The Mindfulness of Triathlon

One of the perks of being part of the Toronto Triathlon Gold Member Club this race season was the opportunity to attend a member only event with Simon Whitfield.  Simon won 10 consecutive Canadian Triathlon Championships titles, attended four Olympic games (winning Gold at the Sydney Olympics and Silver at the Beijing Olympics), and carried the Canadian national flag during the opening ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

The Gold Member event took place on the Saturday before the race and involved a panel discussion featuring Simon as well as a short shake out run which he participated in as well.

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Toronto Triathlon Festival Ambassadors with Olympian Simon Whitfield

What really stood out to me from what Simon shared was his connection to yoga and mindfulness. Simon was asked what advice he would give to younger triathletes and his response – yoga. Simon shared “I think if I had done that throughout my career I would’ve avoided some of the pitfalls – physical pitfalls and mental pitfalls.”He went on to highlight the need to complete “daily diagnostics” where every morning he finds quite time and space and tunes in to his body – how he feels physically and mentally – he unplugs from his devices and simply tunes and turns in.

Simon shared how initially in his training he thought yoga was simply stretching, but has since learned the true benefits for him which have come through the connection to mind, body, and daily reflection. Simon shared “there’s a lot of pressure involved in any level of sport and the routine of being isolated to your own mat, your own space, would be helpful in the morning and at night keeping out that negative self talk.”

He also shared how mindfulness and reflection would’ve helped him in his interactions with colleagues, coaches, and family sharing “If i did yoga throughout my career I would’ve avoided pitfalls on the mental side of it and the human interaction side would’ve been less up and down as it was.”

I was really surprised by Simon’s continued connection back to yoga and the impact it’s had on his life after Triathlon, and his push for those to give it a try to enhance their training and life. I really enjoyed hearing Simon share this information as well as the rest of his story as a four time Olympian, and life after the Olympics.

To become a TTF Gold Member is simple – simply register for the race early before the deadline and the perks (which included many great prizes) are yours!

Watch the entire panel here as recorded by Michelle Clarke.

It’s time to #StepUpStandTall Canada!

How’s this for some exciting news! With the Rio Olympics only a couple weeks away (August 5-21) I am thrilled to support Team Canada as an Ambassador for the Canadian Tire  #StepUpStandTall campaign.

What is #StepUpStandTall?1Facebook ENFollow along with me and #StepUpStandTall on social media throughout the Olympic Games for your chance to win 1 of over 500 Canadian Tire Prize Packs and to view exclusive content throughout the games.

Have you seen this video yet? Time to dig out that red and white and get ready to #StepUpStandTall!

Road to 70.3: Week 12

Last week marked my three months of training for my goal race of 70.3 in September. Part of me finds it hard to believe as the three months have flown by. But the other part of me that is tired and challenging to balance work-life- training balance isn’t surprised at all.The workouts are getting long and will continue to do so over the next few weeks until my taper starts. Last week I made an effort to get back in the habit of training with my training partner Kat and getting my long rides in with Nanc is helping to pass the time there too. While the physically challenge should be the biggest obstacle at this point, for me, it’s really becoming my mind. Staying committed and really getting it done. There is no question that obviously I will, but as my book deadlines get closer, and the search for a home for Tribe continues, and I’m trying to enjoy my summer with family, the challenge is strong.

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So, here’s how last week went.

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MONDAY: Today again I combined my TSX run crew with out Tribe run crew and rocked out my 90 minute run. As always the company was great, but my leg were tired (theme for the next 2 months). We went to Remembrance park and did our sprints alongside the crew from Black Toe. It was nice to change up the scenery and run in the shade.

TUESDAY: After last weeks Tuesday training break, and the fact that I do three intense workouts in a row (Saturday-Monday) I’ve decided to continue to Tuesday as my rest/yoga day. I ended up having to go into the office today which pretty much gave me the entire day off training apart from teaching YFit at YYoga and leading an evening community yoga class. It’s nice to get my  stretch on during the class which still keeping my personal workouts light.

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WEDNESDAY: Today I woke up and did a 1.5km swim before some work I needed to do from home. Needing to be in the office yesterday really mixed up my schedule. Late afternoon I got in a strength session at Lagree before our Tribe 5km run that evening. I would much rather do the strength workout in the morning, but it seems this is the only time that is actually fitting in my schedule these days. And in order to stay injury free – these workouts are key.

THURSDAY: Today the deadlines really kicked in for my book. I spent most of the day writing until it became to late to head out for a ride, so instead I hit up yyoga early and got it done indoors. Not ideal, but with the warm temperatures we’ve been having the break from the heat was nice.

FRIDAY: Bright and early Kat came over and we did a 2km swim. Our pace was a little slower than usual, but we got it done and caught up too (which would be why it took us longer). I headed to Hamilton for errands and got caught in traffic on the way back. The book deadline is still haunting me, so no ride today – just more work on the laptop.

I hate skipping workouts, but sometimes it has to happen. It doesn’t happen often, so I don’t get worked up over it. Trying to find balance has been key over these past few weeks, and sometimes things have to get dropped.

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SATURDAY: Bright and early for a 1.5km swim before a Tribe 20km run. With Seawheeze weeks again we are getting to the peak of our training cycle. A little early for my 70.3 to be hitting these distances, but it’s pretty close and i’m glad to have the crew to run with on the weekends. Post run brunch at What A Bagel was the prefect way to wrap up the toasty run.

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SUNDAY: Today started with a 60 minute yoga class at part of Tribe Yoga Jam with New Balance Canada. This weekly yoga class is back, and I definitely enjoy it. Yoga, out in the sun, 80+ people, such a great experience.

After yoga I drove to Waterdown to get my ride on with Nanc, Kim, and Ang – team #Rumblestino (our nickname for our group of 4 who raced my last 70.3 together in Muskoka) is reuniting for an Olympic Triathlon in Wasaga beach in a few weeks. I’ve always said I would never race an Olympic – it’s middle distance, which just sounds ick and I like the reaction I get when I say that I’ve only ever raced a sprint and half Ironman – but I think it will be good practice for my goal race and fun to do as a group.

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The weather today was supposed to be hot and I was worried about our late start, we all were, but with a cloud cover and low 20s temperature the 83km ride and 3km run was quite nice. The hottest part of the brick was the run. Luckily it was short – but definitely not sweet.

With a long weekend ahead I look forward to the change of scenery and getting my long ride on over the rolling hills of Kincardine – I never thought of them as rollers until my last ride up there where my GPS gave me the truth of what I was riding.

7 weeks until race day! I got this!

Missed a week of my training?

Week 11  Week Ten   Week Nine  Week Eight    Week Seven  Week Six  Week Five

Week Four   Week Three  Week Two  Week One