Larry's Blog Pages

March 29, 2011

Age Grouper Spotlight - David Frake

This season will mark my sixth year of racing duathlon. During those years, there have been many new faces in the fields I have competed against but this spotlight athlete is someone I have been chasing down since those early races.

Toronto's, David Frake, is an incredibly talented duathlete who has been ranked among Canada's best for several years. Even after suffering a serious, early season set back in 2010 (after a crash in the Good Friday cycling race), he worked his way back to form before the end of the summer. His amazing come back was capped off with an impressive Age Group victory at the World Duathlon Championships in Scotland last fall.

Knowing the dedication and attention to detail this duathlete places in his training, I am sure he will be on top of the sport for many years to come. He continues to push the limits each year and is a huge motivating factor in my training as I strive to reach the splits he is able to post on both the run and the bike.

10 Questions with David Frake

Q1. What was the first tri or du that you attempted?

- First Tri - I was 14 yrs old. One of the original President's Choice Triathlon Series races in Waterloo at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area. I raced in the under 18 category and won. Back then the awards were awesome, I won a bike and still have it.

Q2. Do you teach yourself or do you train under the guidance of a coach?

- To date, I have never had a coach. I have a strong running background as well as science degrees in kinesiology and physiotherapy. Not to say that makes me an instant expert on self-training but I have a pretty good sense of what I need to do. Having said that, I will likely take on a consultant running coach this year just to make sure I'm sure I'm on the right track.

Q3. You had a nasty cycling crash in early 2010 and came back to win Gold in your Age Group at the World Duathlon Championships in Scotland. What kept you motivated during the rehab and the training to get back to such amazing race speed?

- The crash in early April really threw a curve-ball into my season. I thought I was finished for the year with a torn acl, mcl, meniscus and completely separated shoulder. Thankfully, I had tons of support from my family, friends, fellow cyclists and my surgeon, Paul Marks. I owe my Team Manager at Triathlon Canada, Joyce Chiang, hugely as she convinced me to return to Duathlon Worlds this past year, not just as the team physiotherapist, which was initially my plan, but as a competitor as well.

As a physiotherapist, I had a pretty good idea of what needed to be done so went to work at it pretty hard. My motivation came when I realized (by August) that things were feeling reasonably healed and strong again that I might just have a shot at a bit of a season. That's when I decided to go for it.

Q4. Being involved in such a crash, and keeping in mind that we all have to work and help provide for our families, does it affect the way you look at bike racing?

- Cycling, especially road racing, is a sport that takes years of experience and learning. Even with that experience, it can be dangerous. If you road race and think you'll never crash you should get out of the sport altogether. I have had numerous crashes, none as bad as last year, and have learned from every one of them. I have no intention of leaving the sport but have definitely become more selective in what races I enter and who I race with. Doing this minimizes the chances of serious injury and keeps everyone around me happier.

Q5. What is the biggest honour you have received in the sport?

- Canadian Duathlete of the Year (Triathlon Magazine) this year was a huge honour. OAT Duathlete of the Year a couple of times was nice as well but I have to say that winning a World Championship was the ultimate achievement in my tri/du career.

Q6. You have seen a lot of people come and go in the sport of duathlon, what kept you interested in Run/Bike/Run for so long, compared to your competitors?

- I've always considered myself a triathlete but haven't raced in one in a few years so I guess that pretty much makes me a duathlete, for now. I suppose I've just gotten in the groove of running and cycling and haven't managed to break the habit. Running and cycling are my favourite disciplines. I also love swimming but just haven't managed to incorporate it back into my training. What's kept me in it is the constant lure of going back to a World Championship with an eye on the podium.

Q7. What is the training session you love to see on your calendar? What makes it worth looking forward to?

- I love group bike rides. I ride with an amazing group of guys who call themselves the Morning Glory. They ride every Tues and Thurs morning at 5:30am in midtown Toronto. The group has grown to nearly 50 riders. The lead group are quite competitive so we all go head to head. It's like a training ride that becomes a race. I love and thrive on any kind of competition, anywhere, anytime so I love this ride! The other one I look forward to all week is the La Bicicletta/Midweek Thursday Night Time Trial series in Markham. Some of the Province and Country's best TT racers show up every week. It's uber relaxed yet uber favourite combination.

Q8. Do you think there is a chance of you returning to triathlon now that you have achieved such success in the duathlon?

- I'm always thinking about Tri. I've been back in the pool a few times this winter so who knows...??!

Q9. Is there a long term goal that you have set in triathlon, duathlon, running or cycling that you would like to accomplish?

- Long term, I'd definitely like to race a triathlon at a world championships. I'd love to defend my World Duathlon Championship. Racing a season as an elite on the international scene would be great. I'd like to place top 5 Nationally in road and or road TT one of these years and would like to run a 32:00 min 10k so I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Q10. Is there something about Dave Frake that many of your co-racers would be surprised to learn about?

- I'm a physiotherapist and practice owner of Balance Physiotherapy. My physiotherapy practice donates a minimum of 15% of it's services to those without adequate financial resources as well as a portion to elite athletes as a part of a sponsorship program. I'm French-English bilingual and can read basic Chinese. I love traveling and have lived and worked in Hong Kong and sub-Saharan Africa. I'm also passionate about great food and wine, it's something I'll never give up, not even during the race season!

My sponsors are Neal Brother's Foods, Clif Bar and Octto Cyclo components. I'd love to thank Triathlon Canada for all their great work and support over the years and would love to mention my practice-

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