Trimarni camp recap - day 2 (long ride + interval run)

It was a rather late night for Karel and I after our first day of camp but as coaches, we wanted to make sure everything was taken care of for our athletes. Karel had assembled a few bikes on Wednesday when the athletes arrived and we also made sure that we had everything and anything that we would need/want during a long day of training. I had about two weeks of food shopping/prep behind me but still a bit more finishing touches for the pancake buffet on Friday. Thankfully, when it came to refueling after workouts and a few extra snacks throughout the camp, I had a lot of help thanks to fabulous companies who helped out with the first ever Trimarni camp. 

The weather was much nicer for us on Friday although it started out a bit chilly for Florida (upper 40's) but we would warm up quickly thanks to our long ride on the hilly roads of Clermont.
The workout for Friday was as follows:
3-4 hour ride (two groups based on fitness - looped course)
Interval run after the bike:
15 or 30 min run
-15 min run - 5 min steady/comfortable form focused running. Walk 1 minute, 5 min strong. Walk 1 minute, 5 min steady/cool down.
-30 min run - 5 min steady/comfortable form focused running. Walk 1 minute. MS: 3 x 5 min strong w/ 1 min walk in between. Then cool down

Infinit nutrition was the nutrition sponsor for the camp and provided all the campers with SPEED and GO FAR formulas. I helped each athlete with their nutrition for their bottles (how many scoops) as well as what formula would be the best. This was a great opportunity for the athletes to try a well-formulated sport drink that is safe, effective and efficiently digested and absorbed with the proper amounts of electrolytes and carbohydrates when mixed in water. It was not mandatory that the campers use INFINIT but rather that every athlete had adequate nutrition in their bottles to consume during the long bike. Karel and I have been so pleased with INFINIT and we will both be using INFINIT as our primary sport nutrition fuel for this season. 

The campers met at the NTC at 7:10am and we started the day with a few leg opener drills to loosen up the hips and to warm-up the body. 

Every morning, Karel and I gave a short talk on the purpose of the workout as well as key pointers to consider during the workout. For this workout, the goal was time in the saddle but also to gain confidence and skills on the bike. It's one thing to have fitness to ride a bike but on race day, you must have skills to transfer that fitness to racing conditions. Karel and I used this long bike ride as a way to ride with the campers and to give specific instructions as to when to stand or sit-up on the saddle vs being aero (a common mistake is that triathletes have a tendency to always stay aero while riding). Another major area to address was changing gears. Karel and I had a chance to ride with almost every athlete throughout the 3-4 hour ride and to help the athletes learn how to ride smarter by changing gears at appropriate times based on the terrain.
Karel mapped out a small loop (about 20-25 min course) that included 4 steady climbs which was great for the athletes to feel-out the first loop and then learn how to ride smarter on the next loop. This is really important for race day for if you don't pre-ride parts of the course or know where you are riding, you may find yourself struggling to anticipate climbs or feel confident with your skills on the bike. 

We all started together and then split-up into two groups. Karel had a group of 6 and then I had a group of 7. The course was marked so every athlete knew where to go and we gave each athlete the option as to how many loops she/he would like to do. Our goal of the camp was to stretch comfort zones and for the athletes who live in FL, climbing the hills of Clermont was a new experience and was a big confidence builder for those who are doing races on rolling terrain this summer (ex. Raleigh, Haines City, Augusta 70.3)

There was one impromptu stop to say hello to a beautiful friend who was watching us ride around....

And considering that I am always saying HI to animals when I train/race, we just had to stop to take some pics. 

Karel and I could not be more proud of every athlete who rode today. Considering that we picked a challenging course for the athletes, we heard no complaints or excuses but instead, a lot of learning took place. Because we knew that riding 3-4 hours on the hills would give each athlete a lot more training stress than riding 5+ hours on flat terrain, we were not focused on the miles but instead, what each athlete gained within each mile.
As many of you may know, Karel and I do not believe in long miles when training for endurance racing. We only do 2 long rides as part of our IM prep (which takes place 12 weeks before a race). We do 1 x 100 mile ride and 1 x 112 mile ride and then rest of our rides are around 4 hours, primarily intervals and we do more intense or longer bricks off the bike to create a more beneficial training stress than just sitting in the saddle for long hours.
Our philosophy - get faster before you go longer.

We gave the athletes the option of riding up Sugarloaf mountain (1/2 mile climb) either once or twice during the long ride or skipping sugarloaf and riding an alternate route home. We were so impressed that every athlete at our camp not only tested out Sugarloaf but not one athlete clipped out and walked. And Sugarloaf came at the end of the ride (after 2 hours of riding hills) which was incredible for every athlete!

Karel and I really enjoyed riding with our campers and often times, having an athlete draft off our wheel or riding side-by-side to talk about changing gears, getting out of the saddle or aerobars as well as how to race smarter on the bike. We really enjoyed our one-on-one time with our campers since we did not want to just have our athletes get out an ride but instead, gain experience and skills with our help.

After the ride it was time for the run and without hesitation, every athlete finished the morning with a run. I had one athlete who choose to swim after the bike instead of running, which was absolutely fine - we don't focus on CAN'T at Trimarni but instead, I CAN.

We had around 90 minutes to clean-up and have a quick recovery snack/drink before it was time for pancakes and presentations. 

Back at the NTC, I was so excited for the pancake buffet. I don't know about you, but I sure do LOVE pancakes after a long ride. 

The weekend before the camp I made 40 pancakes from scratch with gluten free flour and froze them until the camp. They were super delicious after our 4-4.5 hour workout on Friday. 

Fresh fruit (local strawberries and oranges, bananas, apples and cantaloupe), PB2 powder, KIND peanut butter granola, dark chocolate chips, Irish butter (Karel's favorite), Maple syrup, honey, dates, trail mix, unsweetened coconut, Daisy Brand 2% cottage cheese and Chobani yogurt. 

I also made chocolate chip muffins with the flap jacked protein pancake mix that I received for the camp. YUMMY!

Karel stayed rather busy at camp with RETUL fits but we were happy to offer that service as we know many athletes do not have experienced fitters near by and many times, we have athletes email Karel for advice on saddles, fits, aero bars, pedals, power meters, etc. so it was nice for everyone to have the opportunity to pick Karel's brain. 

Trimarni athlete Ryan brought his Normatec boots to share so there was a bit of compressing going on during the afternoon of presentations. We are all about active recovery and "comfy" clothes were highly suggested during our presentations. We even had our Trigger point kit (which we highly recommend) for anyone who wanted some good-hurt during our presentations. 

As part of our camp, we took time every day to reflect with the athletes. We wanted to talk about what the athletes learned during training for that day but to also ask questions about upcoming training/racing situations. Karel and I also shared stories and lessons learned from our own racing experiences (7 Ironmans for me, including 3 IM World Championships and a lifetime of cycling racing for Karel, now turned IM finisher).

The highlight of the afternoon was giving our campers a break of listening to us talk, and having Kelsey Abbott from Find your awesome give an awesome presentation about the different levels that we go through (1-7) in life and sport. She discussed how to recognize when you are in a certain level, how to move from one level to another and what levels are appropriate at certain times. The presentation had a big impact on each athlete for it related so well to the workouts during camp and all the emotions, hard work and teamwork that was needed for four days of quality training. 

Around 5pm it was time to call it a day.

Some of the athletes jumped in the pool for a recovery swim while Karel and I cleaned up our presentation room and took some time finalizing the details (course, workouts, sport nutrition, recovery snacks, etc.) for day three of the camp.

Karel and I had given every athlete an itinerary before the camp but we did not give specifics on the intervals or purpose of the workout. Rather than overload our athletes with haphazard workouts just to do miles during camp, it was really important that we placed the right stress on our athletes bodies, at the right time, to ensure that we could minimize risk for injury/burnout or fatigue and ensure that our campers would have well fueled bodies (who could tolerate sport nutrition effectively in the hills) to perform strong for every workout as it came throughout camp. And most of all, this camp was designed to improve fitness so that after our athletes recovered, they would not only have new skills and confidence but a stronger foundation to work with during upcoming training. 

After two days of training hard and training smart, we gave our athletes the heads up that day three was going to be a tough day. We encouraged everyone to rest up and to be mentally strong for the brick workout on Saturday.
Karel and I were really excited to show our athletes exactly how we train for endurance events by giving them one of our key "long" workouts. Rather than doing a solo long run or solo long bike we combine a longish interval bike with a longish interval run for a quality workout to work on nutrition and pacing for race day.