Well I just returned from an epic training camp in Tucson, Arizona. I went out on March 5th and returned yesterday, March 21st--16 days of hardcore training. Five of those days were at Paul Cross' Endurance Specialists Advanced Triathlon Camp and the other eleven days were training with an assorted group of world class triathletes. The last six days I was joined by my son Anders.
At the camp we had 4 coaches: Paul Cross (he runs the camp and is my son's coach--he is a fantastic triathlon coach and is also expert in swim technique and nutrition), Pete Reid (he of course is a 3x Hawaii winner and was my coach last year), Clint Lien (Clint is an outstanding coach who has worked with Pete for many years) and Cliff English (he is the national coach of the US Olympic Triathlon Team). (Their website is: www.endurancespecialists.com).
As I mentioned, I was also able to train with a number of triathletes who were there during my 16 days including Sam McGlone (she finished 2nd at hawaii last year, won the 1st IM70.3 WC and was a Canadian olympian), TJ Tollakson (1st at Eagleman last year, 3rd at IMLou and Vineman...), several members of the US National Team and a number of elite Canadians who were around as well.
We stayed at a Marriott Residence Inn which was right next to a Trader Joe's and a Starbucks (plus a number of restaurants). It was perfect. We rode every day including some epic climbs up Mt. Lemmon and a lot of repeats over Gates' Pass. Anders and I did a monster ride out to Kitt Peak. The running focus was on transition runs and technique although we did get a fair amount of volume. Swimming was in an outdoor pool that was about a mile away and was also technique oriented (we had video feedback from Paul). The weather was generally fantastic, about 45 in the early morning and rising to low 80s by the afternoon with tons of sunshine and no humidity (we did have two pretty tough "cold" days were the weather only reached the low 50s with wind and rain).
At night we had a number of "talks" on nutrition, the mental aspects of triathlon and Pete and Sam on how to excel in Hawaii. After the camp was over there was a lot of hanging around, going out to dinner and generally resting up for the next day's training load. Here is a summary of my daily training (the format is Swim in yds/Bike in miles/run in miles):
Day 1: 0/34.0/0
Day 2: 0/65.5/8.0
Day 3: 1650/57.0/4.5
Day 4: 0/42.2/6.5
Day 5: 2500/50.4/5.5
Day 6: 1700/31.2/10.5
Day 7: 0/69.4/5.2
Day 8: 0/71.8/0
Day 9: 2000/28.0/0
Day 10: 3300/59.0/6.0
Day 11: 2250/71.4/5.0
Day 12: 0/107.0/2.0
Day 13: 0/40.4/11.3
Day 14: 5000/47.0/6.8
Day 15: 3000/59.5/10.0
Day 16: 1700/97.8/2.2
Total: swim: 23,100 yds Bike: 931.6 miles Run: 83.5 miles
This was obviously a huge training load (over 5 hours/day on average) and especially jumped up my bike fitness. I'm spending the next week in recovery mode to make sure I absorb all the training volume.
What the numbers don't tell is the intensity, which on the bike was many times right at my power limit. We also had a ton of vertical elevation change on almost every ride. Also, we had to deal with the elevation especially on the Mt. Lemmon climbs. The numbers also don't tell all the great experiences like getting in a breakaway with Sam and TJ or the epic IM brick Anders and I did with Sam or the fun discussions we had with a universally talented group of triathletes who are also just great people. I'll also post a blog with pics....