Tag Archives — Racing

Race Cancelled? What Workout Should You Do?

Races don’t get canceled often but it does happen with bad weather and financial/sponsorship issues.


This is always a bummer as we all look forward to races as a test of our fitness, to see friends, and to push our limits. Getting first races out of the way is also a big reason early races are important and not ‘losing’ our peak fitness for those big A races can also be a concern if races get delayed or canceled.

(We just had the first 2018 Superfly Ontario Cup Cancelled => LINK )

How do you use that weekend with no racing?


  1. Use the weekend to boost your confidence. This may be another race or a group ride but for most athletes, a focused weekend to take care of elements of your performance that YOU ARE NERVOUS ABOUT is a good way to guide this ‘free weekend’.

    For early season mountain bike races, it is likely a good choice to try and get out on your mountain bike. Using your race nerves (what you are a bit scared of as that race approaches) as a guide you can then design a workout or two that will help make you more confident in that skill. If I am nervous about my start ability then a Saturday workout with 10 race start sims (10 x 30-60sec from a standing start … perhaps with a friend acting as the start-official (make a GO sound) to make it an external cue. Add a couple friends to make it a bit more competitive).  For Sunday riding your mountain bike on a longer ride will help work out kinks in your bike setup and remind you that you can ride a mountain bike.

    Boost your Log Hops this weekend with the 5 step progression

  2. Continue the progressions from the last few weeks = if you have been doing a progression of Vo2 (3 x 3, 4 x 3, 5 x 3 etc) or Sweetspot/Threshold (3 x 10, 3×12, 3 x 15)  then there is a good chance that your race did not fall perfectly to continue that progression. Finish the progression!
  3. When in doubt ask! Phone Consultations with your coach are a great option, especially if your schedule has changed and a new plan of attack, or a new progression, is warranted. Checking in with your coach often is a good idea to make sure you understand the goal of your training and so your coach understands your context (life, work, family, motivation to race, nutrition etc.)

Smart Athlete Phone Consultation is open to current clients and public/self-coached athletes


2015 MTB-XCO Nationals St. Felicien quebec Quebec – Photos, Video, Links, Stories


bike wash


Hans Clarke Photo – I am hoggin bike wash and some people are spraying in instead of out

Well after a break from racing to coach I got back into my athlete chamois and put in some time on course thursday/friday aiming for >800m a day and just having fun on the course and trying to recover mentally and physically to be focused on a solid 90min effort Saturday. Seemed to work and the whips were relatively coordinated. Thanks to those that cheered in the rain and those who caught some photos. As always to Trek Store Toronto for bike/gear/life support and to Zach Tatem and his mobile ‘Bicycle Repair Co’ who wrenched for Trek Canada for Nationals. Also thanks to Molly for putting up with my athlete-ness and making ‘wheee!!!’ sounds when I do whips (see video) .

whip - photo by mitch

Mitch Bailey Photo – Whip # 3 of 7 on the day approximately 


Canadian Cyclist Nationals XC 2015  and PedalMAG

Canadian Cycling Magazine Story 



Hans Clarke Photo – A flick is coming 


Molly Hurford Instagram

Trek Canada Instagram

Hannah Clarke Facebook Alblum -> nationals 2015 xco felicien

peter hammer relay  0 hans clarke

Hans Clarke Photo from Relay – Lu, Lu Shorts + Hammer Moto Jersey + Ontario Vest got a wee bit hot . 


=> Second Nationals Video (Canada Cup ) 2015 VIMEO 

=> Nationals Event Video – VIMEO – Whip video at 1:30 into video —  2015

-> Pedal mag part 1 2015 nationals interview videos 

-> Pedal Mag Video Interviews 2015 Nationals St. Felicien Quebec XCO 


2015 Horseshoe Ocup / Canada Cup – Photos, Links, Videos, Stories




Hailey Smith (norco) winner of 2015 Horseshoe Canada Cup 

JSLAUGHTS Races Horshoe

Norco factory update 


not tired wheelie - horshoe candaa cup 2015

Tired finish wheelie.

-> APEX PHOTO – Check out the Frogs we caught post-race ! and the whale rock shots are also good. #1 plate ran tape on 1st lap.

-> CANADIAN CYCLIST -Updated 6/9/2015 – Horshoe Canada Cup results and elite women/men photos


-> FACEBOOK – HANS CLARK 282 images


-> CTV Coverage of 2015 Horshoe Canada Cup


Looking for a Training Plan ? Check out the 100% MADE FOR YOU Plans by Smart Athlete HERE 

Looking to improve your Skills ? Smart Athlete offers Private Sessions to get you fast, confident and safe quickly. LINK

Need Fuel for your weight-loss or performance goals? Try Hammer Nutrition for 15% off with Code ‘Glassford15’ at SHOPHAMMER

Woodnewton O-cup 2015 – Report, Photos, Results

Ted from Apex caught me sneaking some air behind McSneaky

Great first day back racing mountain bikes. I enjoyed the time off but last few weeks I have been going crazy to race. So good to see everyone (mostly everyone) at Ocup #1 Woodnewton. Kudos to Superfly Racing for great organization and for mixing up the course abit this year. Course was harder (about 1km/hr slower for most categories/athletes) .

Most Smart Athletes  had good/best days and most were on the podium.

Peter Kraiker Got me banking a corner on the final descent


-> Via OCA for 2015 Woodnewton Ocup #1

-> Strava for woodnewton ocup #1 2015



the popular ‘ocup podium hop’ staged photo (above by Molly) ( men 2 (by Kraiker) , women


-> PedalMag story and photos from 2015 woodnewton ocup

-> Waterloo Flickr 

-> McNeally (McSneaky) posts podium photos (not jumping) 


Jon Slaughter

MsSneaky Report from Woodnewton


5 Ways to Improve your Race the Weekend Before Paris to Ancaster

With Ontario’s Perennial spring classic, Paris to Ancaster, only a few days away the excitement is extremely high.

Twitter and Facebook groups are busy with questions and answers and training rides are being done in hopes of mimicking the demands of the race.

5 of the most common suggestions I make to help clients avoid the common mistakes with Paris to Ancaster are below. I hope they help your last prep rides this weekend and your race next weekend.

1) Stop thinking about the Distance : Match the Terrain & Skill Demands

PICT0088    paris to ancaster w. rupel cheeering

The race is won on a pot holed start, a loose gravel uphill (often with running), 4-5 x 5-10min hard efforts (often through Forest trail as on left above) and accelerations out of forest/paths. If you can get through all that then you have the infamous Mud Shoots and the final ‘Martin Rd’ Climb (video) (strava) to deal with. The endurance is important but your technical skills,  ability to stand up, choose a line and ability to shift are going to be much more helpful then riding exactly 70km this weekend. Focus on the terrain.

2) Remember to Enjoy your training and Race Day – Smile – Recruit Friends 

Mitch and Peter post paris to cancaster 2014 - mitch hip - head shot

It is cliche but RELAX and ENJOY. You will survive and you will have a smile at the end and some great stories. The reason to race is to push yourself to new limits and situations AND MOST IMPORTANT to make great friends to share the journey with. I always look forward to chatting with old friends and making new friends at races. The shared experiences are something we will chat (and exaggerate about) for years.

3) Intensity – Experience the race before you get there. 


Matt F. is in full race mode on Martin Rd. at the end of a great Paris to Ancaster effort. You can see he is standing and emptying all his energy at the end of the race. This took much practice on his race bike being ridden on similar hilly, gravel terrain. Find a big hill and ride up it, maybe find a few and put one or two at the end of your ride this weekend. Push to that ‘race pace’ where you are noticing your breathing and ride there for a while (5+min) … remind yourself that it is ok to be in a bit of discomfort and try to relax while pedaling hard/going quickly. Experience the race before you get there.

4) Prepare your Race bike for the race NOW – and ride it on similar terrain this weekend. No changes next week

slash and super fly washing pre paris to ancaster (1)

I always shudder when changes are made to the race schedule or bikes in the weeks before a race. Set up your race bike as if the race was this weekend and use all your gear, fueling, preparation in that key workout/ride. This is so big for confidence and also greatly reduces the chance of something small and silly ruining your first race. Worn pedals, loose bolts, leaking tires, seized cranks, slipping bars/posts, loosening cranks, broken chains and faulty tools are among most common ‘silly’ little things that stop us from JUST PEDALING on race day.

5) Dismounts and Mounts – Keep Moving Forward. 


I am pretty (really) crazy about mountsbike carry-remount for all my athletes. While the importance in many races is minimal if any, there seems to always be those few critical moments after a crash, or small mistake/’dab’ where our ability to keep moving forward off-bike or transition between on/off bike becomes critical to finishing well or at all. For many P2A athletes that first right hand turn off the rail trail will require a run-up … how fast you get off your bike, grab that top-tube and then at the top remount can make the difference between making a group that will carry you to a personal best finish or fighting in no-man’s land all day. Some of the forest trails are hectic and brief un-clipping or mount/remounts are required to keep moving forward. For some of us that final climb on Martin Rd. will be too much and so these ‘off-bike’ skills are important to maximizing our efficiency.   ( check out these videos to learn about mount and dismount )

Thanks for Reading


*** Fully Custom 3 Month Training Plans Made for Your Goals and Your Life LINK ***

Canadian Cyclocross Nationals Winnipeg 2014

Goal Achieved ! I have Cyclocross UCI Points ! … actually goal was to wear Knee warmers, go big on the ‘grassy knoll booter’ and then rub my knee warmers on McSneeky until he started fighting me so that I could jersey him and tell him to stop judging people … and that was achieved.

In any case, a great race venue and organization and very fun course. Mike Garrigan and Catherine Pendrel won in the elite fields.

Results => Via Canadian Cyclist 

Event Website =>WPG Cyclocross Nationals

Streaming for Canadian Cyclocross Nationals 2015 Winnipeg via Canadian Cycling Magazine

=> VIDEO ARCHIVE OF Canadian Cyclocross races 2014 Winnipeg RACES 

Canadian CYcling Magazine Story from 2014 Canadian CX Nationals Winnipeg 

Mike Garrigan won his second nationals ( he won in 2007 as well) which is awesome. He was sad at the finish because he thought he had lapped me out … this was not the case. His video interview(s) below from PedalMag (includes kabush and Mike V. interviews)






2014 Ontario Provincials Results and Photos

I sat out this years provincials as I recovered from Crank the Shield the weekend before . The chance to observe all the athletes I coach on one of the , if not the most, important races of their season is quite valuable and the course allowed for a good observation of each athlete’s ‘tool-box’

Senior elite women podium

Tori in 3rd in Elite Women




=> pedal mag provincials 2014 ontario story and results 

=> Ontario CYcling Summary of 2014 MTB provincials Horseshoe

Some Great Smart Athlete Results with:

=> Dave Reid and Jon Slaughter had a very exciting battle that moved them through the competitive elite field to 6th and 7th respectively

=> First Year Elite Rider Tori Giagrande scored a 6th in the elite race and a 3rd place finish in the Elite Women OVERALL

=> Cayley Brooks rode in for a 7th place in elite women

=> Jon Barnes finishing off another strong season with a 1st in 40-44 Master Expert Men after a hard fought battle with the winner of 45-49 year old field

=> Jerome Samson 4th in Mas. Ex 30-39

=> Siobhan Kelly in 2nd Junior Women

=> Sarah Fabbro (Hardwood Devo Gold) taking 2nd in Cadet Women

=> Dana Giliginn (Hardwood Devo Gold) taking 3rd in Cadet Women



=> Ontario Provincials Horseshoe Results 2014 VIDEO GOPRO Course Preview 


Please Email or Comment with your Results/Stories and/or PHotos (links)

My feet hurt. My voice is hoarse ( Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 7 2014 )

Well that is all there is and I am done. A couple days of getting behind nutrition / sleep and continuing to race brought on the sore throat and stuffy nose for Day 7 and I was fairly checked out. Not as checked out as my country-man and real hardman Kris Sneddon who ate/drank/ingested something he shouldn’t have and spent the better part of day 6 and 7 in bed.

Short day with lots of rocks, and bumps and an extended double track beside a beautiful river. Not overly fun on the hardtail but took in the scenery then did some work on the couple gravel climbs to keep with the racers just behind me in the standings (Drew and Thomas).

Finishing up the week I had a smile on my face and some great experiences and learning in the bank.

Cool down with Jeremy Powers (who was up in my ‘chase group’ for a bit early in the stage) and Justin Lindine and then a great beef/shrimp dinner and some ‘stage 8’ fun in the evening .

If you are wondering if this event is for you. I recommend it without reservation. It is very hard but not ridiculous on any day. It is bumpy so bring your dually and best/toughest tires and be ready for some adventure. ( A full review will follow this post ) 

= CYCLING NEWS Stage 7: Bald Eagle Little PoeSaturday, May 31 2014

= Final video of Stage 7 presented by Dirt Rag Magazine andChristopher Bean Coffee Company. Check it out! ttp://

= Also see Stage 6 video , I throw down a Flick turn at 2:15
     *so happy to skid again*

I have to walk right into the lion's den. ( Stage 6 Trans-Sylvania Epic 2014 )

  1. Stage 6: Rothrock Tussey MountainFriday, May 30 2014

Today was rocky . 2 Very long ‘East Coast Rocks’ segments (very bumpy sections with challenging rock gardens) . I have been enjoying the challenge but definitely a test in controlling emotions watching the race ride away despite climbing as well (or at least close!) . That is what is so great about MTB racing is that fitness is multifaceted and skill is important, especially here on the east coast.

Scenery was tremendous and the climbs tough today, several really steep pitches that also caught my low rpm ‘love’ a bit off. Kept it moving forward and got more time on two of the closer guys too me while a youngster (Cole Oberman) has been having a great week and passed me in the standings.


= Stage 6 video , I throw down a Flick turn at 2:15
     *so happy to skid again*

CYCLING NEWS Stage 6: Rothrock Tussey MountainFriday, May 30 2014

Post by Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic.

On the line w. Sneddon, Bishop, Sontag, Paxon, Oberman, 
Dave Prior has been at 3 crazy events that I have been at this past year. 
He organized Single Speed CX worlds in Philly 
He was key on the beer commercial Molly and I were in , in California this Winter
And he is the one of the organizers here at Trans-Sylvania 
Awesome dude I am glad to have met. 

Waiting for the start, which was just across the Highway today so no driving ! 

Lone Chase ‘group’ again today. Bottles were not attracted to me today … had 6 lost 6
 drank 1 and had no tolerance for the 2nd ‘east coast rocks section’ and defaulted
to my most reliable position … moving forward on foot / grab the top tube. 

girls with hats, they tend to be very proper ( Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage 5 – 2014 )

Stage 5 RB Winter Park REmote start /finish 
Today had many ‘rustic’ and ‘raw’ singletrack elements. Some really cool stuff that reminded me of crank the shield, some hard gravel road climbing, which helped me stay close to the race albeit I was the chase ‘group’ today riding up through a couple riders after checking out of the lead group on a bumpy single track. 
Was a large Amish community around the park and they were quite supportive and interested in the race. We drove to about an hour from our main camp to get into some different types of forest and new trails . Well worth the drive.

=Check out what was happening at the start line of stage 5 presented by Easton and XLC!

=Race coverage of stage 5 presented by Easton and XLC! Check it out
=The Trans-Sylvania Epic Live Show with Colt and Pals will go live at 8:30PM EST – please join us here:

Transylvania Epic Stage 5 Results and Report @transsylvania #TSE
— (@MTBRaceNews) May 30, 2014

= Cycling News Stage 5: R.B. Winter State ParkThursday, May 29 2014
      =Also see the TSE Facebook page for updates / photos / results  LINK

    A.E.Landes Photography
    This is Molly’s Friend and super racer Justin Lindine (redline) . I might have stole him as my friend though after several fun times racing with him. You may remember him from such wins as Paris to Ancaster 2013. 

    ( image from&nbs
    p;tse facebook
    ( image from tse facebook ) 
    This seems smooth 
    This is the bearded Man Thomas Turner. Awesome guy from 
    Georgia. He drinks beverages from a large, ‘bubba’ styled Coffee cup. 
    I have had some fun rides and battles with him this week
    yes that was me 
    This one was hub deep i think