Last weekend I participated in Team Imagine Sports (TIS) Tri Camp – what an experience! The phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know” rang true! I learned so much and met an amazing new group of triathletes!
Going into camp I didn’t have my training together. I had missed a few workouts due to travels and was having a hard time getting back on track. I didn’t feel sharp – I was sluggish and every workout felt like a challenge. (But, I guess that’s not different than normal, ha!)
I had received my camp schedule and noticing the volume I needed to hit that weekend – it scared me to be frank! But, what was worse, I was riding with the B group! I immediately emailed Coach Soria, “Is there a C Group?! I’m just not feeling on point lately…” “No, you’ll be fine, I promise!” he replied. I was stuck.
Camp kicked off on Friday with classroom sessions on injury prevention and “Ask a Pro” with Patrick Schuster. Who by the way, is a total stud! My key takeaways were:
– Hip mobility and stability exercises are the root cause of MOST knee issues. Stretch and strengthen those hips people!
– It only takes 5 stretches to hit major areas for athletes – SO DO IT!
– Most Pros don’t put in the hours you think… the shift has been more and more towards “quality over quantity”
The next morning we all showed up at the Town North YMCA to start our ride – the first camp workout! There were 5 groups.
Elite – Jason & Patrick
A – 84 miles
B- 84 miles
A – 64 miles
B – 64 miles
I was in the slow short group, better known as the ponytail brigade!! All the groups started off together through town and I was able to get comfortable with the crew. I lost my water bottle, not once, but twice (thanks Hector for going back to get it for me!) before we even made it out of Preston Hollow. I tossed it to the sag car and said “forget it!” (But, maybe I used another “f-word?”) So again, I was down to one bottle. Seems to be my thing? #gluttonforpunishment #dehydration
We had a lot of rolling hills during our out and back route – nothing crazy and I felt surprisingly strong given the week I had. Don’t worry, I was still pulling up the rear – but I wasn’t falling off! We stopped twice to refuel – which I very much welcomed – and made our way back to the Y in about 3.5 hours. I loved catching up with my old Y friends on the ride – that’s probably why I was able to push through so well?! Thanks Kathy and Robin!
Once back at the Y, I had to start mentally preparing to run off the bike. I pulled in and saw runners leaving the parking lot and my body cringed. I was dehydrated and beaten down …. “Where was I going to find the energy?”
I dismounted off the bike and slowly closed my legs back together and lifted my back – my body slowly unfolded like a butterfly. I grabbed my shoes, hat, a sip of water and a bite of a bonk bar and started walking to the beginning of our route. Surprisingly, 3 miles went by quickly just cruising along with my girl Robin! Perhaps, it was the excitement of only 3 miles standing before us and being D-O-N-E? But, we were moving at a pretty good clip and finished strong!
I’m not going to lie…. We had about two and a half hours between our morning workout and the next session. I drove to Frisco, showered and plopped on the sofa with a blanket over my head until the very last minute. I was wiped. Paul had to shake me to get me moving again and to drive back down to the Y…. But I made it!
The afternoon sessions reviewed mental strategy and nutrition.
– We reviewed formulas for calorie burn and intake for different disciplines. (So, I learned I’m not taking in enough calories on the bike!)
– You need to pre-load your glycogen levels on the bike so you’re ready for the run.
– You can’t digest fuel well when you’re heart rate is high – hence eat on the bike!
-Maltodextrin takes longer to digest and is harder on the stomach. (Choose a fuel that is a mix of fructose and glucose)
-Fueling is different for all! Find what works for you!
– Always remember why YOU are out there!
– Have a mantra – it will get it through the lonely miles.
I tried hard to absorb as much information as I could! The day was physically and mentally exhausting. I got home and climbed into bed praying that I could keep it up for another day of swim, run and yoga…
The next day we had a coached swim workout with Coach Mark and Coach Soria – groups were split into main set workout and drills. (I hate drills!) But, for the first time all weekend I felt like I could hold my own? I moved in the water well and I didn’t feel like I was using a lot of energy. I made all my sets and wasn’t wiped for the run?!? Thank you Jesus!
We immediately changed out of the water and prepared for our long run – a looped 4.2 miles course. Everyone had different distances they needed to cover and pace groups split pretty quickly. I ran with a few guys most of the route holding a 8:40 pace or so? Nothing crazy but I was psyched given the weekend volume thus far! My heart rate was calm, my breathing was steady and my sweat rate was slow. We did 12 miles chatting about Ironmans around the country. It was pretty perfect 🙂 #motivated
Our last workout of the weekend was Yoga for Athletes. Maybe it was because I was so tired from the weekend, but this was the most challenging part of camp! I couldn’t hold a pose for more than 5 seconds and could not stretch to reach my toes! Very humbled. (I think my favorite pose was “corpse pose!”)
After much needed showers, we wrapped up the afternoon sessions with race day logistics. We covered everything from drafting in the water, peeing off the bike (yes!), speedy transitions and run/walk strategies to finish. My biggest take away: cheering on others is sometimes the biggest push you need for yourself! The energy out there on an IM course is electric!
Plus, you never know what you just did for another athlete with a little cheer? You may of just made their race…