4 Great Ontario training locations to check out this long weekend

It’s the July long weekend! Many triathletes will take advantage of the three days off to get some training in. We’ve rounded up a list of just some of the great Ontario spots to train this weekend… and if you’re still looking for an upcoming race to train for, check out our calendar and sign up here!

Guelph Lake

A great spot for open water swimming, there are also some great trails for running at Guelph Lake Conservation Area and some quiet surrounding roads for riding.

Creemore

This is a great area for riding, close to Collingwood and Blue Mountain and home to the Creemore Springs Brewery for a post-ride beer. Lots of challenging hills and quiet roads mean you can get some great longer rides in but there are great options for shorter loops as well. Creemore plays host to the Turas Mor event that we produce, and so we know it’s a cycling hotspot!

Albion Hills 

A great spot for mountain biking and trail running if you’re looking for some off-road fun. There are over 50 kilometres of single track and double track trails in beautiful forests at Albion Lake Conservation Area. Situated in the Caledon region, you’re close to some great road riding, too.

Muskoka

One of the ultimate triathlon regions in Ontario, Muskoka has a deep history of triathlon and makes for an awesome long weekend training getaway. Plenty of options for open water swims, and training around the Lake of Bays on the old Ironman 70.3 Muskoka bike course makes for a fun and challenging long ride (in prep for Barrelman, maybe?)

5 race week bike checks you won’t want to forget

MultiSport Canada’s first triathlon of the 2018 season kicks off on Saturday at Welland (click here to register if you haven’t yet!). Together with our series’ bike sponsor Aquila Cycles, we’ve come up with a list of the 5 important bike checks you’ll want to do before your race this weekend. These are simple things you should do before every ride, but you’ll want to make an extra effort before a big race to avoid any mechanicals that could compromise all your hard work on race day! We recommend not leaving these checks until the night before – if there is something wrong with your bike, you’ll want to have enough time to get into a shop to fix it.
  1. Tires & Wheels – do a check of your tires to make sure there are no major cuts or bald patches. Be sure to check the side walls of the tire, too. You may consider putting on a new pair of tires for the race if yours are especially worn out. Give your wheel a spin to make sure everything is straight.
  2. Brakes & brake pads – Very important for any ride. Your brake pads have a wear limit line on them. Look at them closely to determine how much room there is left until the line – if you’re on or close to it, it’s time to replace them. Always remember that if you’re using special carbon race wheels on race day, you’ll need separate brake pads! Your aluminium rims have their own set of brake pads and you could cause serious damage to your wheels if you don’t remember to swap them out. Make sure your brake pads are hitting the rim squarely, and not hitting the spokes or the tires.
  3. Headset – Give your brakes a squeeze and give your bike a light shake forward and backward. If there’s any movement up front it’s likely from a loose headset. Be sure to get this tightened up.
  4. Gears – do a run through all your gears and make sure everything is shifting smoothly. For Welland, since the bike course is flat you likely won’t be shifting gears that often, but you’ll still want to get this checked out before you hit the bike course.
  5. Hydration systems and flat kit check – Do NOT forget a flat kit on race day! MSC does have a race support vehicle out on the bike course on race day but we are unable to confirm that we’ll get you the support you need out there. Additionally, be sure that you have enough hydration and nutrition to support yourself in the race and that your hydration systems on your bike are on tight.
Come say hi to our partners at Aquila Cycles at the expo this weekend and check out the new Chrono tri bike. We look forward to seeing you in Welland!

MultiSport Canada’s 3 best races for the absolute beginner

So, you want to do your first triathlon this year? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey. MultiSport Canada pride ourselves on having something for everyone at our triathlon race series. Whether you’re trying to get a spot at the ITU World Championships, win the entire series, hit a PB or just try a new distance (we offer Give-it-a-Tri, Sprint, Olympic and Long Course), there’s something in our series for you. If you’re an absolute beginner, you might be wondering where the best place is to start. The Give-it-a-Tri distance (offered at all of our races except Kingsotn and Wasaga) is always a great place to start, but if you’d like your first race to be a sprint or Olympic we’ve got some specific recommendations:

Rose City (Welland) Sprint 

This year, we announced a fully-closed bike course for Welland’s sprint course — that means zero cars! This is great for first-timers nervous about the bike portion of the race. Some other reasons why Welland is the perfect beginner venue? The Flatwater Centre where the swim is held is calm water with lines under water for sighting, almost like a giant pool rather than an open water body. The grand stands mean your support network will be right there cheering you on for your whole run. This race takes place Sunday June 24 and there’s still room to register, though spots are going quickly.

Wasaga Sprint

The swim can sometimes be a little wavy here but Wasaga has a great flat bike and run course that beginners will appreciate, and a finish line along the beach that is lined with spectators the entire day! Wasaga takes place on August 25. You can register here.

Toronto Island 

This race weekend is great for beginners for two reasons — our Ontario Women’s Triathlon taking place on the Saturday always draws large numbers of first-timers from the women’s triathlon community in the GTA, and has a very welcoming vibe for ladies of all abilities. The Toronto Island Sprint on the Sunday has a flat bike and run course and the Lake Ontario water for the swim is usually very calm. Check out our video series following some women training for their first triathlon at OWT here and register for the races here.

If you needed any more encouraging, be sure to check out our ambassador Daniel Clarke’s video on 6 reasons to race our series this year:

 

Training for the Time Crunched Athlete

By Tim Doris 2017 Multisport Canada Ambassador

An approach to training that works for me, sometimes!

We are all busy with work commitments, family commitments, and extra-curricular activities which in my family are competitive dance, rep. soccer, and baseball, and of course my own training.

The most important thing that I have learned this past year is to schedule my workouts and try to stick to them. This has allowed me to be more consistent with my training and to log a significant amount of running and riding during the winter months. Read more

How to Train for a Spring Training Camp

By Dr. Cindy Lewis, CLPerformance Training

For reasons of pride and practicality, nobody wants to show up at a training camp unprepared.

The prospect of getting outside again in the sunshine to train in warm weather draws a lot of athletes to early spring training camps. Who doesn’t want to take a break from the pre-dawn swim sessions and hours on the trainer to get a head start on your season – especially in a vacation destination like Arizona? But showing up unprepared, and hoping to launch your training for the season there can really backfire. The last thing you want is to be bailed out mid-workout and hold the rest of your group back, or sit out the last few days because of an injury that will take several more weeks to rehab.

Here are some tips to make sure you arrive prepared to make the most of the opportunity. Read more

Resolution Triathlon Mega Day

Who is this for?  Anyone wanting to get fit, tired of running injuries, looking for a new challenge with quality coaching and lots of support, fun environment and great group activities. Find out what you need to complete a triathlon…equipment and motivation.

When: January 29th, 2017 from 9am – 5pm at the Bob Hayward YMCA London, Ontario

What: Swim – Bike – Run – Weights

Guest Speaker: Kona Age Group Champ Colm Kelly

Coach: Sheri Fraser 32 years in Triathlon

 

 

Cost: $25 donation to Sweat for Strong Kids. Space is limited to 40 enthusiastic triathletes-Give It A Tri to Olympic Distance

Contact Sheri to reserve your spot: Sfraser12@hotmail.com

The Necessity of Running

Daryl Flacks taking the 2016 Barrelman Bike/Run Title.

By Daryl Flacks

Been having a hard time staying focused lately? Skipped so many runs you’ve lost count? You just haven’t felt like it or maybe not in the mood. You’re not eating well and haven’t been drinking enough water. It happens to the best of us. The weather’s cold and less than ideal. The allure of the couch paired with the warmth of the fireplace is undeniable. In the words of Darth Vader, “the FORCE is strong with this one.

I for one need to run, it’s a means to survival. When everyone seems to be in a recovery mode, the encouragement I receive, although well intended is not conducive for training. “You need to take it easy and give your body a rest. You run too much…all that running can’t be good for you.” It’s a stretch to say that I love running but I love the feeling I get when I’m done! It’s the sense of accomplishment and a freedom from mental clutter. Sure the physical benefits are there but more importantly it’s the mental clarity I experience.

Running’s not really an option for me as much as it is a necessity. I don’t run….and the result is a quick downward spiral that is debilitating. Running for me keeps the depression in check. It’s my medication and without it…well, like anyone who is prescribed a medication, whether it be for depression, diabetes and/or heart disease the repercussions could be life threatening. So how does one overcome the forces working against you? To keep your focus, when every ounce of your being is telling you different? You’re tired, unmotivated and just feeling downright blah. Here are a few ideas to help you out the door.

So how does one overcome the forces working against you? To keep your focus, when every ounce of your being is telling you different? You’re tired, unmotivated and just feeling downright blah. Here are a few ideas to help you out the door.

(1) Sit down and make a doable plan, and then stick to it no matter what. Start off with something attainable i.e. complete 5k x 3 times a week. Sometimes you just have to decide it’s time and GO FOR IT!

(2) Register for an early season race. Setting a goal will help keep you accountable to the only person that matters – you! For me that’s Indiana Trail 100K – April 29th , 2017.

(3) Change at work and have your significant other/family member drop you off on the way home. You have no choice now but to get home. Extend the distance as fitness builds or the weather warms. The reward: not having to leave the house once you’re home and distractions take hold. I run home typically 2-3 times a week logging between 10 -15 miles.

(4) Challenge a friend to join you. Doing things together or being kept to task virtually, is sometimes the answer. Rather than texting or chatting over coffee – meet for a run.

(5) Set a mileage goal for the week/month/year. Personally, I calculated my mileage for the year at the start of November. I set a lofty goal requiring roughly 80-100 km/wk to achieve an average mileage of 10km/day for 2016. I’ll post my results on Facebook/Twitter, it’ll be real close.

(6) Join a running group. No matter how bad the weather seems to be, there’s always someone who’s willing to brave the elements with you. If no one shows, go it alone since you’re already out of the house.

Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a run. It’s easier said than done, I know. I’ve learned to give myself permission, promising that I run tomorrow and holding myself to it. Yes, it’s important to listen to your body but remember the biggest benefits are mental. It doesn’t always have to be much, but it does need to happen!

Paratriathlon Makes Its Debut at Rio 2016

Ryan Van Praet (left) with his guide Syd Trefiak at the 2016 Welland Long Course Triathlon

Ryan Van Praet Previews the upcoming Paratriathlon Debut

Many of us can recall where we were in 2000 when a young kid from Kingston named Simon Whitfield, surged in the final kilometer to win the first ever gold medal in triathlon at the Sydney Olympic Games.

How many of us will be glued to our TV’s or computers in order to watch a similarly historic moment in the sport that we all love so much? In Rio de Janeiro later this summer, our sport will take a giant step forward once again as it seeks to showcase the true potential of human capability. Paratriathlon will make its debut in the Paralympic Games and thus will signal a very important moment in the world of physically challenged triathlon. The Paralympics showcase the best in the world of disabled sport, providing us a glimpse into a world of extraordinary determination, work ethic, possibility, and positivity. Inspiring is a word often tossed around and para-athletes hear this often. This can describe wonderment of how an athlete can participate and endure despite dealing with certain physical impairments. A key thing to remember however is that they are athletes first and foremost. Read more

Orthotics for Cycling: Improving Power Transfer & Tissue Load

Cycling is often considered a healthy exercise choice because it is low impact, this typically means less pounding on your joints and often less injuries compared to other higher impact sports, which is a good thing! But cycling comes with its own plague; repetition. Unfortunately the repetitive nature of cycling can overload tissues; with the repetition of a slightly incorrect movement pattern you can be predisposed to injury.

If you wear orthotics in your everyday life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are needed in your cycling shoes. Pedal strokes are different to running and walking gait and cycling shoes are completely different in shape and stiffness. Since your foot never touches the ground when cycling there is a significant reduction in load sustained by the foot and lower limb compared to running or even walking. Often if orthotics are required, it is most effective to have a pair of dedicated cycling orthoses to ensure correct fit and function. Because of volume limitations with cycling shoes – narrow toe box & shallow shoe depth – size, weight and materials used to make the orthotics need to be considered as well as biomechanics considerations.

If you are injured or experiencing pain a great first step is having a bike fit done from a reputable local bike shop. Also consider how quickly you increased you mileage, are the shoes themselves causing the issue? Or potentially cleat position? And question if your injury is being exasperated by other activities off the bike.

Read the rest of the article at Angela Quick’s – aqorthotics.com

Paratriathlon – It’s Okay To Be Curious, Some Facts & Fiction to Consider

Written by Ryan Van Praet (pictured on the left)

As the season has kicked off recently in Ontario and I look to toe the line in Welland for the Long Course to kick off my year, it seemed like a good time to write this article.

No doubt in the past you have seen the odd triathlete or two show up at a race and look a bit “different”. Maybe they were missing an arm or leg, rode a specially adapted bicycle, or were tied to another triathlete by a cord? Paratriathletes (athletes with a physical disability) are out there and with Rio just around the corner, the Paralympics provide a new visibility for Paratriathletes.

Being a legally blind triathlete for over 18 years, I have had the privilege to race all over the world, from ITU sprints, to the Hawaii Ironman, and more. It has provided a wonderful opportunity to gauge the curiosity of the public on what exactly are Paratriathletes. Often times we can seem like some sort of alien beings descending on a race with our contraptions and ropes and braces, etc. I wanted to tell you first and foremost: IT IS OKAY TO BE CURIOUS!! Read more