Monday, February 22, 2010
It was good to get away and get some training in some warm weather. I am posting pictures of a couple of the camps we did. One was with Multisport Madness in Palm Springs, the other was a personal camp in San Diego. What was even cooler was Lindsay and I were able to go to Tucson just by ourselves. It was a good boost of fitness but the reality of coming back to winter storms is HARD REALITY that I still live in the Midwest.
I had an athlete ask me the other day how to improve over the winter and would a camp help. Of course, camps are great for boosting fitness and especially if done properly can really set you up for a great increase even when you return if you back it up properly with the right type of training. What my answer to him was also was consistency. Seems that every athlete I coach is looking for the “magic bullet”. There is no one single thing if you just do that it will make you a better athlete. Of course there are specific things you can do to improve, i.e. economy, strength, form, new stimuli, etc. In fact I just received a bike fit at the Bike Shop in Glen Ellyn with Rich Ducar and John Cobb. I will try to post about that in a separate blog, but we made some pretty extreme changes he swears will pay off. However, the that being said, any athlete will have the most significant changes with consistent approach to training. It isn’t the most sexy answer but you just have to go to work and stay at work over and over. At least this is what I have found.
As coaches we know this and can really help our athletes stay on track. We often get the athletes that want to do the New Year’s Epic swim, or the major ride in the summer, or 100 days of swimming, etc. Again, those can be fun and help, but if those are the only thing you are changing, you are going to be right back to where you were last season, just maybe injured from the massive change in stress for the short term.
The good news is the flip side of the coin. Just because you can’t make it to a single camp of an epic day, doesn’t mean you are necessarily at a disadvantage. I have some Ironman athletes right now with busy work and family schedules. We haven’t been able to do many rides if any over 5 hours. Most of them are 4 or less. Our approach has been to consistently introduce the right amount of stress on a consistent basis to keep fitness moving forward. We feel we have been quite successful to this point.