TRIOMPHE TRIATHLON CLUB
Siri Lindley’s Canadian Connection
MONTREAL’S TRIOMPHE TRIATHLON Club is l ed by head coach Pierre Thiffault. His hard work and personalized attention earned him a nomination for Coach of the Year at the Triathlon Quebec Gala in both 2013 and 2014.
The Triomphe Triathlon Club started as a group of friends who trained for Ironman races together in 2011. As more people asked to join the group, Thiffault decided to register the club with Triathlon Quebec in January 2012. From about 10 athletes when they began, the club has grown to a membership of 90 athletes.
Thiffault’s coaching approach is very technical and he insists on proper body mechanics in training. “The first thing I work on with athletes is the proper technique in the water, on the bike and on the run,” says Thiffault. The athletes are training in a structured environment that guides them to perform.
The club uses many of the wonderful training venues in Montreal, including running and biking on Mount-royal and swims at a Montreal college, CEGEP du Vieux Montreal, or when weather permits, at the 50 m outdoor pool at Parc Jean-drapeau. On weekends, the club trains on courses that simulate upcoming races members are preparing for. On Saturdays, they practice bike-to-run transitions on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the venue for the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Montreal Esprit triathlon. Sometimes they also swim, which allows athletes to practice full-bricks (swim, bike and run), to completely simulate a race. On Sundays, the club often trains at Mont-tremblant since many of the athletes race at the 70.3 or Ironman events.
Claude Boivin joined the club after having Thiffault as his personal coach in 2013. He says, “Seeing how well I progressed in all three sports, my wife decided to join the club this year.” Boivin adds that Thiffault surrounds himself with like-minded and accomplished people, including two-time Olympian Kathy Tremblay, who provides run clinics to the club, and swim coach Anastasia Polito, a former member of Canada’s national triathlon team who also raced long course as a professional triathlete. She brings a wealth of racing experience into her coaching and has worked alongside Thiffault since 2014.
Club member Camille Raymond has really benefited from the club’s team of experienced coaches. Before she joined Triomphe in 2013, she knew very little about triathlon. “Joining the club provided me with motivation, moral support and a group of friends to share my passion with,” says Raymond.
Fellow club member Melanie Mccartney values the club’s weekend escapes to the countryside. “Getting out of the big city allows me to turn my ‘business mind’ off,” she says. She also believes that the defining feature of the club is the personalized coaching style offered by Thiffault. He provides her with workouts structured according to her own abilities. “Thiffault knows how to push people and help them evolve as individuals and athletes,” says Mccartney.
With an attentive and passionate head coach driving the team, it’s no wonder the club is fast growing and clearly a triumphant success.
Patrick Janukavicius is a coach and journalist from Montreal.