Our programs are designed for athletes who are interested in developing the skills, the techniques and the strategies needed to participate and then compete in triathlons as well as other multisport events (e.g. aquathlon = swim/run, duathlon = run/bike/run, mountain biking, cross triathlon = off-road triathlon).  Athletes need to be at least 9 years of age if they have no prior training experience. Athletes who are 8 years of age and have prior experience in sport should have their parents contact mark@jtoest.ca to setup a try-out session so that they can be assessed. All athletes must be comfortable being in water and must be able to swim or kick 25m continuously.

We will take it from there!

TRAINING IN GENERAL

Training starts with a focus on endurance… being able to kick, drill and swim, and then bike and run the distances that are typical in events is how athletes build confidence. When you know that you know that you can do the distance, and do it repeatedly, all of a sudden the intimidation factor starts to disappear and athletes can start to focus on ‘how’ they execute the sport specific technique, along with the tactics and strategies of the sport.

Once an endurance base has been built, we expand training to include developing the athlete’s sport specific technique: moving with the highest level of efficiency. Performance is definitely about being able to generate power & speed, but its equally about not wasting energy in random and/or excessive movement. The best of the best execute their sports effortlessly; conversely the more effortful an athlete looks the more energy they are wasting. So in addition to developing physical prowess, training technique develops an athlete’s mental skill set as focus, attention to detail, self awareness, experimentation, determination & perseverance are all necessary. We believe that athletes need to be as powerful in the brain as they are in their body.

Although we do not rush athletes into racing, we do encourage athletes to complete time trial or test events such as a competition as soon as possible with the sole intent of having the athlete set a benchmark performance.  How can we measure progress if we have no starting point?  We all want to see results because results encourage us to keep going and keep training because it shows that ‘we are getting somewhere’, but to see results means we need to measure how an athlete can do. Whenever we encourage an athlete to participate in a time trial or test event, it will always be at a level that is appropriate for their current skill and ability level.

SWIMMING

Athletes at a minimum need to have their own goggles and competitive swim fins (not snorkelling or scuba – we can help equip your athlete if need be). Any swimsuit is suitable to start, eventually though athletes will be expected to progress to proper swim training attire (i.e. jammer shorts for boys) as well as swimming with a swim cap. Swim caps are mandatory in all swimming and triathlon competitions so training with one eliminates one unknown variable when it comes to competition.

All swim training sessions are held at Cedar Springs Health Racquet & Sportsclub located on Cumberland Ave (QEW & Walkers) in Burlington.

“TRIATHLON” (i.e. BIKE & RUN PROGRAMS)

Athletes need to have a few things to participate: first and foremost comfortable running shoes and comfortable running attire which will work just fine for cycling (triathletes have to run immediately after coming off their bike so whatever works for running will work for cycling).

Athletes also need a bike… any bike will do to start provided it has working brakes and gears.  If the bike hasn’t seen daylight in awhile, we require that the bike is taken to your local bike shop and given a simple service check up to ensure that all brake & gear cables are intact and operational, wheels are true and the bike gets a green light from the mechanic. Other than that, its just a properly fitted helmet: one that fits firmly on an athlete’s head with the chin strap closed and fitting snugly under the chin.

A mountain bike (MTB), a gravel bike or a regular road bike are all great to start and learn to ride. The key point though is that the bike must fit the athlete. An older brother or sisters bike, or mom or dad’s bike may be OK, but only if the athlete can actually ride safely. Athletes do not need a specific triathlon or time trial bike to start as these bikes are in fact more difficult to learn to ride on as the balance point on these bikes requires a fair bit of handling skill. We will help your athlete learn how to check over their bike including how to test tire pressure so that they start to ‘own’ their bike.

DRYLAND (aka Strength & Conditioning)

The winter months provide a great opportunity to build core strength and endurance. Its tough to get out and put in many miles on the bike, and sometimes its a challenge to get out an run on your own when there is a foot of snow or ice on the ground (especially if you are new to running). So winter is the ideal time to get stronger. Dryland is the term athletes used for the training they perform in the gym which is typically more generic, and less sport specific (e.g. squats, box jumps, monkey bars, etc…).

Athletes need the same set of clothes they had when outdoors cycling and running… running shoes and running attire is perfect.

All dryland training sessions are held at Cedar Springs Health Racquet & Sportsclub located on Cumberland Ave (QEW & Walkers) in Burlington.

ONLINE COACHING

We have a specific webpage dedicated to coaching that happens remotely using the online platform: TrainingPeaks.com — please click here to link to our Online Coaching page.

In short, athletes who want to progress in their training eventually need to train on their own in addition to the training they complete in group sessions. Using TrainingPeaks allows athlete to upload training sessions they perform independently so that their coach can monitor, review, comment and adjust their training as required. This level of training & coaching is appropriate for athletes who have at least one year of experience, are eager to take their performance in sport to a new level and are ready to take ownership and be accountable for independent training.  We encourage athletes & parents to speak with Coach Mark as to the appropriateness and the timing of this level of coaching.