Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LPC Triathlon Camp - Day 4: The day I liked the rain

I've been looking at the weather reports for a week - and haven't been too impressed with the rain scheduled for today - including the possibility of Thunderstorms.

But really, while we had a ton of rain today - I can't complain about the timing. Not like last year, that's for sure. This year - the rain was perfectly timed.

Woke up this morning to high humidity and a lot of cloud cover, but by the time we made it to Lake Louisa State Park - the humidity fell off a little bit (thank goodness) and it still wasn't raining.

We did one loop of the mile run course and a loop of the 11k bike course as a warm up, before getting into some transition practice. After a couple of fun (and funny) demonstrations - we did two rounds of transition practice, including a run to the bike, bike around the parking lot, dismount, change from bike to run, and a quick run to the finish. I found this helpful - mostly as a reminder. Don't think I'll be doing any crazy dismounts or anything any time soon though (or really - ever!).

After that, we did two brick intervals - bike and run, then bike and run - of the same course.

I loved this workout for many reasons - mostly because the park was very quite and traffic was minimal. I think I saw a handful of cars the whole time - which gave me time to really enjoy biking and practicing gearing and the like. Even managed a few decent down hills. Other than one narrow U-turn that I missed the line on twice (although I just rode onto the grass - nothing bad and no "fall" involved!), I actually thought I did pretty well. Was riding an average of 26km an hour for most of it - which seemed pretty decent for me!

My runs off the bike were all pretty good, especially given the humidity. I managed a great tempo pace for the two actual intervals (4:39 pace per km).

Right after the last bike loop, it started to spit - raining just a tad on my last run. But pretty much the second I finished the skies opened up and it started to pour rain. I felt a bit bad for the poor folks doing another loop of the bike course - but I was over the moon that the rain waited until I was done to start!

We did not get to go for our open water swim practice in the lake, but given I live on a lake and swam a lot last summer - I was okay with that. I will trade that experience for a good bike one any day! But we had a good make-up session instead - heading to Orange Lake Resort for 5 loops of the 250m lazy river....which was mostly empty.

This afternoon was spent getting caught up on some work and going for a chocolate milkshake with one of my housemates who was craving one. It was really good - and worked as my dinner along with an Orange. That balances out, right?

Before our swim video analysis - one of the campers led a yoga session on the back deck of the LPC Camp House - which was a great chance to do some stretching and movements not used during the swim, bike and run. She did a great job dealing with a group of generally awkward and un-stretchy triathletes who tried our best and yet still probably looked like drunk squirrels.

Following the yoga session, we went inside and Coach James gave analysis of everyone's swim videos - which were taken on Monday at the National Training Centre. I found it just as interesting as last year because seeing what other people do wrong helps you get a sense of what you can do differently (or what you do right!). Like last year, I still kick way too much - although I did notice I am kicking more from the hip - where last year I was kicking from the knee. That's improvement right there.

My hand position was also a bit off - but I usually don't have that problem (or at least it's never come up before) - so wondering if that was because I was so tired from trying to keep up with the fast folks in my lane. Either that, or maybe I've introduced something into my stroke incorrectly. I asked Coach Mark about it. Fortunately, he wasn't too concerned given I'd just done a harder track session and running can affect stuff like that. He also said that given my swim times are still improving - I shouldn't lose any sleep over it (not that I would anyways). Although he did say he'd take a look at my last video and see if there's a trend. Better to try and stop bad habits from forming before they become too ingrained!

So overall - a great day with lots of fun and challenging things, plus lots of learning. Just the right kind of day!

Lessons learned?
  1. Rain is best when it happens when a bike ride is over (oh, right - that's a given with me).
  2. I don't seem to have any problem running off the bike (like I said - it's my reward for finishing!). Although I expect my inability to fuel on the bike will bite me in the butt one day if I had to run longer (like the 21.1k I'll need to do after my 90k ride in Niagara). Really need to figure out that one. I admit - more so than the distances themselves which no longer scare me - I am afraid I won't get the nutrition issue resolved. But because I know it's an issue - of course I will, right? I believe it! :)
  3. There's always something to learn - no matter how good you are (and some of the folks here are pretty darned good).
On a funny note, one of the other folks in my house came up with a better word for the "unskilled" bike group. She decided we should be called the "Elite Recreational Group" ... or the "Entry-Level Triathletes." I admit, that made me laugh a lot (and all the others in our little group). Of course, it was probably only funny because we were so tired after the 70+ kilometres yesterday.

Off to Sugarloaf tomorrow - along with another great swim session in the Lazy River. Can't wait!

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