If you haven't put on a triathlon camp before, it requires a lot of hard work, planning and attention. I often feel like an event planner for several months leading up to the camp and then I feel like a race director (worrying about everyone and hoping everything goes smoothly) for the duration of the camp.
But when the camp comes to a close and I can finally relax, I find great relief that our campers have made improvements, mentally, physically and nutritionally, while building confidence with their skills and in the end, all of the planning was well worth it.
The hands on experience is extremely valuable at our camps as we can see athletes in action and provide immediate feedback on how to train and race better/smarter. We also find group training, in a new environment, so beneficial for athletes as you can always give a little more with others, than what you can give when you are alone.
Considering that all age-group athletes have other responsibilities in life to balance alongside training, a training camp allows you to wake up and have no additional responsibilities except to train, eat and sleep. Although many triathletes try to stay present during workouts and squeeze in the training without distractions, it's very difficult to turn off your parent, work or regular life responsibilities.
Triathlon training requires a lot of discipline, alongside a very organized life. Strict schedules, for months at a time, can often leave you overwhelmed and exhausted. Every athlete, regardless of fitness level, deserves a break from life, so that you can focus on doing something amazing with your body. And because a triathlon camp typically lasts between 3-5, you can gain so much in a short amount of time to help you get more out of your training, in your home environment, when you are always time-crunched and in a rush to get things done.
For the upcoming campers who will be attending the 2017 Trimarni Greenville Advanced camp, here's what they can expect to gain over 4.5 packed days:
- No distractions - The focus of our camp is triathlon training. Therefore, we minimize the distractions and keep the attention on skills, nutrition, sleep and of course, training, all in an effort to help our campers create success at their upcoming triathlon events. There's no doubting that leaving the pressures of life, even for just a few days, can help an athlete make a significant amount of athletic progress, all while learning new skills and tools for better training.
- Learning - At our camps, we provide a great amount of education so that the focus is not on accumulating training miles but making each training mile count. In addition to the education, Karel and I are always alongside our athletes - either on the pool deck, on our bikes or side-by-side when running. We don't believe in sending our athletes off to workout on their own but instead, "coaching" our athletes in every training session. We want our athletes to learn as much as they can at camp so that they can apply good training habits/strategies in their home environment. Karel and I put our own training on hold as we make Trimarni camp all about our athletes.
- Group training - For most triathletes, tight schedules and inflexible life demands require a lot of solo training. Our training camps offer the perfect environment for group training where no athlete feels too slow or excluded. We specifically plan routes that cater to the abilities of our athletes and provide workouts that will help each athlete gain something special from each training session. By the end of camp, our athletes have created new friendships and have an extra dose of motivation to bring home, all thanks to the group training environment at camp. I really do believe that group training brings out the best in an athlete as you can train with like-minded individuals who "get you".
- Confidence and skills - The best way to improve your skills and confidence is to train in an environment that is safe and slightly unfamiliar/uncomfortable. With the right instruction, you can learn how to break bad habits that have been keeping you from making progress. Greenville offers beautiful scenery and safe roads but the terrain is not easy, specifically for cycling. Our challenging terrain provides our campers with ample opportunities to learn, practice skills and gain confidence. There's no point completing workouts if you are not doing things well - the focus of training is self improvement and personal development.
- Fun! - I believe that if you want to improve as a triathlete, you have to be dedicated, consistent and patient but you also have to have a lot of fun. Seeing that performance improvements take time, you need to have fun along the way, all while keeping your body in good health. Being able to call yourself a triathlete is a gift and it should not be taken for granted. Training should not be a chore, but it should be something that you want to do because it enriches your life and keeps you happy and well.