Saturday, March 22, 2008

Epic Training Camp!!!!

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:
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....

Tucson: road to Aravaca

This is what you see when you cycle in Tucson.  This is on the road south to Aravaca which is about 50 miles south of Tucson.  Pretty close to Mexico.  the riding is awesome!

Speedway Trail Run

Coach Pete and I before running out at the end of Speedway.  He is a truly kind and genuine person.

Tucson: Speedway Trail run

Jay interviewing Sam and Cliff for his Triathlete blog

Tucson: Gates Pass

Coach Cliff at the top of Gates shortly before flying off to China...

Tucson: Mt Lemmon

Up in Summerhaven at mile 25 there is a cafe with some pretty tasty pies....Pete is happy post pie!

Tucson US Team ride

Sam getting her game face on to lead out a US Nat team ride.

Tucson Bar-B-Q

The Endurance Specialists Brain Trust with Anders on a BBQ night (Pete, Sam, Anders, Clint, Paul).  Cliff was in Bejing.

Tucson: Phone Line Trail Run

Paul Cross and Anders gearing up for an epic 3 hour trail run.

Tucson Swim

Anders on the deck after putting 5700 yds in the bank

Tucson: McCain Loop

Anders leading Coach Paul on the McCain Loop roller coaster on the back side of Gates Pass.

Pre-ride talk

Coach Paul giving Anders the game plan prior to our final day ride.

Tucson pic--IM brick ride

Sam preparing to beat up Anders and I on an IM brick ride.

February Totals

Sorry for taking so long to get this posted.  Here are the totals for February and YTD versus last year:
2008 2007 Change

Swim 33500 49500 -32%
Bike 679.6 719.5 -5.5%
Run 119.7 95.9 +25%
Hours 77:40 82:25 -6%


Swim 73,050 102,400 -29%
Bike 1509.2 1515.0 0%
Run 275.0 218.1 +26%
Hours 174:18 180:39 -4%

So compared to last year, with the exception of running, February 2008 was a lighter training month.  This is due to a heavy personal schedule and a strategy of holding back a bit in Jan/Feb so I don't peak too soon (I probably peaked too early last year).  My swimming volume is further behind than I'd like but I plan to heavy up on swimming in April/May in front of Eagleman.  My running volume continues to stay 25% ahead of last year although it's all base work.  I'll start adding speed in April.

The big news will be my epic spring training camp in Tucson in March (which I just returned from) which I'll post an update on shortly....