Training Triathlon as One Sport with Three Disciplines, with Melanie McQuaid and Whitney Garcia

We delve into both the nuances of triathlon and how training for that sport relates to endurance training and cycling generally.

Melanie McQuaid Fast Talk Podcast

Swim, bike, run. For our guests today, putting these disciplines together represents a good day’s work. Of course, we’re talking about triathlon. And while Fast Talk has always been primarily about cycling, we know we have many triathlete listeners. In addition, many of the physiological concepts that apply to triathletes also pertain to cyclists and other endurance athletes. So, in episode 99, we delve into both the nuances of triathlon and how training for that sport relates to endurance training and cycling generally.

We ask: Should triathlon be seen as three sports, or one? What are the most common training mistakes that triathletes make? What are the best ways to manage three different disciplines? And what can cyclists learn from how triathletes train? Our primary guest is Melanie McQuaid, the first person to win the XTERRA world championship three times. She is now a triathlon coach in Canada, and she joins us on Fast Talk to get specific and scientific about training three sports. We’re also joined by former pro triathlete Whitney Garcia. Because of her path to the sport, and her ability to reflect on it now as a retired athlete, Whitney offers insight into the training do’s and don’ts with great clarity. Now, let’s make you fast!

Primary Guest Melanie McQuaid: Three-time XTERRA world champion and elite triathlete
Secondary Guest Whitney Garcia: Former elite IronMan triathlete; three-time winner of the Vineman triathlon

Coach Trevor Connor and Melanie McQuaid out on a training ride in Canada.
  1. Candotti, C. T., Loss, J. F., Bagatini, D., Soares, D. P., da Rocha, E. K., de Oliveira, A. R., et al. (2009). Cocontraction and economy of triathletes and cyclists at different cadences during cycling motion. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 19(5), 915-921. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2008.04.008
  2. Caritá, R. A. C., Caputo, F., Greco, C. C., & Denadai, B. S. (2013). Aptidão aeróbia e amplitude dos domínios de intensidade de exercício no ciclismo. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 19, 271-274.
  3. Chapman, A. R., Vicenzino, B., Blanch, P., & Hodges, P. W. (2008). Patterns of leg muscle recruitment vary between novice and highly trained cyclists. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 18(3), 359-371. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2005.12.007
  4. Coffey, V. G., & Hawley, J. A. (2007). The molecular bases of training adaptation. Sports Med, 37(9), 737- 763. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200737090-00001
  5. Hewson, D. J., & Hopkins, W. G. (1996). Specificity of training and its relation to the performance of distance runners. Int J Sports Med, 17(3), 199-204. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-972832
  6. Issurin, V. B. (2013). Training transfer: scientific background and insights for practical application. Sports Med, 43(8), 675-694. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0049-6
  7. Laursen, P. B. (2010). Training for intense exercise performance: high-intensity or high-volume training? Scand J Med Sci Sports, 20 Suppl 2, 1-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01184.x
  8. Tanaka, H. (1994). Effects of cross-training. Transfer of training effects on VO2max between cycling, running and swimming. Sports Med, 18(5), 330-339. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199418050-00005

Episode Transcript

This content is for Listener, Library, and Coaching Essentials members only.
Listener Membership is FREE. Please join now.
Log In Join Now

Related Episodes