Celebrating Age Group Athletes Across the Triathlon Community

Masters and Age Group Athletes

Whether it’s a gold medal pursuit or simply completing a triathlon, athletes of all ages strive to meet their goals with passion, hard work, and dedication. At Triathlon BC, we believe multisport is for everyone. Whatever stage of athlete you are, Triathlon BC is here to support your fitness endeavours. Check out our information on age appropriate development, Provincial Championships, World Qualifiers and stories from BC's triathlon community!

Masters Athetes - The Evolution of Training and Staying Fit

The benefits of regular physical activity are well documented; sustained long-term health, increased social connectedness, improved mental and physical well-being and better quality of life.

While triathlon is a fountain of youth for many, it’s important that the maturing triathlete doesn’t reapply the same training strategy year after year, decade after decade. With some adjustments to your annual plan, you can stay fit and fast well into your 60s and beyond.

We asked Victoria’s Lance Watson, LifeSport head coach, who has trained a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group Champions over the past 30 years, to outline some of the age-associated changes to training Master athletes should consider.

Athletes in their 40s

Many athletes can replicate the threshold training they did in their mid-30s through their early 40s. The biggest change is recovery time. The good news for the long-term athlete is that muscle memory —muscle familiarity that comes from repeating a motion— does not disappear with age, so experienced athletes can be more efficient than their younger counterparts with fewer lifetime training miles. Athletes can attain previous fitness levels with less threshold work so long as they can perform consistent, strong aerobic efforts.

Recovery weeks should take place regularly, and they need to provide a really good recharge. Increased focus on body maintenance through massage and stretching can also prolong an athlete’s high performance window.

Athletes in their 50s

Athletes in their 50s need to carefully “pick their spots” in the season. They can train for high-level performance but cannot sustain the same levels of intensity or duration as younger athletes. You have to be clear on what your peak event is, and have a longer aerobic base phase followed by a shorter threshold-emphasis peaking phase.

Strength training also becomes more important after age 50. Lifting two or three times per week much of the year and doing a core strength and flexibility routine regularly is a good idea. There’s more need for recovery, and a minimum of two weeks out of every five should be dedicated recovery weeks.

Research out of Australia has shown that cycling performance declines less with age than swimming and running. (This is more pronounced at iron distance than at Olympic distance.) Good cycling fitness will help support a declining run split. If you can start the run feeling fresher, you are capable of running closer to your open run abilities.

Athletes in their 60s and Beyond

After 60, the injury risk and recovery required from frequent high-intensity training is not worth the benefit. A good guideline is one high-intensity swim, bike and run workout every two weeks coupled with frequent aerobic work emphasizing movement efficiency. Take two days off per week, and every second week should be a recovery week.

Along with aerobic conditioning, do resistance exercises that work the major muscle groups along with regular stretching. Yoga can help maintain strength, range of motion and stability.
Protecting the joints from inflammation, pain, stiffness and structural breakdown means a mature athlete has to respect the body’s pain signals. The healing process from injury at this age can be much longer.

Regardless of your age, the take-home message is: Use it or lose it!

Age Group Team Canada

The Canadian Age-Group World Championship Teams consist of top performing age-group athletes and para-athletes who earn a spot at a qualification race to represent Canada on the world stage at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships. Team members have the unique opportunity to represent their country, participate in a unique team environment and celebrate their sport within the global multisport community. The age-group team is one hundred percent self-funded.

Para-triathletes compete in age-group competition according to their classification.  If they are not officially classified through the ITU process, para-triathletes can always race locally in a self-identified “Open Paratriathlon”.

The 2019 World Championship Events are:

2019 ITU Multisport World Championships Festival, Pontevedra, Spain
Included Disciplines: Cross Triathlon, Aquathlon, Aquabike, Duathlon & Long Distance Triathlon

2019 ITU Triathlon World Grand Final, Lausanne, Switzerland
Included Disciplines: Sprint & Standard Distance Triathlon

Athletes wishing to represent Canada at the World Championships must qualify in an identified event.  A list of 2018  BC Qualification races are listed below:


For more event details, age group definitions and eligibility requirements, please check out our press release HERE

Athlete Features

Triathlon BC celebrates every athlete, from the international elite athlete in search of Olympic glory to our local grass roots participant crossing the finish line.  We are reaching out to our community to gather interesting and inspiring stories to share and grow our network.  Check out some of our athlete features below:

Garth Fuller
Eleanor Paugh
Leigh Blaney
Joanne Montgomery
Evan Fagan
Carol Currie
Marie-Josee Cossette
Carolyn Hubbard
Suzanne Flannigan
Michael (Mikey) Ross
Mark Shorter
Bruce Regensberg

If you have stories that you would like share with Triathlon BC please contact us today.

Masters athletes are the leaders and role models in our triathlon community, inspiring us to stay engaged in a lifelong journey of health, fitness, and friendly competition. They continue to demonstrate that age is not a barrier to accomplishing the extraordinary.

Lance Watson (Lifesport Coach)

BC Championship Events

Triathlon BC’s Provincial Championship events uphold values that include participation and inclusiveness, while offering athletes of every age an opportunity to test themselves against the best competitors from British Columbia and abroad, in their pursuit of a Champion’s title.

2018 Provincial Championship Events

Provincial Championship, BC’s marquee events, span the racing season, visiting Fraser Valley and making routine stops throughout the Okanagan Valley.  The 2018 events include:

*2019 ITU Multisport World Championship Qualifier – Duathlon
**2019 ITU Multisport World Championship Qualifier – Aquabike