The second Endurance Corner Tucson Camp has come and gone and I felt it was a great success. We had a wide range of abilities at the camp, but everybody stepped up and made it happen for themselves. All of the athletes extended themselves, but none of them buried themselves. Perfect.
A quick recap of the days since last post:
Wednesday: Oro Valley Day
Athletes ran in the morning and were then transported to the Oro Valley Pool where they were given the swim set of:
5 x 500
4 x 400
3 x 300
2 x 200
1 x 100
Gordo cracked the whip on me and made me swim:
60 x 100 on a 1:30,25,20,15 pattern
Both sets proved to be challenging, but achievable. Once again, we had several athletes say that this was the longest swim of their lives so far. Pretty cool to see what people are capable of in a group atmosphere.
After swimming the crew had lunch in the park and then headed out for a solid 50 mile ride back home which finished with a summit over the east side of Gates Pass.
Thursday was the key run day of the week. This camp is primarily focused on cycling and swimming since we feel those are safe ways to overload yourself aerobically, but we still believe in maintaining a long run (even if shortened).
We headed out to the east side of town to run the Cactus Forrest Trail; a rolling trail with great views on either side. Most of the folks opted for one loop of11 miles, but several logged 2:30+ out there in the morning sun.
After running we had a shake out swim and then an afternoon off to regroup.
Friday was an easier day for the campers aside from the morning swim. I'm pretty sure we doubled the lifetime volume of butterfly for several of the campers.
After finishing the day's workout the camp decided it would be a good idea to race Gordo and I (I had a 10 sec head start) in a 400 IM where they each served a 50 yard leg (8 x 50) on two teams. Given the fact that I have never done a 400 IM I tapered for the event by showing up late and only warming up for 500 yards. The campers put together a strong team and beat us both. Good on them.
This particular moment of the camp made me very happy. When you see everyone get excited over friendly competition it really brings you back to the core of sport. Its a "race you to the flagpole" type of moment. Quite special.
The campers rode and ran easily after swimming and then lounged for the afternoon. Before dinner we had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by Robbie Ventura about time trialing, triathlon, cycling, pro racing, announcing for Versus (formerly OLN), and many, many other things.
Robbie is a true professional; from his time as a pro bike racer to his time now as a coach and founder of Vision Quest Coaching in the Chicago area. I want to publicly thank him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to head down to the EC Camp to present and train a little (he is racing Ironman Canada). Thanks Robbie!
Saturday: Kitt Peak Day.
Big Day. 20 miles flat; 20 miles false flat; 12.1 mile climb @7-8%, descend, 40 miles home the same way with less than favorable winds.
The day opened up with a solid handful of flats along the Ajo highway, but Mat and I were keeping up with everyone and swapping out wheels as fast as we could. Things kept rolling and soon enough the campers were approaching the base of the climb. Robbie was leading a solid group of athletes with Gordo soling a few minutes back. It had the excitement of a bike race and everyone was quickly filling bottles at the aid station in order to hold their gap.
Things became much tighter at the top, but Robbie showed everyone a thing or two with a MONSTER descent. Then it became a chase to catch Robbie with a group trailing behind. Unfotunately a flat ended his attack, but I know everyone had a lot of fun working to make up ground.
The second group of riders summited successfully and then regrouped at the bottom for the return trip. From there they worked together in style cruising home in a pack along the Ajo Highway
A big day and a successful day for all.
I am going to send out a second public thank you to all the campers, coaches, and the amazing support crew for helping us make this such a special camp.
We are working to finalize dates for next year and we will be adding a second camp in a different location which we will announce in the near future.
I hope familiar and new faces can make the venture next year. We all had a fantastic time.
Until next year.