Friday, October 21, 2011

Triathlon As A University Sport

After reading THIS article it made me think of triathlon at the university level in Canada. . . O wait triathlon at the university level in Canada is almost nonexistent. I can't speak for out west or out east, but from what I have seen in Ontario and heard from talking to people is that most schools do not have triathlon clubs. Those that do are not places for elite development but introduction. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that, but there needs to be another level. That next level may be pushing for triathlon to be a "competitive club"/varsity team or just having coached groups that keep running year round. There are a few hot spots such as Guelph where triathletes who have gotten into the sport prior to going off to school end up, but from my (small) amount of knowledge they are not involved with the university except the couple that may be on other varsity teams. In Ontario we have the UMS which basically consists of Queen's, Western, and Waterloo and has a couple races each year. This is a great spot to start recruiting as the athletes already have a bit of interest in triathlon. Why not coordinate these clubs with Triathlon Ontario and use it to recruit new people to triathlon. This is how I got my start and a couple other I know got started as well. We had to do this on our own though. My first year I knew nothing about triathlon, and besides a couple teammates there wasn't anyone to help. Here is a great idea . . . what if Triathlon Ontario came to the UMS championships. The night before there could be a dinner with a couple guest speakers. This would allow them to possibly get more members (money) and enlighten new comers to what is all out there. Along with this if they see potential in someone they could actively recruit them and direct them to clubs in that persons area. This would take worth from both the school clubs and Triathlon Ontario, but why not have a sanctioned race. I do not think the costs would increase to much.

Now for recruiting from other sports, and I think this is where the development system would benefit the greatest. Maybe this is just the American in me, but why not try to get the best athletes into triathlon. I am sorry if I offend any of my Canadian runner friends, but lets be serious only a small handful of runners in the CIS are going to be running on the national and international level after graduation. Most of the good Canadian runners are running in the NCAA, but the majority of runners in the CIS would make world class runners in triathlon. Triathlon Canada's world standard for U23s is sub 15 for the 5k and each varsity team probably has at least one guy who can do this. Last year in the CIS 21 guys ran the U23 world standard in the 3k and another 11 ran the intermediate standard. Then it would just take a little bit of work to see which ones may have done some swimming in high school or use swimming for cross training, and tada you have a potential world class triathlete. I don't know much about swimming, but it seems like every varsity swim team is full of guys who can swim sub 18 for the 1500. Yes it is hard to become good at the other sports, but they already have the aerobic engine and the work ethic.

This may not make any sense at all. I know my ideas flow terribly, but I am just putting my ideas onto paper for you all to read.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Guess Who's Back

I doubt I have any true followers, but just in case I do I am sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. I have been super busy with school, I now have a job at Multisport-Zone, and training is in full swing.

This semester of school is a bit of a doosey with three courses that have a lab component, but starting in January when the training picks up I don't have any so it actually works out pretty nice that way. After this year I will only have to make up for one credit which I plan on doing online during the summer or next fall. After that I am going to have to pursue a job that will help to pay the bills while I attempt to be a professional triathlete.

On that note I just received an email from Linda Kirk at Triathlon Ontario that they have granted me my elite card for short course races starting in January 2012, and once I get my draft card I will be able to do elite draft legal races as well. All this means is that I am going to have to improve my swim a ton!!! To help with this I have hired Cliff from Transition Point Training. So far it has been amazing with a very scientific approach to training. Blood + sweat + science = perfection.

I am not going to go into to much detail on what we are doing, but after looking over the long term plan today I am actually excited for all the hard work ahead.

I did not want to write to much today so I could save some for a later date but stay posted for a tentative 2012 race schedule coming your way. 

Happy early Thanksgiving,