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.

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