Sunday, March 8, 2015

LPC Triathlon Camp 2015 - Day 1: A run, a swim and a bike

After a whirlwind trip to New Orleans (I had a travel voucher that was going to expire, so I went to New Orleans a few days), I landed in Florida yesterday for the LPC Florida Triathlon Camp.

This is my third year at campLPC, so I felt pretty good coming into camp. I still think I'm a pretty terrible biker, but when you compare me to the me of three years ago - I'm made miles of improvement. Mind you, I've also biked something like 5000km since that first day of camp 3 years ago.

Aside: If you want to know where I started...check my posts from camp in 2013. While a bit awkward, I suggest starting at the bottom and working your way up so you'll see the progress over the week. You can also read my posts from camp in 2014....when I did my longest ride ever 3 times. Same suggestion...start at the bottom and work up...although the first March post from last year is unrelated.

My goals for the camp were (and are) pretty simple this year:
  1. Have fun
  2. Don't crash (a noble goal, right?)
  3. Don't get injured (during camp or on the way home)
  4. Get yet more experience riding my bike (this will be my goal forever)
  5. Do all the running without hurting my calf again (I strained my calf in January and have been going to physio and running basically easy for 6 weeks. Finally got permission to run properly again, but can't be too much of a doorknob trying to do it all today).
There are a lot of people at camp this year - with a ton of new faces. I love that because there are lots of new folks to meet and to learn from. I'm staying in a different camp house - the House of Dreams - with some great people from all over the map - from Sarnia to Halifax and Trinidad to Toronto. At camp, we also have folks from Yellowknife, Germany and lots of other places. How cool is that? There's also a crazy mix of folks from beginner to elite - from 11 to mid-sixties. We even have an expert paratriathlete here. You can't say it's not a diverse group that's for sure!

In terms of what we did on Day one....well, funnily enough, we had a swim, a bike and a run - although not in that order.

We started the day with a short, easy run in Orange Lake Resort as a warm-up, followed by some dynamic stretching and some yoga core work.

I figure the run would be good for testing my calf out. Overall, it felt great. Not even a twinge (fingers crossed it stays that way). I was better than last year at keeping the run easy...although it was a bit harder than I probably should have gone. But when a run is only 20 minutes long, it's hard to not go a little faster than you should.

I really needed the core yoga and stretching since I've been finding my shoulder a bit tight the last few days, so that was good to get ready for swimming.

Here's a great pic Coach James took of the yoga. Can you find me?


In terms of the swim groups, I was right in the middle pace-wise, so Coach Mark suggested I join the fast group. What that meant is that I worked hard the entire time to keep up because I was one of the slowest in that group.  But that's why I'm here. I'd rather push myself than take it too easy.
We worked on a number of skills during the swim, which was in a 350m lazy river (great for triathlon training since you don't have any walls but you do need to make turns and sight and keep on course. We did some dolphin diving, a lot of drafting, and some sculling, before doing a longer tempo rep (2 loops).  It felt pretty hard to me, but I think that's because I haven't swam since Tuesday this week.
After a leisurely dip in the hot tub, we headed back to the camp house via the grocery store.
After a bit of a break and some lunch, we headed out on an easy bike ride. Here's a pic of a few folks getting ready to ride. Those are Janice and Helen in the middle. I can't quite tell who the others are. Sorry guys!
Given the number of people we split into 3 groups. I was happily surprised to find myself at the top end of the beginner group, which was kind of crazy (crazy awesome!). Guess all the hard work Coach Mark has had me do on my trainer is paying off! It could also be that there weren't very many cars on the road today so I didn't feel very nervous. Mind you, being a bit quicker has nothing to do with bike handling. I am pretty sure I'm still one of the worst bike handlers at camp - although I am getting better slowly (very slowly). I used my camelback and had no issues with water. Love that thing!
We biked out to a sub-division and then rode loops around this very circuitous course that had a lot of cul-de-sacs. This meant I really had to work on my left U-turns. We had more room than a normal U-turn would give (thank goodness since my U-turns are terrible) and I managed to do them all with only a bit of slowing.
At the end of the first loop, 2 of us decided we wanted to do a second loop of the cul-de-sacs, so we joined the slowest group of the intermediate bike be group for another circuit before heading home. That loop was a bit quicker, but also quite manageable. More proof I'm in better shape than I was last year.
Throughout the bike we practiced paceline (drafting one by one), and switching leaders by peeling off the front and letting the group pass. What I realized is that sometime between last year and this one, I've learned how to look over my shoulder without veering! Whoohoo! Finally, some real progress. Last year, I couldn't even do that much. I still can't take my hands off my handlebars, but being able to turn my head is huge progress for me!
When we got back to the house, I took a shower and then relaxed while watching other people make their contributions to the pot-luck dinner (I made my one-pot dinner from Our Fresh Kitchen to bring yesterday after grocery shopping). Then we all headed over to main camp house for the pot-luck dinner and to celebrate Coach Mark's 30th birthday. His sister got him a triathlon themed cake! (Both Coach Mark's dad and sister are also at camp this year)
 After a lot of food and drink, it was time to head back to the House of Dreams and to get a good night sleep. I came back, wrote this blog...and now am headed to bed so I can wake up bright and early tomorrow for a fun day at the National Training Centre! 

1 comment:

  1. Fun! Glad you blogging this, it's really neat to read about the camp!