Thursday, February 28, 2008


The primary goal of training is to stress the systems and structures of the body enough to cause adaptation. As the body adapts, it is better able to meet the challenge of subsequent stresses (training or racing), resulting in improved performance. If the body is stressed beyond it's ability to withstand or adapt to the stress, decreased performance will result. Therefore, athletes and coaches sometimes walk a fine line between optimal and excessive stress. In order for athletes to maximize their training, they must commit to actively managing their recovery. With this in mind, consider the effects of anger control, psychosocial stress and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the healing process:

Anger & Psychosocial Stress
A recent article by the BBC, picked up on Joel's blog, reported on a study which examined the link between anger control, and the time it took for a blister to heal. The authors induced a blister on the forearms of 98 people, and monitored the healing process over 8 days. They found that "individuals exhibiting lower levels of anger control were more likely to be categorized as slow healers", and these same individuals also had a higher cortisol response to the initial injury. People who demonstrated good anger control healed significantly faster than those who had poor anger control.

("Deb" is probably not a fast healer)

Likewise, several studies demonstrate that psychological stress can result in reduced immune function, or more frequent and severe bouts of asthma in asthmatics.

The take home message for athletes is not that they should avoid stressful situations - that would be impossible - but rather that by learning to manage their response to stressful situations, they can give themselves a better chance of staying healthy and adapting appropriately to training.

Products that contain ibuprofen are part of a class of drugs knows as NSAIDs (e.g. advil, motrin), and are available without prescription. Some athletes may take NSAIDs to combat the pain of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) following difficult or novel workouts, while others sometimes take NSAIDs during long distance events to manage muscle pain. There is a growing body of research indicating that NSAIDs interfere with the normal regenerative process in muscles, tendons and ligaments (but not bone), essentially halting the critical processes which lead to adaptation. For a quick opinion on NSAIDs and recovery, follow this link. For a short review in a peer-reviewed journal, refer to A.L. Mackey's "Use of anti-inflammatory medication in healthy athletes - no pain, no gain?" (Scand J Med Sci Sports 2007: 17:613-614). For those who think they can use acetaminophen (eg. Tylenol) instead, the effects of acetaminophen on soft tissue recovery seem to be similar to NSAIDs.

The take home message for athletes is that NSAIDs are probably not beneficial for the management of minor aches and pains due to training, as the adaptive processes in soft tissue are hindered. Athletes should employ the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) approach for minor issues, and seek professional medical advice for chronic or more severe injuries.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Former triathlete, Craig Mottram (aka "Buster", "The Big Mazungo")


"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training."
~ Attributed to Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC

2008 Junior Series Announced

Race #1
Pinawa Manitoba,
Sunday July 6, 2008 - Pinawa, MB

Race #2
Triathlon du Gatineau
Saturday, July 12, 2008 - Lac Lemay (Gatineau), QC

Race #3
Canada Summer Games Test Race
Sunday, August 3, 2008 - Summerside, PEI

Race #4
Teck Cominco Canadian Junior Elite Championships
Saturday, August 16, 2008 - Kelowna, BC

You can see the original post (including links to the race websites) here.

Important Notes:

a) The Gatineau Race will serve as the Ontario Provincial Championship (Junior)

b) Quoted directly from the OAT website:
"Two of the events included in the series will be important for athletes wishing to be carded under the Quest for Gold Athlete Assistance Programme."

Monday, February 25, 2008


Another busy weekend at the PTC, with Part 2 of the NCCP Triathlon Competition Coach certification taking place Saturday & Sunday, and our biggest Training Day (yet) on Sunday. I had the pleasure of working with 13 coaches who are working towards the New NCCP certification - great learning all around with lots of expertise brought to the table by all in attendance.

On Sunday, we had 33 athletes attending the OAT Training Day, including a few new faces from the Windsor area. Watch out for the Ontario crew this season - the athletes are creating a great training environment, and with improvements across the board, we're going to see great performances in the summer. Thanks to coaches Dan McKerrall, Paul Johnston and Alan Fairweather for leading the sessions, and a special thanks to the coaches-in-training for covering the bike and run workouts for the youth group - great job all around.

Next Training Day at Guelph: Sunday April 6th.

Erin Champion (blue & white jersey), Sasha Boulton (pink jersey) and the rest of the crew on the trainers.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Personality

After careful consideration, Ang has decided that she has an alter ego Little Miss Quick. Sometimes she's giggly and sometimes she's just plain fast! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fun in Tucson

Just wanted to say hello from Tucson, and I felt it would be appropriate that I add a "coach personality" to our list.

As for Tucson, I currently have the privilege of staying with some fun athletes: Sean Bechtel, Nat Faulkner, Andrew Yorke, and Steve Hewick, and of course coach Barrie. We've been adventuring part way up Mount Lemon, running on great trails, and so far haven't been eaten by mountain lions.

We are also staying with a very generous couple, Linda and Alan. We were all totally wiped after a hard day of training Tuesday, and got home to find that Linda had made us a batch of the best cookies on the planet. Amazing!

Over and Out.

PTC Personalities: the women

A few weeks ago I was unfortunately named as the Little Miss Bossy character from the Little Miss Books.

I like to think that I am more like Little Miss Somersault, I think just because I like her hair better and the legs fit. ha

Now for Angela I had to go with Little Miss Giggles, somehow it just fits with all her little giggle fits.

Rachel also always has a smile on her face so for her we have Little Miss Sunshine!

Last but certainly not least we have Danielle aka Little Miss Wise, this girl always seems to have some sort of work to do! : )

Basically we are just one little happy family!

Now the only person left is Craig...there are soo many things to pick on its hard to choose just one...

PTC personalities: the men

Well, last week Craig was telling us how James and I resembles characters from the show Thomas the Tank Engine. I've posted the bio for each engine so you can judge for yourselves. I like the part about the "high-falutin' ideas". Then again I'm the cheeky one.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Campus is like a ghost-town this week; it's Reading Week, but I don't see much reading going on (I had the entire library to myself yesterday). We have a skeleton crew at the PTC this week, but it's been business as usual with training. Most athletes are back home, or at training camp, so it was a 'boys only' swim this morning with James and Tom. Today we swam a little further than usual, with this main set:

3x(3x400free, 400kick); 1st round swim/2nd round pull/3rd round p/pull

There was nothing magical about the set; the challenge was simply in the fact that the main set was as long as our entire typical Wednesday morning swim. The guys got down to work with no comment, and had a solid swim. They didn't know it, but they were lucky Dorelle wasn't there, as birthdays are typically celebrated with longer sets (Happy Birthday Dorelle). Regardless, it's this approach to training, nicely summarized here by Colin Jenkins, that will translate into tougher racing in the summer.

To celebrate Dorelle's b-day, I picked up some timbits to keep the guys fueled during the swim. Tom hoovered the majority of them mid-way through the set, and James cleaned up the rest at the end, including one that fell on the deck (his defense: he was well within the '10 Second Rule'). A quick visit to the Tim Hortons website reveals that an average box of 10 timbits is approximately 750-850 kcals - at $1.70 for a pack of 10, that's 4.5kcal to 5kcal per penny. I would never suggest that timbits are a good training supplement, but they must have the best $:kcal ratio around. Just don't eat them off of the pool deck if you plan to see your next birthday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Continuing the video theme with JL in the pool this morning:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008


We've been busy over the last few weeks - here's a quick update:

We hosted the 3rd and final Swim Camp, Feb 1-3, complete with another snowstorm that forced us to cancel the Friday PM Session. Despite the weather, we had a good turnout, and a nice progression in swim technique and speed over the last few months. Congrats to the athletes on their hard work and attention to detail, and thanks to coach Lee Hart for working with this group.

Underwater pic of C3 Club athlete Chad Ruby, at the Swim Camp.

While we were hosting the swim camp, other youth and junior triathletes across the province were competing at their regional swim championships. There were lots of new PBs established in all regions, including two impressive swims by Derek Quick (BAC) and David Mackie (GHAC). Both boys posted 400m free times of 4:30 - Derek will be racing his first year of Junior this year, and David will be a Junior in 2009. Results for all Ontario meets can be found here. Congrats to the athletes and coaches on their continued improvement!

Last weekend, PTC athletes Dorelle Hinton and Angela Quick raced for the Guelph Gryphons at the Ontario University Athletics Swim Championships. Both athletes had very strong showings. Angela achieved a new 200m free PB (twice), a new 800m free PB, and anchored the bronze medal winning 4x200 relay - not bad for someone who missed 5 days of training in the weeks preceding OU's due to illness, including a night in the hospital. Dorelle also had a strong meet, posting 9 or 10 PBs (I lost count), earning two relay medals, and meeting three Senior Provincial qualifying times (400fr, 800fr, 400IM), and two Eastern Canadian Champs qualifying times (400fr, 400IM). The Gryphons Women's Team finished 3rd, edging out 4th place McMaster by 2 points. Congrats to Ang and Dorelle on their performances, and to the entire Gryphons team.

There were also some solid performances from other triathletes competing at OU's, including Andrew Woegerer (C3, Western), Steven Hewick (C3, McMaster), and David Clinkard (Queens). Andrew Yorke (C3, McMaster), fresh from racing at the Brazil Fast Triathlon, even hopped in for a time trial between heats and finals. Full results here. Congrats to all, and apologies if I've missed anyone.

Last but not least, the PTC was represented at the 16th Annual Hart House Triathlon by Rachel O'Reilly (C3) and Tom Lokody. Both athletes had a great day at this fun event. Tom was 4th overall, and Rachel was 5th overall, and the first woman. Congrats to both athletes, and thanks to Lynsay Henderson and the crew at Hart House for hosting another great event.

That's all for now. We'll post some pics when we get them. Stay warm, and train smart.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Triathlon Canada has announced the qualification criteria for the Junior, U23 and Elite Teams for the 2008 ITU World Championships.


You heard it here first: OAT will be hosting a one day coaching seminar on Saturday April 12th, at the Sport Alliance Building in Toronto (Don Mills & Eglinton). We're currently working out the details and the agenda, and we expect to post something official next week. Registration will be open to everyone, with a lower registration fee for NCCP certified coaches, or coaches currently enrolled in the New NCCP Comp Intro certification. The primary focus will be on physiology and skill aquisition/development, and we're planning on offering seminars specific to youth and adults. If you're interested, mark your calendars and look for an official announcement next week on the OAT website.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I had a conversation with an athlete a while ago regarding body posture/position while running, and promised to post some pictures. Notice a theme?


Johnny Ras and Karsten Madsen putting in the miles.

Good morning sports fans. The next OAT Training Day at the Provincial Triathlon Centre (University of Guelph), will be Sunday, February 24th. The format will be similar to previous training days, with swim, run, core & bike workouts (in that order). We'll have coaches Alan Fairweather, Dan McKerall, Paul Johnston, and Mischele Stevens leading the training. I'll be on site for the entire day, facilitating a coaching certification workshop. E-mail me to reserve your spot for the Training Day. Athletes who have attended previous Training Days or Swim Camps do not need to complete additional registration forms. New athletes are welcome at the Training Day (age 12-19), and can obtain the registration material from me via e-mail. Athletes are encouraged to bring their own bike trainer. If athletes do not have access to a bike trainer, please indicate in your e-mail that you would like to reserve one of our trainers, but remember that we have a limited number, and we reserve them on a first-come-first-served basis. Similar to last time, we'll open the doors of the Athletic Centre at 7:45am, and we'll be in the pool by 8:15am. We typically complete training by ~2:30pm, so bring enough fluids and food to get you through the day. Athletes will need swim gear (goggles, cap, towel), clothing for indoor cycling, and clothing for indoor and outdoor running.

Directions to the University of Guelph are available on the right hand side of the blog under "DIRECTIONS TO THE PTC".