Dare2Tri Elite Camp – 2/17 – 2/19/17

While my Triathlon season started in California last month, it started in earnest this weekend. For those of you who haven’t read last year’s post, a 30 second synposis of Elite camp is ‘see that line where you want to give up? Ok, that’s your starting lin. Let’s do 5 sets beyond that…’ And that’s how you get better, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you.

This year’s camp was a FFC Union Station, which is an amazing facility. If I worked in the city, I would be there every night after work. Not just because it’s a great location, but also a way to work out the frustrations of the day instead of fighting the absurdity that is rush hour in Union Station. The entire staff did a great job throughout the weekend; much appreciated!

One drawback was that the lane markers were light blue on another shade of light blue or white instead of the normal dark blue on white/light blue. So the normal ‘drunk swimming’ was pronounced to say the least. But I was still able to get in a lot of good work in the pool, both solo and when we went to team drills.

On the bike, the pedal and saddle issues still need to be worked out. After the issues in Chula Vista, I went with a set of bike shorts to try and make it hurt less. It helped for a while, but the fit or calluses still aren’t right enough to stay stable in the saddle for the ~30 – 35 minutes I’ll need to for a Sprint Triathlon. That all needs to be worked out still.

On the run, I made some surprising leaps forwards. When I had done the FTP testing a couple weeks prior, I believe I was tapping out at 5. During the first day of camp, it was 5.5. While that was a good step forward, it also meant a good deal of non-fun day 2. Quarter mile repeats at 5.5 after you’ve already run 2 full miles is no fun. But that’s how you get better.

Camp wasn’t just training on the three disciplines. We also had functional strength, yoga and several lectures. All good stuff to help compliment the swim/bike/run training.

After two days of being tortur… um, I mean trained, we finished camp with FFC’s Indoor Triathlon. A great way to finish camp and to put into practice what we had worked on and learned from the previous two days. However, as we weren’t using the locker room, I knew the bike was going to be painful since I’d have less padding. The swim was about 15 seconds behind my CSS pace, the bike hurt like hell (standing up every 4 – 5 minutes to get feeling back), but the run was better than expected. From the last indoor Tri (3/20/16), all 3 increased, with the run being the largest (1/3 mile increase).

While the weekend helped tremendously and I saw improvement, there’s still a LONG way to go and the clock is looming large. Before the end of May, I’ve got to hit a 1:13 mark to qualify for Nationals. I know I can do it, it’s just going to take a lot of hard work.

Dropping Lungs in the Pool – 2/8/17

As I’ve mentioned before, bilateral breathing is my least favorite drill. I know it will come in hand this summer during open water swims, especially for Leon’s. But it still stinks.

Regardless, my coach knows that it will help and pushes me through it. Multiple 25s of bilateral breathing around the CSS test. And then as part of it. Not surprisingly, my 200 with bilateral breathing is about 90 seconds slower than just breathing to my right side. It takes that extra time to think about breathing to the left, trying to keep the timing, and to pick my lungs up from the bottom of the pool.

While the bilateral breathing is still a struggle, I did manage to shave more than 2 minutes off of my overall 400 time and about 15 seconds off the CSS time. And the proper 200 (non-bilateral) was about 2 seconds off of the 400 time divided in half. Still a lot of work to do to get to where I want to be for CSS time, but all of that were good steps forward.