Friday, January 13, 2012

Tri Alliance Camp #1 - Queenscliff

Last weekend I attended my first Tri Alliance training camp. Friday-Sunday, it more of a social camp but I also achieved some great training milestones and a few epiphanies along the way.

Friday: Brinn, Katee & I (right) made the trek from Melbourne on Friday afternoon and arrived at the lodge around 4pm. I had already done my training for the day, as tonight was more about settling in and going through the itinerary for the next 2 days.

Saturday AM: 90km ride.
0-30km - I started strong and for the first 30km, stayed right behind Coach Darren and Brinn, the little speedstar. I didn't feel like I was working too hard, although it appeared the boys were taking it pretty easy! We then stopped for a quick snack (one of my infamous home made energy bars) and to split with the beginners who were riding a shorter course.
30-60km - The next 30km were tough. Hills, hills and more hills. My back started to hurt (again) and that's when I had epiphany #1. I've finally realised why!! A few months ago now, an IM friend of mine moved my handlebars down so my wrists wouldn't be in flexion (as I was experiencing a little wrist pain), but what this did was increase my reach to hand position and obviously put too much load on my lower back. Light bulb! Secondly, prior to 4 months ago, I was working close to full-time as a Pilates Instructor, which meant lots of core work, not to mention the incidental training day in and day out. Epiphany #2: back to Pilates!
60-90km - More food along the way (1 banana & a gel as I was in struggletown) and I pretty much just battled it out until the finish. The legs felt pretty tired but it was more the discomfort I was experiencing. NOT GOOD!

Nutritionally, I have a lot of work to do. As a Nutritionist, I have good knowledge on what I should be consuming (i.e 1g CHO/kg BW/hr) but in practice, I seem to be falling short. It is more due to the fact that I really churn through the calories on a long ride (Garmin Stats: 3hrs 40mins - 2288 cals), so I need to consume more than the average Joe. I also struggle with too much fructose and try to avoid gels, so the next few long rides are going to be all about experimentation for me. My first step is to start with a more savoury bar, so I can still consume a banana without a sugar headache and sore stomach. If that doesn't work, my second step is to try liquid calories. Stay tuned!

Teaching core stabilisation to the squad

In between our double today, coach Katee & I ran a Core & Flexibility workshop for the rest of the squad. Having worked as a Pilates Instructor for 7 years, I moved into a full time role as a Nutritionist 5 months ago and haven't taught since. It was so nice to be back teaching and sharing knowledge and I felt inspired to teach again one day soon...

Saturday PM: 10km run
I was pretty much in the hurt locker the whole way but for my first 10km on a 90km bike day, I'm (trying) not to be too hard on myself. Most importantly, this week my running mojo has returned! :)

Saturday night we hit the local pub for a big feed and right is a pic of our table booking. "Trilines" - classic!

Sunday: my first 2km ocean swim!
A weather contingency plan was put in place, which led to a 4x500m swim with a 250m beach run in between. It took me 57 minutes, so it wasn't pretty, but I was just happy to be out there for that long - comfortable and strong. My first two 500's were just over 10 minutes, so quite consistent and on par with my time trial late last year. The arms were pretty fatigued by the last lap, but I only need to do 1.5km at Sandy (Feb 5), so I'm aiming for a 35min swim at my first OD tri! It was so lovely to swim at Queenscliff too, with (fairly) flat conditions and water so clear you could see the schools of fish below. VERY different to my local - Elwood Beach back in Melbourne.

The rest of Sunday consisted of a fun Olympics style triathlon, lunch and a clean up before hitting the road. The whole weekend was lots of fun and whilst the bike/run volumes were no different to what I do week in week out, I did take away a few things to work on. Time to sort of my Nutrition and keep the running mojo I have since found!! I'm already looking forward to the next one.... with increased training volumes as a great spike to my already (relatively) crazy schedule!

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