Monday, March 9, 2015

LPC Triathlon Camp - Day 2: NTC Clearmont

On Day 2 of the LPC Florida Triathlon Camp, we got up bright and early to head over to the National Training Centre in Clearmont, Florida for a number of sessions. By early, I mean that I set my alarm for 6am because I don't like numbers that start before that if I can help it!

The first session we had was a warm-up run, including a short game of soccer, followed by a whole series of running drills (As, Bs, Cs, Karaoke, etc.). I knew the running drills already, but I actually got a great piece of advice about the Bs that finally made me be able to do them smoothly (I've always done them terribly in the past). The piece of advice was to pause when you lift a leg and before you kick it outward. You don't pause for more than a micro-second, but enough to feel it and then shift into the next movement.

Oh wow, what a difference. Suddenly I could do the Bs without any problem!

Here we are doing the drills.  I believe this picture is from Coach James (at least I "borrowed" it from his Twitter post).

After the drills, we went to the long hill and split into two groups for some hill repeats. Those of us training for longer distances worked on reps of the hill that had a lower incline than those training for sprints/Olympics. Mind you, I'd have done the lower incline anyway given I'm only now starting to run harder again following my calf injury.

And on that note, Coach Mark's instructions included going no harder than steady, so I did my best to keep it that way on the hills and I think I did a legitimate job of trying to do so (maybe not perfect, but a legitimate attempt). It's so hard when people are passing you, but I just focused on what I was doing!

After the run, we had a bit of time to change and eat a quick snack before heading to the pool for our swim workout. The NTC has a fantastic outdoor pool that is an utter joy to swim in. Here we are (another picture courtesy of Coach James).

Can you find me? I can, but I know what my swim cap looks like! If you want a hint, well - I was right in the middle pace-wise during the lazy river session, and that was right for this as well.

The swim was really well done. We had 4 coaches, each of whom led a 20 minute session with a group of 2 lanes. That worked perfectly for getting advice on different technique and drill sets while also getting the benefit of everyone working with each coach.

Coach Mark led our group off with some open water exercises (like trying to catch the person ahead, and different sighting drills (head-up free, eyes out of the water free with side breathing, and then full sighting). I actually quite like sighting, but head up free is really hard.

Coach Nate (Nate Kortuem is Sarah Haskins' Coach. He came by to lead part of the swim session) has us working with bands around our ankles. I found this much easier this year than I did when we tried it last year. I didn't sink nearly as much, nor did I feel quite as dead afterwards.

Coach Alexandra had us doing a range of swim drills focused on rotation. Including kicking on side,  dog paddle, shark, and shark with the hip lead roll. I realized I've been doing the hip lead roll wrong all the time and finally figured out how to do it right.

Coach Karsten had us doing a main set...but that's right when I had to get out to go do my swim video with Coach James so I missed much of that part. Isn't that terrible? I came back just in time for a descend 1-3 100s, but to be honest, I was already pretty toast so I think it was more like 3-2-2. But I gave it my best.

After the swim session, we had time for a bit of a break (and a shower) before we met up in a conference room for a great lunch (sandwiches and smoothies), and 2 talks. The first session was a Q&A with Sarah Haskins. We had Sarah at camp last year, so it was great to hear what she had to say about this past year. She actually had a great year (won a bunch of races), but then got a stress fracture. It was interesting to hear her talk about her recovery and lessons learned given my own recent calf strain. Makes me think I shouldn't have spent two months thinking the pain would go away and waiting for it to stop me in my tracks during a workout. Umm yes.

Following Sarah's talk, Coach Mark gave a session on nutrition and hydration. Every time Coach Mark gives a talk I learn something new - today there were a few things, but partly it was about the possible benefits of beet juice before a run. I'd heard it was good, but always interesting to hear more about the why. He also touched on the benefits of caffeine (which is good, since I like my coffee).

The discussion with Coach Mark overflowed his session and continued during the car trip back to the resort and I got a few more interesting tidbits about carbohydrate and marathon running...including the fact that getting faster at the marathon (or maybe just more experienced) doesn't mean you can run with less carbs...but rather you should get better at taking in more carbs which will, in turn, help you get better.

Oh, before I left the National Training Centre, I had to get a pic!

Once we got back to the house we had a short break before meeting up again for a technical focused bike session.

This session was different from last year in that we both broke up into groups - and the entire focus of the session was on technique. Our group (the beginners of course!) focused on cornering, riding slowly, making sharp turns and also a bit on drafting.

I was happily surprised to gain additional confirmation that I've gotten better, at least compared to the last two years. I managed most of the beginner drills without any issues and I actually felt pretty comfortable. My only issue (and it is a big one) was my problem making left U-turns. Every single time I tried with the group, I failed. I was so annoyed, when the session was over, I spent an additional 20 minutes working on the turns. In the 20 or more that I tried, I made the left hand U-turn exactly once. Yes, once. But I'm trying!

I took a very well earned shower after that, and then had dinner with a number of people in my house - Mostly Coach Mark, his dad and sister, and Simon (a nice guy from Halifax), although Marlon (a speedy guy from Trinidad joined in for the fun). We chatted right up until 10pm when I realized I needed to hurry up and get this blog done so I could go to bed.

Tomorrow, we have a longer-bike with a short run after. I was chatting with Coach Mark tonight after dinner and we agreed that I should ride with the intermediate group. I might be one of the slowest in that group, but it should be good experience. And, like swimming, I'd rather be the slowest by a little in one group, than one of the faster people in another. I figure it might be scary and more challenging, but it is also better for me in terms of long-term improvement.

And in case you're keeping track of the weather, it was great for our run, a bit chilly for the swim (the wind and cool air temperature, and then became warm and sunny for the bike (AKA: Perfect!).

See you tomorrow!

Special thanks: A special "Hello" to one of my readers - Lisa Atkins. Gia tells me you've been following along! Thanks for reading! You make me happy knowing someone other than my mother reads my blog! ::grin::

No comments:

Post a Comment