With just over three weeks until the Toronto Triathlon Festival Presented by Raymond James, we’re going to continue to send you handy hints and tips to enhance your race experience.

Triathlon is ever evolving, with new techniques, athletes, racing styles, and events popping up all over the world.

Today, we look at a widespread recovery technique, and a hot new team format that you can race in with your friends.


Foam Rolling to Not Hurt Yourself

As you know, recovery is a critical part of triathlon training. Over the last couple of years, foam rolling has become a popular way for athletes to liberate the tight muscles that will inevitably pop up.

However, like your swim, bike, and run technique, your foam rolling technique can be detrimental if done incorrectly. One common mistake is to directly roll up and down your IT Band, which can become particularly tight for a lot of athletes.

Rolling your IT Band may may feel like it’s releasing some of the tightness, but that release is most likely coming from the neighbouring muscles – your quads and hamstrings.

It may be more optimal to focus on rolling your quads and hamstrings with good technique, and this should result in more long-term results.

Here are more golden rules for foam rolling, courtesy of Toronto Athletic Club’s strength and conditioning coach, Usama Mujtaba:

  • Spend more time on tight areas that are causing discomfort, and significantly less time on areas that are not a problem.
  • Spend 5-10 minutes before a gym session, and more time after a session on each muscle group.
  • Don’t roll out too close to a joint, or directly on ligaments or tendons.
  • Take your time. Don’t use the roller like you are rolling out pizza dough. Instead, spend a bit of time trying to find problem areas so you can manage your own body better.

The Next Big Thing: Mixed Team Relay

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are just over a year away, and the big triathlon buzz is about the introduction of Mixed Team Relay as a new event.

If you’re not familiar with the format, it’s a team event with two women and two men who each complete a super sprint distance before tagging their teammate.

The first team to complete all four legs and cross the finish line wins.

Races are often completed in just over an hour, there are regular lead changes, and athletes race at (pretty much close) to their maximum for their entire leg.

In the professional ranks, France are the current world champions, and former world champion teams have consisted of a who’s-who of triathlon:

  • Daniela Ryf (Switzerland)
  • The Brownlee brothers (Great Britain)
  • Jan Frodeno (Germany)
  • Gwen Jorgensen (USA); and
  • Jacob Birtwhistle (Australia)

And, as the Mixed Team Relay format continues to grow on the international stage, the TTF will once again host the Ontario Provincial Club Championships (in this format) on Saturday, July 20th.

If you’ve yet to see a Mixed Team Relay live, it’s an action-packed, fun, and spectator-friendly event that the whole family will love.


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