Saturday, February 28, 2009

Morning people

Well PTC blog readers, since Craig is away this week I thought I'd take this opportunity to do a little blog updating since I almost never post. I thought I'd shoot some candid videos of PTC personalities first thing in the morning. Enjoy.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I just sent this to the training day e-mail list, but I'll post here too:

Hello athletes, parents and coaches,

Just a quick note to let you know what we've cancelled the PTC Training Day scheduled for Sunday March 1st.

We have several athletes away at swim meets and other events, but the primary reason is that most of our coaches, including Alan Fairweather and I, are not available that day.

My sincere apologies to everyone, but I don't feel it's fair to the athletes or the few available coaches to run a training day if we're seriously short-staffed.

We'll be back in business for the April 5th Training Day.

I hope everyone is doing well, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in April.

All the best,


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feb 19, 2009

Triathlon Canada (TC), the national governing body for the sport of triathlon and its related disciplines, is seeking two full-time National Coaches to work within our National team program. These two coaches will work collaboratively to assist Triathlon Canada in meeting our mission of achieving international high performance excellence, and ultimately producing results at the Junior, U23 and Elite World Championships, and Major Games leading to the Olympic Games in 2012, and 2016.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


What better way to spend Valentines Day than racing at the 16th Annual Hart House Triathlon? PTC'ers Tom Lokody and Angela Quick, along with Angela's younger brother Derek (OREA) took up the challenge, with lots of family support.

The Hart House Tri is an awesome indoor event in a great venue, consisting of a 15min swim, 15min bike, and 15min run, with 5 min to transition between events. Points are awarded for distance covered, and the highest point total wins, with separate categories for rookies and experienced athletes. As usual, Lynsay Henderson and the Hart House staff put on an incredibly organized event, and a good time was had by all.

Derek Quick won the day, with 2350 points, and Tom Lokody finished 3rd overall with 2200 points. Angela Quick, representing UofGuelph, won the womens event with 1900 points. Although he wasn't able to race, James Loaring would like it noted that his Hart House pb is 2550 points.

Congrats to all athletes, and thanks to Hart House for hosting a great event.

Full Mens Results.

Full Womens Results.

Angela Quick in the lead.

Derek Quick running to the win.

Tom contemplating a new Hart House pb, and whether or not he can keep his lunch down...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I've posted this one at least once before, but here it is again, dedicated to my PTC squad.

Coaches, we're living the dream!

Monday, February 9, 2009


That noise you heard over the weekend was the sound of Ontario triathletes hammering out new season or lifetime personal bests in swimming and running.  It was a busy weekend, with Regional swim championships, OUA swim championships, and at least two track meets. I've also added a few athletes who have set their PBs in the last few weeks, since I haven't had time to recognize them yet.  I'm sure there are others I've missed as well - please let me know and I'll add you to the list.  Congrats to everyone on their hard work, and to the many coaches who work with these dedicated athletes.  

An extra congrats to Alexander Hinton and his coaches on achieving the World Standard in swimming AND running in the span of two weeks! 

If I could offer a piece of advice to everyone: take a minute to enjoy your success, and then get back to work.  Sometimes athletes hit a goal and then relax a bit. We've seen many examples of athletes who swim (or run) brilliantly in the off season, but struggle to recapture that form in the summer triathlon season. Train smart, be consistent, and work to build on your success. You can be sure that your competitors will be doing the same.

Congrats again to all athletes and coaches.  It's shaping up to be an exciting race season for the Ontario crew. 

Joanna Brown Junior WORLD
Alexander Hinton Junior WORLD
Tristan Woodfine Junior WORLD
Andrew Yorke U23 CONTINENTAL*

Sasha Boulton 14-15 WORLD**
Myles Zagar 14-15 WORLD
Tyler Bredschneider Junior WORLD
Ian Donald Junior CONTINENTAL
Travis Goron Junior WORLD
Connor Hammond Junior WORLD
Alexander Hinton Junior WORLD
David Hopton Junior CONTINENTAL
Derek Quick Junior  WORLD
John Rasmussen Junior CONTINENTAL
Taylor Reid Junior CONTINENTAL
Dorelle Hinton U23 WORLD
Angela Quick U23 WORLD
Andrew Woegerer U23 WORLD

* I've arbitrarily decided to use the term "Continental" instead of "Intermediate". Those who are familiar with the Quest for Gold standards know that OAT has created an intermediate standard, exactly half way between TriCan's "National" and "World" standards.  I thought the term "Continental" made more sense than Intermediate.  In either case, only OAT uses the Continental Standards, but it allows us to distinguish between athletes who have met the "National" standard, and those who are closing in on the "World" Standard. 

** There are currently no standards for 14-15 year old athletes.  These athletes have achieved the JUNIOR World swim standard, but are not yet old enough to race junior in 2009.

Friday, February 6, 2009



February 20-22, 2009
Sheraton Parkway Hotel, Richmond Hill

What if every athlete had access to a quality coach? What if coaches were given all the tools and resources they need to coach? What if every region in Ontario had world class facilities so coaches and athletes could live at home and do their sport?

The CAO in partnership with the Ontario Government will be hosting our 4th annual Coaches Conference. This conference has been created with the intent to provide Ontario coaches with an opportunity to attend NCCP workshops toward a higher level of certification while also attending additional sessions on coaching topics of interest to all.

More info here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


February 5, 2009

Swimmers from 13 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) schools will converge on the University of Ottawa for the 2008-09 OUA Swimming Championships beginning this Friday.

The Toronto Varsity Blues are defending champions once again, having won eight consecutive women's titles and five successive men's crowns. The team features some recognizable athletes, as fourth-year swimmer Colin Russell (Burlington, Ont.) and freshman Luke Hall (Swaziland) both competed for their respective nations at the recent Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Russell participated in the 200 metre freestyle as well as the 4x200 metre and 4x100 metre freestyle relays. He recorded a fifth-place finish for Canada in the 4x200 race, competing against some of the best swimmers in the world. Hall swam the 50 metre freestyle and finished fourth in his heat.


If you're in the Ottawa area and you want to hang out somewhere warm this weekend, swing by the University of Ottawa to watch the OUA Swim Championships. You'll be treated to great racing, and you'll have lots of triathletes to cheer for, including Andrew Woegerer (Western), Tyler Bredschneider (Guelph), Angela Quick (Guelph), and Dorelle Hinton (Guelph). There are a few others who might be representing their schools, but I'm not entirely sure - leave a virtual cheer in the comments for any others I've missed. You can read the full pre-OUA report, including the event schedule, here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Recent events have delayed the follow up to the first post on microcycle structure here, but we're back on track. If you stayed awake through the first post, you'll remember the study of the race horses who trained 272 days straight, alternating one hard day, one easy day. For 260 days, the training load of the hard days was increased, while the easy days remained the same. Noting the absence of any signs of 'overtraining', the researchers changed tactics and instead elevated the training load of the easy days via increased intensity. The experiment was halted 12 days later when the horses proved incapable of handling the training load.

Soon after this study, Foster et al. (1996) published a paper examining the relationship between training load and athletic performance. They measured training load by having the athletes provide a rating of perceived exertion (RPE; on a scale of 1-10) for the training session, and multiplying RPE by the duration of the session (in minutes). The subjects were simply asked "on a scale of 1-10, how was your workout?" This "global RPE" was a subjective measure of the stress of the entire workout, from warm-up to cool-down, including rest periods. The training load, measured as RPE x Minutes, was termed "Session RPE".

A follow-up study by Foster (1998) used Session RPE to monitor the training load of 25 athletes (primarily speed skaters) for a period of 6 months to 3 years. The athletes ranged from 'low level' to National and Olympic team members, but all subjects were in structured training programs with regular competition schedules. The training load of all workouts in a week were summed to arrive at a weekly training load (LOAD) for each athlete. In addition, the daily mean training load and the standard deviation of the weekly training load were also calculated. Using this data, Foster developed two other measures of training stress:

MONTONY: daily mean divided by standard deviation


So Foster had three tools with which to consider the training stress applied to the athletes: LOAD, MONOTONY and STRAIN.

Weekly training for elite speedskater including session RPE, weekly load, monotony and strain.

Over the course of the study, Session RPE and the incidence of illness were tracked for each athlete, working from the premise that chronic and/or acute heavy training loads were associated with immunosuppression and increased risk of illness. Illnesses were considered to be the result of an increase in LOAD, MONOTONY and/or STRAIN if they occurred within 10 days of a spike in one or more of these measures. Using this data, Foster established individual thresholds for LOAD, MONOTONY and STRAIN above which illness was more likely to occur. When the incidence of illnesses was correlated with indicies of training, the following results were obtained:

84% of illnesses were associated with a preceding spike in TRAINING LOAD above individual threshold.

77% of illnesses were associated with a preceding spike in MONTONY above individual threshold.

89% of illnesses were associated with a preceding spike in STRAIN above individual threshold.

The charts below show the weekly LOAD, MONOTONY and STRAIN scores over the course of 91 days (13 weeks) of training for an individual athlete. The black blocks across the top indicate periods of illness.

You've probably noticed that not every spike above threshold resulted in illness, and not every illness was preceded by a spike in all indices. In fact, 55% of the spikes in LOAD which exceed threshold did not result in illness; 52% of the spikes above the MONOTONY threshold did not result in illness; and 59% of the spikes in STRAIN above threshold did not result in illness. These findings shouldn't be surprising to coaches. On one hand, we know that athletes sometimes get sick during periods of low training stress, simply due to exposure to viruses and other bugs. Conversely, we also know that athletes can withstand heavier training cycles without getting sick - in fact the whole point of training is to introduce progressively greater training stresses in order to induce adaptations.

Nonetheless, Foster's findings indicate a strong trend between the incidence of illness and LOAD, MONTONY and STRAIN in endurance athletes. Taken together, we can use the info from Foster's speedskaters and Bruin's horses to give us some direction in structuring weekly training cycles in the next post.

Foster, C., Daines, E., Hector, L., Snyder, A.C., and Welsh, R. Athletic performance in relation to training load. Wisconsin Medical Journal, 95(6): 370-374, 1996. Abstract.

Foster, C. Monitoring training in athletes with reference to overtraining syndrome. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, 30(7): 1164-1168, 1998. Abstract.