TMC: Your hugely successful iron distance debut was one month ago when you grabbed second at Ironman Canada and now you are set to race the half this weekend at Valley First Challenge Penticton. How does one recover and get race ready to race so close to finishing an Ironman?
Melanie McQuaid: I think five weeks might be the perfect post-Ironman window—not long enough to lose the huge endurance hit but long enough to completely rest and get a few tune up sessions in before the race.
TMC: What was the biggest lesson you learned from racing your first iron distance event?
MM: Patience, patience, patience. I still kick myself for going out to hard on the run.
TMC: What will you do differently next time?
MM: I will definitely will pace my next marathon more carefully.
TMC: Clearly your fuelling plan worked in Whistler–what’s your secret?
MM: Consistency and practice in training. I set a timer to stay on schedule. That said… my fuelling plan went out the window on the run when my race belt would not stay velcroed shut… so I did not have that or the spare gels I planned to take. I did have one of the flasks from my belt but the concentration of gel to water was too high for the colder weather… practicing in the 30 degree heat for a 16 degree day was something I did not anticipate. So when the gel would not really come out of the flask things kind of went south. Small details become a big deal … it was a great learning experience for me. I am sure I can run better next time.
TMC: This will be your second Challenge Family race this year, what sets the series apart?
MM: Challenge has a much more laid back feel, it reminds me of XTERRA racing. People are very friendly and relaxed. There are a lot of social events where you get to know people – which I think is so crucial to make races memorable. Whether your race is good or bad having a great time makes the race overall really great anyways. I like this format and I think having the opportunity to go to pre race meals with people is very special and sets Challenge apart.