Friday, May 8, 2015

Triathlon Research Boulder Camp Day #3

Alternative and more entertaining titles to this blog entry include...

  1. What if feels like to do hypoxic swim sets on your third day at altitude.
  2. Humbled by the Belief, Gratitude, and Fearlessness of Squad Sirius
  3. Monkey See, Monkey Do.
I'm sure I could have more, but we'll leave it at those three for now.  Today was a great day for many reasons, so I am going to just jump right in.  That okay?  No?  Too bad. 

I was up a bit late last night, so this morning was not my "normal" 3am wake up.  I woke up at 3:30a and finally rolled out of bed at 4am.  The fatigue is starting to set in!  Might be 4:30a tomorrow.  *GASP*  As per my custom the last few days, I made my way downstairs and greeted the morning staff as I set up my computer in the dining area and grabbed some early breakfast.  At 5:50a, we headed back to our host location at Rally Sports and jumped in on watching Squad Sirius in the pool.

 What an experience!

Not only did we get to see a huge number of amazing pros, but we got to see them really push that envelope, Siri in action coaching them through the workout, and an experience to look at and think about their strokes.  Probably the best part of camp up to that point!  Sorry Ivan, you might have gotten bumped to #2 on my list.  I'll get you a coffee to make up for it.

We got to stand by while Team Siri (or Squad Sirius) duked it out in the pool.  They went through a pretty cool warm up set and then Siri laughed as she told US the main set before her team.

21x 100s ALL OUT 

Cruel, right?  But as she pointed out soon after, "They are giving themselves a gift."  They would swim 2100 yards in a matter of approximately 20 minutes.  Sure, the set was a killer, but once it was done, the confidence was boosted.   We'll visit this later, but this just goes to show how awesome Siri is.  You're not going to get away without some MASSIVE work, but every thing you do is for a reason.

 We stood around and watched while the laundry list of pros battled through it.  Even Paul Phillips (Competitive Image) was out to get some shots.

Here's a list of who was in the pool.
  • Tim O'Donnell
  • Rafa Gonclaves
  • Jodie Swallow
  • Rebekah Keat
  • Dede Griesbauer
  • Paula Findley
  • Felicity Abram
  • Mirinda Carfrae

And here is a video of the final 100, #21.  Team Siri rocked it all between 0:57 and 1:12.  #Siriusskills

That was the best part of the camp up to that point.  Not only did we get to see some big names duke it out and get pushed, we got to hear Dede swear.  Haha  We also got to see how the pros swim and let me tell you, they look NOTHING like what you expect great swimmers to look like.  That's because they're triathletes.  But don't get me wrong, they were cranking out those 100s like beasts.  Everyone had different form.  It made me feel good to see that there are a million different ways to get to that level and no one way is the best.  We all have quirks that work for us.  Go with it!  (*Steps down off of soap box*)

Done with their "main set"

Paula then jumped out of the swim and hopped on the bike for some sprints.  She was cranking!

Proof I was there!
I also have to give props to the camera/film crew that has been on site the entire week.  Everything we are doing has been photographed and filmed.  They are amazing!  I can't wait to see how it looks.

Hi Rinny!

Then it was time to head in to see Eney Jones.   We did a talk inside about form, posture, catch, movement, and lots of tools both typical and rather bizarre.  Try to consider how to use a conch shell as a piece of swimming equipment.  She also has her own buoy called the Eney Buoy that fills with water if you so choose. 

The Eney Buoy

Before our one-on-one session with Eney, we hopped in the pool and got in a workout thanks to Rebekah Keat.  We did a version of the set that Rebekah and Team Siri had gone through that morning using the Eney Buoy and ankle bands.  GOD are those bands tough!  Then the real fun began!

We're on day #3 being at altitude.  I've heard from most people that it hits you after a couple days.  Well, it certainly had!  And in the pool, we were given hpoxic sets to do.  Hahaha  Think it's hard to breathe normally?  Try swimming with less breathing or NO breathing!  We did 4x 50s with zero breathes and then 2x 200 with hypoxic breathing (breathing every 3, 5, and 7 strokes by 50).  EVIL!!  ...but also a great challenge.

Rebekah setting up the oxygen deprivation torture

Speaking of Rebekah, she is one smart cookie!  We have a group of 45 athletes and triathlon staff here at Rally Sport for 5 days and every time we walked by the main lobby (that was quite a few times for each of us), we saw this bike with a "for sale" sign.  You can bet that quite a few of us stopped to look and even stand next to for pseudo-sizing themselves up.  This girl knows how to hit her target market!

Biggest tease of the entire week!

After lunch, we jumped into "Nutrition & Training," which included a talk by Charlotte Saunders as well as separate one-on-one sessions with both Charlotte Saunders to tweak/talk about nutrition and Siri Lindley to talk about anything you want!

Charlotte's talk hammered down a lot of thoughts I had, but hadn't felt were solidified quite yet.  She also gave us a lot of interesting things to consider like the fact that caffeine works best as a tablet instead of in any type of liquid or gel.  Very cool!

And then the big kicker of the whole camp...

30 minute 1-on-1 session with Siri Lindley

The morning one hour swim session got beat out by this thirty minute time frame.  We all got thirty minutes to talk to Siri about anything we'd like; training, recovery, nutrition, how to do this, when to do that, or what her favorite movie is.  Unfortunately, I don't know what the last one is, but it was a very good thirty minutes.  Not only did I get some great answers and advice for my direct questions, but it came with a complete outpour of passion for the sport as well as love for not only her athletes, but all athletes.  She has the background to say she can get people to the top, but what I like most about her is how much she CARES about getting each and every person where they want to be.  I didn't tear up or break down like I expected, but in thinking through what I wanted to talk about, going back over in my head what she said, and now talking about it again, there is a tear in my eye. 

...and on a lighter note...

Throughout camp, we got a lot of swag and sponsor gear.  There was so much around that there were piles of extras in the main office as well as boxes of GU products EVERYWHERE.  In the studios where we were doing sessions, on the chairs in the lounge areas, over in the bike storage area, on the stairs, etc.  It was crazy!  If you got tired going from one of the studios to the locker room, you had at least two GU aid stations along the way.

I also can't say Thank You enough to Rally Sports.  Not only did they tolerate the GU showing up in places they probably didn't care for it, but they've allowed us to practically take over.  You rock Rally Sports and Erin Carson.  

I had a half hour before we headed back to the hotel, so I hit up the recovery room for my third sit down with the Normatec boots this week.  While I was in there, Erin Carson came in with the strength session group and put them in the boots as well.  You can immediately tell that she loves what she does just as much as Siri does.  Just interacting with them has been a huge experience this week.  My squad meets with her tomorrow. 

Then it was time to head back to the hotel.  Onward my friends!  We even gave Paul a lift despite posting photos from the camp on Triathlete Magazine's website completely overlooking our Green Squad.  *Sheesh!*  Eh...  He's still a pretty cool dude.

On the way back, we passed by the mountains pictured in the three previous blog posts.  I attempted to get a panoramic, but apparently it doesn't work so well in a moving vehicle.  At least I TRI-ed.

This is why I'm not a photography guru

Can we call it abstract photography?

I really thought I was close on this one.  ...NOPE!

By the time we got back to the hotel, half the car seemed to be asleep.  The week's workouts have certainly taken their toll.

Lastly, dinner was catered in the conference room of the hotel.  We had stuffed peppers, which I admit were darn good and vegetarian, delicious asparagus, and a spinach salad.  I had three separate plates!  They also announced a raffle for various items including a pair of Normatec boots and Oakleys.  I'm sure there are other items as well.  Lastly, they went over the basics for our Saturday triathlon (450 yard open water swim in 58 degree water, roughly 32 mile ride, and 10k run).  The only caveat is that it may be altered depending on weather - there is a chance of SNOW!! 

That's right, snow!

But don't worry, next week Boulder should be sunny and 70 all week. 

Okay, it is time for bed.  Here's a quick run down for tomorrow.
  • 5am:  Breakfast
  • 7am:  Observing a workout (I believe it's a run, but could be wrong)
  • 8am:  Running session with Bobby McGee
  • 12pm:  Lunch
  • 1pm:  Strength & Recovery session with Erin Carson
  • 6pm:  Dinner

I'm super excited about both sessions tomorrow.  I'm really curious what Bobby is going to say.  I'm also VERY interested in knowing more about strength/mobility work, but even more, I've heard non-stop praise about Erin Carson throughout this camp.  Should be an exciting final day of clinics!


1.  How fast can you hold 21x 100s ALL OUT?
I'd probably be around 1:20 right now.

2. What is your favorite and least favorite swim set to do?
I love hypoxic sets.  You simply find a rhythm and decouple your mind from your body.  It's amazing.

3.  What would you ask Siri if you had 30 minutes alone with her?


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