Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LPC Triathlon Camp - Day 4: Lake Louisa State Park Brick/OWS

Today was a fantastic day at camp - set in the beautiful confines of Lake Louisa State Park - a perfect training ground for triathlon, especially on a Wednesday morning during a week that isn't March Break (although last year it was perfect too, so time doesn't seem to matter much).

One of the best parts about this camp is the fact you can get camp transportation. This meant that I just dropped my bike off at the LPC Camp House and it got loaded in the coaches' custom-made trailer (for lack of a better word, they've set it up to rack bikes in a very stable and safe way)...hopped in one of the cars, and then picked up my bike at the awesome. (They also transport the bikes to and from Florida, which makes my life a million times easier as well)

This year, the coaches also managed to squeeze in transition racks (maybe they have a secret TARDIS), making our transition practice and brick workout at the lake incredibly realistic. It was awesome.

We rode one loop of the resort (11km) and ran 1 mile as a warm up before getting into the transition practice. As a part of that, we had a couple of demo transitions before we did our own transition practice. We started at a line and pretended we were coming out of the swim, got onto our bikes at a "mount" line, rode around the parking lot to a "dismount" line, then transitioned to the run and then ran a hundred meters. It's such a good way to get familiar with transitions, especially for the beginners in the crowd. But I always need more practice given I've managed to waste a lot of time in transition at races - usually because of trying to get my watch working, but still: practice makes perfect.

After the transition practice, we got into the main workout...3 reps of a brick workout - the 11km ride around the park, and the 1 mile run (same as the warmup). My goal from Coach Mark was to descend the bike workouts effort-wise (the last one should have been the hardest) and to keep the run segments fairly steady.

In reality, I ended up taking the first set too hard...I don't have the exact bike time, but it was definitely the fastest of the 3 reps...and then I followed that with a quicker than I was aiming for run (~4:45km pace). In my defence, I had my watch in bike mode at that point so couldn't see my I wasn't trying to run hard.

The second rep of the bike was pretty close to the first rep I think (23:00), while the second rep of the run was more around what I was supposed to be running at (~4:57 pace)

On the third rep of the bike, I started to have issues. While I managed the second half of the rep pretty well, the first half of the rep was slower. I am not sure if that was just accumulated fatigue, biking after running, or what. Probably a bit of both. Either way, the entire rep was a fair bit slower (around 24:30). Interestingly, my last run rep felt much harder, but I was better able to keep the pace consistent with the second rep...ending up with the exact same pacing.

BUT, on the cool side, that last bike rep was still faster than my fastest bike rep from last year! How awesome is that? And last year I only did 2 main-set reps...while this year I was able to do 3. So I've definitely come a long way since last year. Not to mention my fastest rep today was a good 2 minutes faster than my fastest rep from last year.

Here a few of us are posing for a "Hey we did it" selfie (which turned out terribly). Thankfully one of the other campers caught the attempt on camera. LOL. Thanks Beth!

Originally, we were going to do yoga right after the interval brick workout, but we were pretty much all scorching hot (It was about 89-90f) from the runs so Coach James and Mark decided that we should do the open water swim first.

I have to say, while putting on my wetsuit while sweaty was a little challenging (and hot!), the swim itself was amazing. I will admit, I love swimming in open water. I don't know why, but it is just so much better than swimming in a pool.

For the swim, Coach Mark and Coach Nissim lugged some buoys out for us to use. (Really, the whole day felt like going to a race it was so well set up). We swam a quick lap out to one of the buoys for a warm-up and then were given the option of doing 2 or 3 loops (out to one buoy, across to the other and back into shore) of the "course." I decided to do 3 figuring it was a great day for a swim. After those loops, we did a 4th loop with a partner so we could practice drafting, and a 5th loop just because we had the time.

The water was pretty much as nice as you could make it. It was a bizarre colour (apparently the trees in the area turn the water a murky red-brown), but otherwise calm and quite warm.

Here we are starting the swim (Coach James took this one). I'm already in the water, so you won't see me here.

Following the swim, we had a nice relaxing yoga session led by one of the other campers who is also a yoga instructor. It was really helpful for loosening up all the muscles I'd been working all day long. Also, lying in the heat after a cold shower was quite pleasant...although I think a few people who didn't have the chance to shower found the heat a bit harder to handle.

Coach James of course caught us on camera. Yes, that's me in the white shirt. I would've worn a tank top, but I used that as a replacement towel since I didn't bring long sleeves it was. On the plus side, I wasn't going to get burned.

On the way back to the house after yoga, Coach Mark mentioned the possibility of getting a late lunch/early dinner at an all-you-can-eat pizza place called CiCi's. For $9, we got all we could eat pizza, salad, pasta and pop.

Would hungry triathletes go for such a deal? What do you think?

At the end of the meal, Coach Mark even went for a joy ride. Yes, the car made noises and the lights flashed.

Originally, we were going to do our swim video analysis today, but Coach Mark got caught up discussing things with another camp house, so we decided to postpone our swim video seminar until tomorrow - which is good, since it gave me this time to write my blog entry for the day. Phew! Wouldn't want you to miss out!
Tomorrow, we had back to the Lazy River for a decidedly not-very-lazy swim. In the afternoon, we'll be doing the infamous Sugarloaf climb, which Coach Mark wants me to try and do 2 times. We'll see how that goes since the second rep will be entirely dependent on whether there is enough time for me to do so. But either way, it's bound to be another amazing day.

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