Well, that's a wrap! With our first Greenville skills camp behind us, we wanted to take an opportunity to share with you the highlights of the camp.
We met our eight campers at Furman University (Physical Activities Center - PAC) outside the building and then proceeding inside to a large classroom for a meet and greet, followed by a 90-minute discussion on swimming. We designed this skills camp to be a small, intimate and personalized camp to ensure that every camper was able to get one on one attention with lots of opportunities for questions.
Swimming topics discussed included:
- Pool versus open water swimming
- Importance of body posture, alignment and propulsion as an open water swimmer
- Framework of an effective swim workout
- Tips to improve swimming as a triathlete and common swimming mistakes by triathletes
- Detailed discussion of the phases of a swim stroke - catch, pull, exit, recovery
- How to breath when swimming
- Discussion of pool toys and importance of swimming with toys versus swimming with drills - ankle strap, fins, buoy, snorkel, fins
- Open water tips
Here are some pictures from our first skills session, taken by Joey, who was our support throughout camp.
Following our swim skills session, it was time to head down the road to Poinsett Park for a run skills session. We had our campers get warmed up with a 1/2 mile EZ jog. We then started our run skills discussion on the following topics:
- Posture and form
- How to reduce risk for injury in running
- How to improve running efficiency
- Tips for food form running
- Running drills
- Busting some running myths: Shoe types, running styles, strength, stride rate/length
- Up and downhill running tips
- To feel safe and confident on all types of terrain and conditions
- To ride comfortably around other riders
- To be able to to safely pass other people and dodge obstacles in the road
- To improve safety and safety of those around you.
After helping our athletes learn how to sit properly on the bike while learning how to stay relaxed, it was time to work on some drills!
- Practice changing gears while riding – small ring to big ring, etc.
- Anticipate stopping quickly and unclipping quickly.
- Hand skills – right turn, left turn, slowing/stopping, signal something on the road, grabbing bottles, rotating bottles
- Look behind you and keep the bike in a straight line
- U-turns – left, right
- Figure 8’s
- Standing up
Karel first discussed a few terrain management tips for riding on the hills as well as why we want to learn how to stretch our available cadence to help ride more efficiently (rather than shifting to the smallest gear to "save your legs"). To apply this information, Karel gave the group a main set that we could ride with our campers to help with some one on one work.
We all rode together to the base of the Watershed and performed the main set on the watershed (up for each interval and then down for recovery)
9 minutes Z2 as 3 minutes 75rpm, 3 minutes 65 rpm, 3 minutes 55 rpm.
Then ride back down for recovery
Day 3: Transition work
It's very common that triathletes put a lot of time into training but neglect the importance of having a plan and practicing the plan for a quick, effective and smooth transition. Because transitions can cause a lot of anxiety, stress and time, we want to practice transitions and to think of them as "free" time in your overall triathlon time. In other words, you don't have to be fit and trained to have a quick transition.
We gave our campers a few transition tips and then for their final workout, they had several opportunities to practice transitions.
We started with a run around a cement track, followed by transitioning to the bike. We set up a little course which included a mount line, a 2 mile bike course (with a descend and hill on this bike loop) and a run course that led to the track. Our campers had to set up their gear similar to a race and we even had a transition rack for them to practice their entire transition.
Our campers did a total of 8 transitions (run, bike, run, bike, run, bike, run, bike, run). Of course, knowing that transitions are never smooth, we made sure that "stuff" happened to our campers in transition - like another cyclist getting in your way on the mount line or your helmet getting knocked off your bike and one of your shoes moving to another athlete's transition area. We made sure to think of all transition scenarios so that our campers could practice, practice, practice to build confidence for race day.
-New Wave Swim Buoy - for keeping us safe and seen in the open water
-Mg12 - for helping our muscles stay relaxed
-Clif Bar - for quality ingredients in quality sport nutrition
-Cheribundi - for providing a safe, natural and delicious way to reduce inflammation
-Veronica's Health Crunch - for the most delicious hand made crunch - ever!
-Infinit - for customizable sport nutrition
-Levelen - for helping us optimize our hydration needs through sweat testing
-Hot Shot - for keeping Karel cramp-free!
-Solestar - for maximum stability, better power transmission
-Boco Gear - for helping us race in style
-Canari - for the most comfortable, functional and stylish gear