Catching up with Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches
Antoine J. Desroches is a Quebec-based pro triathlete specializing in long course triathlon. He races on Team Sportium, powered by Garneau, Skechers and Bistro B though loves to train independently. On top of his training, Desroches is pursuing a double major in Food Science and Nutrition Science at McGill University. TMC checked in to hear what this year’s season looks like for him.
TMC: How’s your 2016 training going so far?
AJD: Last season I dealt with some injuries, mostly intense knee pain when I was running off the bike and at the end of the season I had shin splints. One of the main objectives this season is to strengthen my core and back to reduce risk of injury and hopefully (knock on wood) stay injury-free all season. To build up my running again, I’ve added time to my runs slowly, starting at 20 minutes. As of today, I run up to 90 minutes and do some interval work. It is of course not an ideal preparation for the next season but my coach and I are thinking long term, so hopefully this will result in many months and years of injury-free training and racing. I am also working with a physiotherapist. We analyzed my technique in super slow motion and found many tiny details that I can work on. So this year, I’m trying to leave no rocks unturned.
What races do you have planned for 2016?
I’m really excited to start my season in Guadeloupe on March 5th. It is an independent race but great athletes like Tyler Butterfield, Jenny Fletcher and Leanda Cave will be racing so I’m looking forward to test my fitness level and escape Quebec’s cold weather for a week! I will then head to Mallorca and for the rest of the season I’ll choose between 70.3 events like Eagleman, Raleigh, Tremblant and Timberman. My coach and I are still deciding. I’ll also give the ITU Long Course World Championship a try this season, because the longer swim suits me well and it’s a good transition between half and full distance racing.
What are you most looking forward to in the triathlon world in 2016?
I’m super excited to watch the Olympic Games and find out who will represent Canada. I’ve trained and raced with many of the Canadian Olympian hopefuls so I really hope they will be selected and have their best performance ever on D-day. And of course, Kona is always super exciting. On race day I’m even more excited than on Christmas day!
Any specific goals for the year?
I want to stay with the leaders for the entire 90 km bike leg of half distance races. I know that I can be among the leaders after the swim but I want to maintain my position on the bike so that I can start the run with the “big boys”. I also want to earn some price money to cover most of my expenses, like travelling.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Contrary to last year, I am doing much more quality work on the bike (really short and hard intervals) and really structured gym workouts. Last year, I coached myself but now I have Pierre-Yves Gigou coaching me.
On a typical week I swim three times, run five times, do a gym workout twice, bike three times and do one or two cross-training workouts such as cross-country skiing or riding my fat bike.
Are there any specific challenges you think you’ll face this year? How will you tackle them?
I’m a firm believe that challenges help us learn and grow. Any major or minor injury is a big challenge but it’s also a great opportunity to learn about the source and prevention. It also gives you a chance to work your weaknesses.
Balancing my studies and training is a great challenge, especially during the final exams period. Somehow, I survive every semester!
What’s one interested fact about you?
My car is my second home! I have a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag in my car and during the summer I travel to find new training spots. I even received a portable shower for Christmas! Last summer I car-camped a few times in Tremblant and in the parking lot of the swimming pool where I train but next year I will like to go to Lake Placid, Virginia and other great places. I really like the freedom it gives me and I really enjoy that lifestyle.
Kronobar, Liquid IV, K-way, Smith Optics, Polar, La Clinique Chirurgicale de Laval.