The last couple months since traveling to The Woodlands, Tx have kept me quite busy. Shortly after my trip to Texas, I traveled out to Scottsdale, AZ for a five-day trip with my bike sponsor, Ventum.
The trip included a full day photo shoot as well as a full day session in the wind tunnel. The photo shoot ending up being quite the adventure as we were met with some unseasonably cold Arizona weather. Regardless of the temps and conditions, all the athletes, photographers and staff worked extremely hard to put together a successful shoot and also maintained a great sense of humor throughout the day. In the end, we all had a great time making it happen.
The next day I headed into the wind tunnel for my own testing. This year's testing primarily consisted of helmets, tri skinsuits and a couple wheel options. Helmets were one of the most interesting equipment pieces to test, because every athlete was getting different results based on position, body type, etc. In the end, my best testing came with the Giro Aerohead which is what you'll see me racing with this year. One thing I can say without a doubt is that any aero helmet tested MUCH faster than a standard vented road helmet. It's certainly a fairly small equipment upgrade relative to other pieces that still yields a good return.
One additional note; following the photo shoot, Ventum told all the athletes about a new trade-in program they were creating for Ventum purchases. The have since launched the program which includes: a valuation of your current bike for trade in; then Ventum will offer 110% of that value towards the purchase of a new bike. If you are interested in learning more about this program, you can find that information HERE.
Following the camp I was able to stick around Scottsdale and managed to ride out to Bartlett Lake for the first time. Certainly a cool ride if you ever get a chance. If you need a route map, you can check out my strava file from it HERE.
After returning from AZ, I had a solid three weeks in Boulder before making a 16 day trek to Tucson for two camps: a personal 8-day training camp, then another 8 days with the Endurance Corner Tucson Camp.
During the first camp, I stayed with Chris Leiferman, Kennett Peterson, Adelaide Perr and Frankie Sanjana. The house we rented was pretty amazing primarily because it included its own retired beauty parlor chair that I found myself sitting in whenever I could. We had a solid camp together and quickly fell into a great SBR routine. The training primarily consisted of general mileage with a couple structured quicker days and some impromptu TTTing when we found ourselves running late for a phone meeting.
Following the camp, I transferred down to a hotel for the tenth annual Endurance Corner Tucson Camp. This year the EC camp consisted of:
Day Zero: Arrival and welcome dinner
Day One; Morning run on flat river trail for ~50 minutes. Late morning ride of 30+ miles including a 5.75 gradually uphill TT (with a strong headwind as well). The afternoon consisted of a 75 minute swim with a mix of pulling and steady state swimming. The evening presentation was from Mickinzie Lopez, a certified nutritionist who traveled over from Phoenix.
Day Two: Long ride to Madera Canyon; just under 100 miles with a peak elevation of 5500 feet. Afternoon run on river trail for 30 minutes; yoga for 45 minutes prior to dinner. Evening presentation from yours truly about "Time, Energy and Risk Management."
Day Three: Morning run up Tumamoc Mtn (steep!). Late morning threshold swim including two distance time trials varying from 200-400 yd in length based on speed and ability. Afternoon ride up the front and backside of Gates Pass. Evening presentation from Coach Marilyn Chychota on "Program Planning" including an interactive session of writing out individual training plans.
Day Four: Ride to Mt Lemmon topping out over 8000 feet with optional tack on to the Cookie Cabin. Total distance between 80-85+ miles depending on turnaround with 6000 feet of climbing. Afternoon run for 30 minutes on the river trail. Evening presentation from Coach Jeff Fejfar on the Fast/Long balance approach to racing and training (Jeff won a silver medal at Short Course Worlds and qualified for Kona at an Ironman three weeks later).
Day Five: Morning long run with 10 and 12 mile options over hilly terrain up Starr Pass in Tucson. Late morning swim including some fast repeats and fun competitions. The afternoon consisted of massages and a strength routine led by Marilyn Chychota.
Day Six: Kitt Peak ride. This is just shy of 110 miles with a 20K climb situated in the middle with a high point elevation close to 7000 feet. I think a few people managed a short transition run, but most of were happy to just put our feet up after that one! Dinner out on the town.
Day seven; Everyone departs. I was in town one more day so I included a ten mile run on the river and an easy afternoon swim.
All in all, it was a great two weeks in Tucson, both on my own and with the Endurance Corner crew. I managed about 60 hours of training in the two weeks with nearly 40 of those hours coming on the bike, which was much needed after a lighter bike volume Dec+Jan. I'm now back home and after an easy week it's time to put in a quick block before the first race of the season at Galveston 70.3. I had originally hoped to race in Puerto Rico, but I needed a couple more weeks before getting the season rolling.
Now we'll close with a few photos from the camp.