Winter Triathlon Training weekend

Happy Thursday !

A couple of blogs ago, I talked about training / coaching camps and how they are a great way to spend quality, focused time on training. This past weekend I went to Lancaster to take part in a 2 day triathlon training camp organized by Up and Active (http://www.upandactive.com/site/) a company run by Tanja Slater, previously an elite cyclist and GB triathlete (http://www.upandactive.com/site/about-us). This is the 4th time I have spent time being coached by her and each time I learn so much. For me, this has been the perfect partnership with Dana Staggs, my own triathlon coach who is based back in California – he sets my schedules and monitors my progress, while I can have some shoulder to shoulder coaching with Tanja and her team – I am very lucky.

Car packed with all sorts of triathlon kit, we set out mid morning and had a very eventful journey from Hertfordshire to Lancaster, by way of the Peak District – I had never been to this area before, so it was lovely to see it but sat in 2 hours worth of queuing traffic ? Not so much !

The plan for the 2 days was full ;

Saturday : 7am swim at the Lancaster University pool, 4 hour bike ride through the Lancashire rolling hills and a canal run with hill sets at the end of the day

Sunday : further coached pool session, shorter recovery ride with a ‘run off the bike’ and a review of the swim footage over the 2 days

Lancaster Uni pool
Lancaster University pool

Both of the swim sessions were focused on technique rather than volume, with some immediate feedback on what’s working and not working on our swim stroke. Tanja also shared some new drills with us, and oh, how we loved the one with the kick-board under our cores !! That’s my new ‘favourite’ lol………… The 2 sessions and subsequent video analysis session showed that I have some work to do : head position a little too low, some over-rotation so its back to the pool with new drills.

After a ‘hearty’ breakfast on both days, we wrapped up in multiple layers and headed out for long rides. Split into 2 groups off we went through some amazing countryside, small villages and different weather conditions……… rain to hail to brilliant sunshine and back again ! Day 2 brought with it some strong winds and the team were great in finding routes that were as sheltered as possible.

At the top of the first hill, phew more to come
At the top of the first hill, phew more to come !

The recent riding focus has been to build confidence when taking corners and descending, especially when the 2 are happening at the same time ! I was able to get more feedback and advice on this, as well as some coaching on riding out of the saddle – most of my climbing is seated, as I have worked on getting strong legs, but they do blow up sometimes. I also know my running off the bike will be better if I can ease my legs sometimes during longer rides. Practice, practice, practice 🙂

We saw a double rainbow after the hailstorm
We saw a double rainbow after the hailstorm

The 5pm run was quite a difficult session to get ready for : it was damp, dark and cold outside, and the hotel was warm, cosy and had a good bar, but we did it !! A brisk warm up along the canal took us to an isolated hill – 3 or 4 sets for us all – up into the swirling headwind and driving hail !! Its interesting though, we were all smiling throughout and the thing I remember most was looking across to Blackpool and seeing the tower, lit up in all its glory 🙂

The canal alongside the hotel
The canal alongside the hotel

In between all of this activity, we had food (oh the wonderful, wonderful food !!) and rest in our lovely hotel, The Mill at Conder Green (www.themillatcondorgreen.co.uk) and some fun times : birthday cake, 30 mph winds and rising tides that isolated the hotel at the wrong time !!

The Mill Hotel, Condor Green, Lancaster
The Mill Hotel, Condor Green, Lancaster

I’ve come to expect a high quality training camp from Tanja and her team and I wasn’t disappointed : thoughtful training sessions, feedback, coaching solutions and lots of laughter. At the end of the weekend I felt like I had known everyone else for a long time and will keep I touch with my Winter triathlon training camp buddies !

Winter Triathlon training camp buddies !
Winter Triathlon training camp buddies !

Time to sign off………. pool practice, practice, practice time !

Catherine, Age Group girl

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