As you can see from the very attractive people in the pictures above, early season training camps are happening all around. A camp worth your time should include 2 studs for coaches (Jon and I), detailed workouts, each precisely fitting in their place and most importantly, FUN. (Camp Location) Beyond the physical stresses, your mind must to be engaged too! This means paying attention to the nutrition presentation, swim demos, Training Peaks/power file analysis and running drill execution. There are always a few who really get balls deep in this process and it's likely those few who will have the most success. This isn't ONLY due to the fact that everything we say (as coaches) is worth it's weight in gold...kidding... but because a mind that is open to new methods can really tap into their abilities. As Jon would say, trust the process and achieve the results. The missing link between your racing goals may not be MORE volume or MORE intensity, you may just need to get smart. When I say get smart I don't mean you should take some college classes at the local Community College. You can spend 15 minutes a night reading some blogs from doctors, learn about Training Peaks, understand your thresholds or read about the food you're eating. Simple stuff can often have the biggest impact.
The inaugural Tribal Mulit-Sport triathlon camp was not meant to destroy, leaving corpses on the side of the road. I would put it more along the lines of a "wake up call". Overall, many hadn't put in any long rides or hard efforts on the bike or run...so naturally we explored those regions of the pain cave. One note worth mentioning; I witnessed some messy swimming while in the NTC pool. I'm not talking about the kind of mess that you could clean up with a single sheet of Bounty. I'm talking about the, drop your bowl of spaghetti squash pasta and red sauce all over your white couch type of mess. Basically, I highly recommend any swimmer have a friend or coach get some video of them. "Volume" in the pool doesn't always translate to speed (duh). Getting a good look at yourself on camera can highlight some major problems. Additionally, once the swim stroke is a slightly dialed in, it helps to have some defined "zones". You're "70.3 Race Pace" and your "All Out" should not be the same stroke rate. Your "Warm Up" and your "Tempo" should be different in the same regards. Knowing your "gears" and getting some eyes on your body as you move through the "gears" will give a better sense of what could be keeping you messy, fighting the water instead of making friends with it.
Recover with nutrient dense meals, perform at your best!
The real life, everyday missing link between you and your BEST possible self: Food Quality. Barely anyone I know in my normal job takes fitness seriously, much less their diet. Sadly, most athletes make succumb to many of the same failures I'm not going to go on a crazy rant but all I ask is that you try to analyze the quality of what you're eating. This is the main message I tried to send out to our humble camp participants. What better way to do so than to cook for 18 hungry athletes, demonstrating that IT CAN BE DONE?? Talk about putting me out of my comfort zone! I'm totally cool getting 3 or 4 people full of healthy food but 18 required some serious planning. Plus, everyone was typically starving and would devour double portions without batting an eye. The meals were simple, HIGH QUALITY versions of what people normally eat. It's crazy how simple it is to actually make this stuff. Chicken fried rice with roasted vegetable salad and homemade dressing? NO WAY!! Spaghetti squash pasta with avocado spinach sauce, turkey meatballs and a side of veggies?? BOOM! Very simple stuff here folks. Had I not been cooking for so many people, I could have whipped it up in 25 minutes or less. So on that note, look below for some quick/easy meals I use during the week to help keep the nutrient density high, maximizing recovery. (They may seem complicated but I promise they aren't)
So hopefully this season, you'll try some new approaches...become more efficient and make some new friends to share some paint with. I'll be traveling a lot this season so look for some healthy eating on the road. I'll prove to you that even without a fully stocked kitchen at your disposal, you don't have to eat a Dunkin Donuts or Steak n Shake. Please e-mail me if you need some more in depth descriptions of my recipes! Stay healthy and be safe on the roads!