from my Toronto Triathlon Club swim friends to take the extra day off. In fact, I took two full days off in a row. Something I haven’t done this season. I got back on my bike yesterday for my first trainer ride in a week. I nailed my workout. It left me feeling motivated for my next session and the feeling more positive about why I race.

What do you do to get over the training valleys during the season?

Happy training,


Daniel Clarke’s 2019 Gravenhurst Experience


Race Report MSC Gravenhurst

By Jessy Déroneth,

So, having tossed some of my season goals away, I’ve decided to run whichever amount my hamstring was going to let me run and enjoy racing for the sake of racing. 

Well what a great place to do it in Gravenhurst! I have loved racing #MSCBracebridge and considering I am strong on hills, I figured I wouldn’t mind a hilly course. 

Kidding. I registered because at the time I wanted to qualify to be on the Canadian team at the ITU Championship in Netherlands again and it was the only Sprint Duathlon distance spot in Ontario to do so.

But I’m kinda not sure that I want to go to Netherlands. Again, the expenses are up there and I want to save up for future opportunities. But I’d kinda like to qualify for it. And I also paid to qualify. But I kinda should not focus on that. Ugh. So I kinda, don’t. But I kinda do. 

Nevertheless, #MSCGravenhurst was the goal race so I still wanted to do well by my standards. The beauty of this sport is that you really compete with yourself and not much with others. Of course, to get a qualifying spot on the Canadian team, you do have to be 1st in your age category. No pressure at all.

I am going to cut to the chase. I did not secure a spot. However as soon as woke up in Gravenhurst, I was taken by the beauty of the area. Anyone ever been?! It is heavenly there!!! The air is fresh, the sky is blue and there are trees… everywhere! (a reminder that I live in London, ON and we have metal trees)

I arrived Saturday morning at 3am and had secured a great basement airbnb 5 minutes BIKING (not driving, BIG difference) to the Wharf, which also had a grocery store and the YMCA 2 minute walking distance. Meaning pre race fueling and training checked. I woke up again Saturday morning 8am to the sound of the rain and the distant voice of what I assume to be Steve Fleck on the microphone cheering the racers as they were caught by the sudden rain at the International distance races. I sat on the patio and took it all in. Oh. My. Happy. Place. 

I soon took a stroll in the rain to the Wharf where I finally had the privilege to pick Shane’s #STAC, now #4iii’s brain and meet his family. I got to thank Shawn who saved my bike seasons after seasons at @Velofix.

Fast forward to Sunday a.m.:  a bit of a different format as I focusing on the race experience. I am glad to see that despite being slower on running hills, I am maintaining my speed and had one of my best bike time (#STAC legs, people) as I always struggle to beat the 40 minute mark for 20k. Oh and my transition is still under 1 minute!!!!

Great times at the #STAC tent with the #STAC family -a reminder have you can get yourself a FULL smart trainer at 50% off from a great service and great Canadian Company that excel at anything cycling -did I say that I had my second best bike race time?

A huge thank you to whomever decided to play my #1 training motivation song:

Last but not least, to the city and residents of Gravenhurst: moving from a big center, I have not had much interest in discovering parts of Ontario. I ended up spending a weekend there getting to know the community and the town itself along enjoying the surrounding nature. Events like these lead by @MultiSportCanada encourage like minded and positive individual to support the people and economy of this town.

When Life and Training Doesn’t Go as Planned

By Angela Giddens

Triathlon season is short in Ontario. We train all year for 3 months of racing. With this training comes lots of planning, sacrifices and goal setting but as we all know too well, life doesn’t always go as planned.  

A nagging hamstring/ piriformis injury had me modifying my training early on this year, but that was ok. I knew I had lots of time to get back on track before race season and the ITU World Championship in Switzerland in August. I like to think I’ve gotten smarter over the years and I know enough to listen to my body. By May, I was finally getting some speed sessions in and I was feeling like I was back on track.  I was looking forward to racing and was even feeling confident enough in my training to register for the Barrelman Triathlon.

Life had other plans for me though, a personal crisis left me emotionally and physically drained. I knew then that my race season was not going to go as planned and I was faced with two options, throw in the towel or re-adjust my expectations. For me, triathlon is a part of who I am. I couldn’t imagine not having it as part of my life so I decided to throw out my training plan and my goals for the year and try to be happy with what I was able to do. Swimming, biking and running became more therapeutic in nature. I let my body and mind dictate what I was capable of on any given day.  

Before I knew it, it was the week of my first race, The Rose City long course, I had not put in the training I’d wanted and I was doubting if I’d be able to complete the race. A run that week reminded my that my piriformis also wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it through the race. With a bunch of coaxing from my family and friends, I packed up and headed down to Welland. My swim and bike went better than expected, thanks in large part to the amazing race venue, but my run was less than stellar. I kept having to walk and stretch, I’ve never considered pulling out of a race but I sure did that day. It’s funny the little things that will motivate you to push on. An elderly gentleman who was volunteering at an aide station with some kind words, a gentleman who ran beside me for a bit and lots of ice all helped get me through to the finish. While it was not the race I’d envisioned at the end I was happy to have pushed through. Now, as I prepare for Gravenhurst this weekend, I know I’m still not where I want to be but I know I will get through the race and hopefully this time finish with a smile on my face. 

We all know we all race for different reasons, we all have our own goals. But what I have learnt this year is that we need to be prepared for those reasons and goals to change. Racing, as with life, doesn’t always go as planned. It’s up to us to push through and make the most of the hand we are dealt and remember to smile at the finish!

The Importance Of A Proper Bike Fit

By Roger Hospedales

The importance of a proper bike fit from Frank Mizerski (Retul Master Certified Fitter, Solestar Certified Fitter). To discover more about bike fitting services available with Frank, CLICK HERE.

A look at the Aquila Crono

By Roger Hospedales

Discover the Aquila Crono from brand engineer Frank Mizerski.