Sunday, March 25, 2012

Training Camp

Training camp has come and gone - 8 days of swim/bike/run repeat with a great group!  I kind of have that "wow, what just happened??" feeling right now!

It seems like way too much (and way too boring) to detail day by day at this point.  So instead I'll do a summary.  Just as a means of explanation, the camp was for new(ish) elites/pros and was run by Melissa Mantak (one of the few USAT level III coaches in the country).  The primary focus was training (and lots of it!) but we also had a discussion each night about varying topics, all of which I really enjoyed and learned a ton from.  It was definitely a great opportunity to be immersed in the sport for 8 straight days with little other distraction!

Although I knew it would be a lot of training, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect.  What I found is, we did a HUGE amount of swimming, a very good amount of running and a moderate amount of biking.

Our home every morning from 9-10:30.  :)

Wowzas.  Close to 34,000 yds in 7 days time.  I don't think I need to say much more!  :)  Other than the first day, it was all long course meters which was awesome.  We swam at the University of Denver which is a fantastic facility.  To say I had a few swim breakthroughs would be an understatement.  I was surprised to handle the amount of volume relatively well and actually swim quite good on top of that.  Amazingly, my arms are still attached!  :)  I didn't feel the altitude much at all with swimming.  I did feel the result of trying to keep up with several male pros day in and day out.  :)


Not a huge amount of biking, in fact our longest ride was just a bit over 3 hours.  Again though, trying to keep up with the guys (I was on the only female) made for some faster paces than usual.  We did an awesome amount of climbing (up to Red Rocks, up Lookout Mountain x 2, up Golden Gate Canyon) which is such a treat.  Colorado is an awesome place to ride your bike!!!

At the top of Red Rock where there is an amphitheater.  You can see for miles!


I ran about 60 miles total in the 8 days (actually running 7 of those days) and we ran in some beautiful locales!  We ran on the Highline Canal and at Waterton Canyon - amazing dirt/gravel trails/roads that just scream "RUN"!!  I felt the altitude most here - in fact running 7:45 pace on the first day yielded a heart rate in the 160s.  YIPES!  By mid week though I was back to much more normal paces/HRs and feeling much better.  The air indeed is thin here.  :)

Overall an amazing experience.  Although I really struggled at first with being homesick, and it was hard to be the only female amongst 7 other really fast guys, living and training with other pros was an opportunity I wouldn't have had otherwise.  I certainly came away with more fitness, more knowledge about racing as a pro and most of all, 8 new awesome friends that I can't wait to see crush it this year!  So grateful to Melissa who opened her home to us and gave us a week of her time.  I still don't think her "easy" swim sets are that easy, but I'll forgive her that.  ;)

And now I'm living large as the hostess with the mostest, Sonja, has been taking care of me until I fly to San Diego Wednesday for race #1 of the season!  WOOT!  I feel so lucky to have the support of such wonderful people!!


  1. sounds like a good camp, and sounds like you are having fun. yay. :)

    Good luck on your race, next weekend I guess. :)

  2. you are so amazing! you and 7 male pros I think I would freak. that is so awesome I bet you more than held your own too. That swim yardage is nuts and turning down the bike volume is definitely unfamiliar for us!! can't wait to see you kick butt at your first pro race. you've totally been getting the work done, you are so ready! what race is it? oceanside isn't next week already is it?!

  3. Wow-did you know going in you would be the only woman? You are a beast Beth!!!! I am literally in awe. You are certainly going to be prepared for this season.

    I hope you get a couple of days to taper/recover before the race!!!! Kick some butt and take some names on race day!!

  4. Wow - that sounds like such an amazing opportunity!! So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I'm sad to miss you in denver by what - 2 days???

    but it looks like you are having a BLAST! leave some extra red blood cells behind for me!

    also, the bike pic is adorable - shorty! :)

  6. yes- I had some of the same experiences in Tucson- I learned very quickly the need to hydrate is so different in dry climate. Plus, my HR was elevated too at first. So neat to train in new places! Sounds like you are doing well! xo