5/29/17

2017 Trimarni Greenville Skills Camp wrap-up


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. 
Day 1 swim skills:
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 
After the discussion, it was time for our campers to get into the water for a 90-minute skill focused swim, followed by a "main set" to put all the skills to good use.

Here are some pictures from our first skills session, taken by Joey, who was our support throughout camp.







Day 1: Run skills
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
After our run skills session, we gave our athletes a workout to put everything together. 
Here are some pictures from our run skills session. 









Day 1 Bike skills: After a 2 hour break for food/recovery, it was time for our last session of the day - which was the one I was most looking forward to as I know how much triathletes need to work on bike handling skills. 
Karel did a phenomenal job working with our athletes on their bike handling skills and we had a variety of drills to practice in a safe parking lot at Trailblazer park. 

Knowing that many triathletes are afraid on the bike, and tend to spend a lot of emotional energy while riding, we spent a full hour working on bike handling skills so that our campers could ride more relaxed and confident on two wheels. 
A few reasons why triathletes should work on bike skills: 
  • 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. 
Many crashes can be avoided with experience, skills and mental preparation. 

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
After our drill session, it was time to take the bike riding to real conditions. We all rode 5 miles down the road to a safe and quiet location with a steep hill to practice climbing and descending. 

Here are some pictures from our bike skills session:

















And what camp would be complete without a pic with Mr. Llama!


Day 2: For our second day of camp, we all met at Hotel Domestique for a 2.5 hour ride followed by a 20-minute run.

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)

MS 3x's:
9 minutes Z2 as 3 minutes 75rpm, 3 minutes 65 rpm, 3 minutes 55 rpm.
Then ride back down for recovery
6 minutes Z2/3 as 55-65rpm
Then ride back down for recovery
4 minutes Z3 as 45-55rpm

After the ride, we all rode back to the hotel for a quick transition to the run. We had our campers run a 20-minute hilly run to show them that even though they did a lot of mechanical work on the bike, they saved their cardio system for the run. Everyone did amazingly well and gave 100% for the entire 3 hour brick. 








Day 2 nutrition/training talk: 
After a few hours of recovery, we all met downtown Greenville for a 2-hour Q&A talk at Falls Park before dinner at Trio Brick Oven. This was a great opportunity for our campers to ask us questions and to talk about the application of sport nutrition for triathletes. Our campers asked great questions!


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. 

What a successful camp! We could not be more proud of our campers who invested a lot to improve swim/bike/run skills. We overloaded their heads with information and they had a lot of one on one help. We have no doubt that our campers built a lot of confidence from camp and will feel more prepared for upcoming training and racing. 






And to finish off camp - awards for all of the campers!


What an inspiring group of athletes! Best of luck this season! 

We would also like to give a big thank you to the Trimarni sponsors and affiliates who continue to support the Trimarni team and camps:

-Run In - for helping us with all of our running needs
-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
-Xterra - for the fastest wetsuit ever (so fast, Karel is now beating me in the swim!)
-Alto cycling - for enginnering the fastest race wheels
-Swamp Rabbit Inn and Lodge - for keeping our campers happy with perfect lodging options
-Salem Anesthesia - for your Trimarni support