I was due some rest, I may not have trained as hard as our athletes, but running a camp is challenging in itself. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I spent half the night awake, using the time to plan events for the fifth day of camp, the easy – easier – day. Rather than piling more miles on our athletes we kept them close to home with a brick session in the morning, some pool games, an afternoon of swim analysis and one-to-one technique work and finally a tough swim set. In comparison to the rest of the week, this was easy.
The brick was a short and sweet 6.5K bike and 1.8K run, only they were repeated 3 times over and this morning’s wind was ferocious. Seven athletes, the same seven athletes who completed the 5K time trial, completed the brick training session. It wasn’t a race, but you wouldn’t know it from the speed of transitions and the jostling for position over the course of 3 laps. While this was happening, over at the Sands Beach pool an alternative swim/bike brick session was held for those who couldn’t run.
Not long after the bricks were completed the athletes gathered for a few pool contests: 50m band-only, 50m kick and then 100m medley. Triathletes are naturals at all three so I made sure to capture these moments on film.
Times were recorded and will be used to award one of our Huub towels to an athlete on the camp. Once the athletes had finished their races, Mark dived in for a brief demo of how 100m medley should be swum; not at peak form he asked not to be be timed, but I think somebody mentioned a 1:12 when he touched the wall.
As most athletes headed for lunch, Mark and I began the process of filming and coaching athletes individually. Each athlete would briefly warm up in the pool before I filmed them from a series of angles to allow us to see what was happening under and over water. As I transferred the film to my iPad for review, Mark would step in and provide technique coaching both in and out of the pool to help improve each athlete’s swim.
Almost four hours later, hungry and slightly sun burnt we had reviewed every athlete’s swim. There was a 90 minute break before Mark and I returned pool side for the final session of the day – another swim. Despite the time already spent in the water our athletes impressed us by completing a 3.5-4K set built around hard 100m reps. There were the occasional grumbles, particularly from the fast lane, but with a bit of encouragement – shouting – from the deck everyone pushed themselves. Rich even learnt that if you don’t tumble you repeat the rep.
Again the plates at dinner seemed to be piled higher than ever. Easy day was possibly not that easy and there seem to be a few nerves about tackling tomorrow’s Ironman ride. Fatigue is higher, but winds are lower and the end is in sight. Just two days of camp remain, enough that we can hang in there for the sake of completion. I hope I sleep better tonight – I need to lead my steady group around the island.