“If you want to do something great, you need a strong attention to detail. If you surveyed the greatly successful people of the world, some would be charismatic, so would be not so; some would be tall, some would be short; some would be fat, some would be thin. But the common denominator is that they’re all capable of sustained, focused attention.” Every Second Counts, Lance Armstrong.
QT2 Camp commenced yesterday morning at the National Training Center, with a swim in the pool, which I missed. I touched down in Orlando at 8:00 am and didn’t get to the hotel until about 10 (30 miles away). My poor cabbie kept seeming to fall asleep at the wheel. Hit a few pylons, I bought him Starbucks. Poor guy. Lucky me, I made it alive!
My roommate Molly is terrific. We probably stayed up way too late talking last night but I can’t remember the last time I stayed up late talking to a friend. I think we talked triathlon the whole time. As my eyes closed (way too late) I smiled. I am immersing myself in this for four days, this is exactly what I needed.
At 12 noon we met for lunch, and it was awesome to see everyone. We have a really good group here. Everyone has something to learn from one another. I am keeping a watchful eye on the professional triathletes we have with us: Cait, Jacqui and Ryan. They are at a completely different level for a reason, as an athlete, coach and writer I want to capture what that difference is because while yes it’s the amount of work, but what else makes them a professional?
At 2pm we embarked on a 2 hour recovery ride. Knowing that this recovery ride would determine how the remainder of camp went for me, I stayed in the back. Like last in the back. In every camp there will be a few first day heroes, I stuck to my recovery pace no matter what. I want to nail this camp and blowing out today would only blow the whole purpose. recovery rides are recovery rides. Take that just as seriously as the hard rides.
This part of Florida is not flat and I darn sure welcomed it. The elevation is not what it is in Upstate New York, but hills are good for strength. I sat and watched one of my athletes Maris ride. I like to study people on a bike, and as I am newly coaching her I wanted to gain an understanding how how she rode.
Jacqui caught up to the group (late start) and rode in the back for a while with me. “This is a true recovery ride isn’t it?” She smiled. I smiled back, “sure is”.
Off the bike we all had some kind of run to do. I had 75 minutes endurance. It was hot. I wore a black long sleeved top. “Long sleeves are you serious?” Pat Wheeler cried out as we crossed paths later. “Gulf coast.” I told him. Gulf Coast is essentially on the damn sun and this was the only opportunity I would get to get used to it. It’s too hot for me to do that every day and it was a risky thing to do, I ran several short loops and made sure I doubled my fluid. When you step into heat you can expect the HR to surge, you can expect the pace to be slow, really rely on how you feel and replacing your nutrition and you will be okay.
This run for me was not about the pace, it was about the heat. I need to become an inferno. It got a little ugly but I did it.
While everyone went to dinner on their own I headed to the NTC. My friend Dave had arranged for me to join a Masters group swimming at 6 but due to our late bike and run I didn’t get there till almost seven.
LONG. Course. Meters.
I almost cried in happiness. It’s been…. gosh years since I have swam long course meters. The kind man checking me in smiled. “I don’t think I have ever met anyone who was so excited to swim in our pool.”
It’s funny what’s happened to my swimming this season. I took a risk and jumped out of Masters for the first time in 9 years. Previously my goal in masters was not to let Ken lap me. I didn’t look much at my times or paces or even count yards. I swam easy, medium or hard. As a result I spent way too much in the grey zone and bordered on burnout for a long time. I never swam more than an hour. Ever. Spend your life looking at the bottom of the pool and this happens to you. Swimmers understand. 6 months ago had I missed the team swim I wouldn’t have cared. Now I am adding on.
Jesse doesn’t have me swimming a ton. three 30-45 minute sessions and then one 1:15-1:25 key session. It’s working beautifully for me. My times are beginning to come around but more important…. and this is much more important… my passion for swimming has returned. I am adding on. I am asking for more.
They don’t call him the Wizard for nothing.
At 8pm we gathered for a talk on nutrition. No matter how many times I have been through the basic principles of the Core Diet…. it reinforces what I need to know and learn. I think one of the principles of the Core diet, and anything for that matter is patience. WIth time this way of eating brings you back to health. At a cellular level you get really strong. At a molecular level you become very healthy. The key is patience. In a fast lane I want now society that’s hard.
But as we know, anything worth having is hard.
We talked about this whole metabolic efficiency thing that seems to be the buzz of triathlon world. We took a very good hard factual look at what that meant. Two things to really think about: when you hear someone say the word starvation, or deprive, doesn’t that raise a red flag? It should. I will leave it at that, but it finally, on a factual scientific level, settled the debate for me as to what that all means. It taught me why “scientific studies” are important, how they are skewed, how they can be used to give dangerous information. And what starving oneself during training, especially Ironman training can lead to immune system issues, pancreatic issues, and much much more.
It comes down to health. Without health performance is non existent.
Day two is upon us. It brings a team breakfast, 6 hour ride, 30 minute run and then a team dinner. More to come……..