Friday, October 31, 2008

Interview with John Cook

The Canadian Athletics Coaches Centre has a series of excellent audio interviews including the latest with American athletics coach John Cook, who coaches Shalane Flanagan in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres and Shannon Rowbery and Erin Donahue in the 1500 metres.

John tells it like it is, and doesn't hold back on the ups and downs of the US Trials system, the USATF holding camp in China and the Beijing Games. Good stuff, and worth the 50 mins or so.

Link to audio page here

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Taking Applications

To give this its own post - if you want to be part of a winning culture, whether in ITU, non-drafting, or long distance, Canadian, American or otherwise, I am considering new applications for my squad. Train with the best to race with the best. Email me at info @ for details.

This video and the last one demonstrate the ATTITUDE required :-)

Thanks to Andrew for the video link.

"No Apologies"

Australian National Performance Director Bill Davoren has announced his resignation from Triathlon Australia, to take a position with an AFL team as head of physical conditioning. It was well known that Bill would be leaving TA at the end of 2008, but this announcement makes it official.

At times Bill faced criticism internally in Australia, but he stuck to his vision despite the naysayers and was a key driver of Australian Triathlon's international success the last 4 + years. I have a lot of respect for Bill, his coaching and his leadership.

"I also leave with no apologies to anyone for the way I have done my job. I was given a task to do and I did that task. I recognise that some of you may have found that challenging, but change nor striving to be the best is ever easy. "

Read Bill's letter here: Triathlon Australia

Best of luck to him in his new career.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"I want Winners...."

...People who WANT TO WIN"

This video is about a team sport, but I'm sure we can think of ways it can apply to an individual sport like triathlon, especially when talking representing your country.

Its also a good advertisement for what I am looking for at TEAM BAMF. I'm taking applications for 2009 - email me at info @ for details.

I meant to post some thoughts on Kona. Its a bit late now, all the analysis has been done and done. Chrissie was completely dominant and other than the flat looked in control the whole day. The euro Iron women proved their record times earlier this year were legit with solid performances in Kona. Probably the race of the day for the women was Linsey Corbin with a real breakthrough to come 5th. On mens side, Crowie looked patient and in control. We saw him get gapped from Timo and Cameron on the Alii section of the run after the turn around, but he slowly made his way back on and eventually into the lead. A couple of missed opportunities for Cameron and Llanos to take it, but its tough to put it all together and Crowie was able to get it done on the run under pressure. All in all I had a great time watching the race and always learn something seeing the action live.

I'm now back in Penticton, BC, where I'll be until the annual Sport Leadership Conference, to be held in Calgary AB next week. We are rolling in a week of meetings including Triathlon Canada meetings, the SPIN - Sport Innovation Summit, the Road to Excellence Olympic meetings and the Sport Leadership conference (coaches, administrators and sport leaders) into a full week.
I've also been asked to present along with a panel to discussion on how we've used altitude training. The lead presenter is Jack Daniels, and athletics coach Wynn Gmitroski, both of whom have significantly influenced the way I've thought about and implemented our altitude program.

edit: added this news article link: Two-time Olympic medallist Whitfield promotes teamwork in sport, business

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sports Excellence Speakers Series in Victoria

An update on Kona is coming soon, however here is some info on a series of talks in Victoria, one of which I'll be speaking at:

Canadian Sports Centre Pacific, the National Coaching Institute of BC and Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence are proud to present the Sports Excellence Speakers Series.

Join Olympian and Paralympian athletes and coaches for an evening of sports excellence. World class athletes and coaches will be presenting and answering questions on their Olympic and Paralympic journey through the last four years leading to the 2008 Games in Beijing. Presentations will focus on training and coaching philosophies, keys to world class preparations and personal learnings in the pursuit of sports excellence. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to hear from Canada’s best about their Olympic and Paralympic experiences.

Location: Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence - 4371 Interurban Road, Victoria, BC
Room: 329A/329B
Time: 6 – 8 pm

October 16th - Paralympic Gold Medalist Michelle Stilwell
Athletics - Wheelchair Athletics Coach Peter Lawless
Register Now - Olympian and 2007 World Championship Silver Medalist Gary Reed
- National team Track and Field Coach Wynn Gmitroski

October 30th - Olympic Rowing Silver Medalist David Calder
Rowing/ - Rowing National Team Coach Terry Paul
Swimming - Olympic Swimming Bronze Medalist Ryan Cochrane
Register Now - Swimming Canada Coach Randy Bennett

November 13th - Cycling Time Trial World Championship Silver Medalist Svein Tuft
Cycling/ - National Cycling Team Coach Houshang Amiri
Triathlon - Beijing Triathlon Silver Medalist Simon Whitfield
Register Now - National Triathlon Team Coach Joel Filliol

Session Fee: $20.00

Enrollment Limited – Be sure to register early. Registration Deadline: 1 day prior to session.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Road Trippin

Flagstaff backdrop, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

I've done a few road trips in my time... mostly for training camps in southern locations. Ontario to Florida a bunch of times, Ontario to Texas, and now living in the west, Victoria to Palm Desert, Tucson, and Flagstaff Arizona for camps. This time, there was no training camp at the destination, at least not one of my camps, so I set off on the road trip to spend some time on my own, get away from the usual routine and check out some favorite training destinations and also some new ones along the way.

I started out in Penticton, BC. Its one of my favorite places for training and I place I could see living one day. I was able to catch up with Tom Evans, as well as Jill Savege and Jordan Rapp before they head south for the winter. There are many great roads with long climbs, a variety of trails for running and riding the dirt bike, and lakes for swimming. I didn't get up to Apex, but there are some nice runs up there at a moderate altitude, not to mention a solid climb on the way up.

Next stop, the tri mecca of Boulder, CO. I'd heard a lot about Boulder of course, but had never been there. While in town I took in a few of the classic running trails around the Rez, the wonderland lake trails, and magnolia road up over 8000'. All great stuff. I did some rides over the the Lee Hill road and out to Lyons, and even a couple swims (rare for me), to check out the pools. Overall I really liked Boulder and can see why so many endurance athletes call this place home. Easy access to great training right out the door and a great endurance/outdoor sports community.

After Boulder I drove down to Las Cruces, NM, and joined the Paulo, Jonnyo and the PS Triathlon crew who were doing a training camp. Great weather (too hot for Napoleon however), and great company got me out the door for a real training camp, with swims, bikes and runs most days. Very different from Boulder, but a good location for winter camps, and a great swimming facility with Danny running the NMSU pool.

My next stop was supposed to be Las Vegas for the Interbike Show. I decided to spent a night in Flagstaff on the way, and once I got to Flag, and did a run on one of my favorite routes out the urban trail and up sinclair wash, I bailed on vegas and instead spend the week in Flag doing my caveman training camp. I'm glad I did, as I had a great week exploring some trails I wasn't able to do last time we were here with the amount of snow that was still up in the hills. I rode my cross bike over shultz pass, did the bagel run, got a tour from local legend Paul Brinkman, and did an epic run in the trails behind the airport where I just followed my nose and eventually found the car. I also got a chance with catch up with Jack Daniels again. Jack acts as the director of the High Altitude Training Centre in Flagstaff. I've been meeting with Jack a few times over the last couple years as part of a mentorship project with the COC and he's had some valuable insight into training and also some great stories. Torbjorn Sinballe was also in town training prior to departing for Kona. I had a great chat over dinner with Torbjorn, Canadian expat Rob Krar and Paul. We traded ideas about training/racing in heat, altitude, and similarities between the Danish and Canadian high performance training systems and approaches.

Finally I am now back in Penticton, and will head over to Kona in a few days. I am looking forward to going to Kona this year purely as a spectator and observer. I am staying with Shawn Frack of Nunn, and his wife Tracy Robertson (and fellow Canuck), who is racing pro for the first time, and also the infamous duo "The Sergio" and "Jonnyo" Should be a great time. We are right next to Lava Java, so anyone who wants to shoot the shit about training, racing, coaching, etc, drop me a note.