6/27/17

Trimarni endurance camp reflections - day 2


When we told our campers that day 2 of camp included a ride up Caesar's head mountain, we had a few campers that smiled with excitement and others looked at us with big, worried eyes....and maybe a few with the look of "are you freakin' crazy??"

This is exactly what we love about our training camps. With every camper, there are strengths and weaknesses. The positive energy is contagious in a group training environment so when one athlete is fearful or worried, another camper can pass along his/her positive energy to someone else. With this team approach, everyone has the opportunity to excel.


We divided the campers into two groups. Assistant coach Joe and I lead one group at 7:30am and Karel and Thomas lead another group at 8:15am.

We modified our original route just slightly so that we didn't exhaust our campers too much before the start of the 7 mile climb.

The first 20 miles to get to the base of Caesar's head included some rolling hills but nothing too technical. As we got closer to the mountains, the views became more and more beautiful.

We gave our campers the option to either ride steady and conquer the mountain or build the effort throughout the 7-mile climb. Because many of our campers had never climbed a mountain before, they paced their effort to finish strong at the top. 



Thankfully, the sun was shining and the fog had cleared so we knew our campers would be in for a treat at the top of the mountain. 

Like most of our routes, there is no "easy" riding. This ~50 mile route included over 4000 feet of elevation gain. 



Here are some pictures that Joey took of our campers climbing up the mountain. 

Pat, Meredith and Justine. 

Michaela and me. 

Karel and Danielle. 

Sandra. 

Celeste, Elizabeth and Tim. 


Nature-made water fountain.


Every camper made it to the top! What a huge success and confidence builder. Karel, Joe and I made sure that every camper gave that last little bit of effort at the top so we kept riding down the mountain (about 1000 feet) to catch  those who were still coming up. It was great to see them suffer just a bit at the top. 


After a quick refuel with SAG, it was time to take some pics and finally enjoy the views! All that hard work wasn't for nothin'! 


It was surprisingly windy at the top but the air was crisp and the clouds broke up just enough for us to enjoy the magnificent views. So proud of our campers - this was no easy climb!

And a big thank you to our SAG/photographer Joey for being there when we needed her (and for the cheers/support!)! 


As we all know - what goes up, must come down. We knew several of our campers would be a little scared on the descend down the mountain so Karel and I stayed in the back to make sure that our campers used the correct skills when descending to make for a safe and effective ride down the mountain. Thankfully - everyone made it down! 


After the descend, we regrouped and split into two groups again and rode back to the lodge. Once again, our bike-friendly roads included beautiful views. 



After the climb, our campers had a 10-20 min transition run. We always believe in teaching the body that running comes after biking so we typically include a short run after almost all long bike rides. 

                                                              Stephanie looking strong! 

                                                                   Light on the feet Thomas!


Meredith - always focused and determined! 

                                                      Katja - always full of positive energy! 


                                                                      Great work Jiim! 


                                                      Kevin and Kathleen working together. 

Our campers had a few hours to eat and relax before a 4-5pm skill swim session at Furman. Although our campers were tired, they didn't complain about being in the water as this was a low-stress swim focusing on technique.

Nutrition for the bike and swim:
Bike:
4 bottles sport drink (26-28 ounce) each with ~220-240 calories + extra calories (solid food/gummies) as needed.
SAG stop: Coke, water, saltines, Clif bars, pretzels, pickles, bananas, Hot Shot.

Run off the bike:
~80 calories in 10 ounce flask of water

Swim:
~80-120 calories sport drink in 20-28 ounce water. 


After the swim, our campers had certainly worked up an appetite so it was time for our pizza party! No camp (or key race) is complete without pizza! We ordered 10 pizzas from Mellow Mushroom and our campers did a nice job polishing off most of the pizzas. 


We finished day 2 of camp with a recap talk of our bike/run/swim workouts and also discussed the plans for day 3 of camp.

After two full days of training, we knew our campers would be tired and mentally exhausted for the 3rd day of camp. In our experience, day 3 of camp is always the hardest - mentally and physically. But over the past two days, we could see the confidence building in each athlete and we wanted to prove to them that they could tackle one of our hardest climbs in NC (just over the SC border). Knowing that athletes often set physical limits much further back than what is physically possible, we wanted to prove to our campers that on day 3 of camp, they could accomplish more than what they thought was capable.

The only way to overcome uncomfortable situations is to expose yourself to those situations. Whether it's climbing mountains, descending mountains or practicing new skills, you have to repeatedly do what is unnatural in order to become more familiar with it. We knew that with our help, in a group setting, our campers would be able to work through fear, stretch the comfort zone and push physical boundaries.