Saturday, May 9, 2015

Triathlon Research Boulder Camp Day #4

It was a good thing that I was able to get the recap of Day #3 posted that evening because Day #4 started out with sleeping in for an extra ninety minutes!  Between the workouts, the long days, the time change, and altitude, the futile mix is starting to catch up to me.  But it hasn't hampered how awesome the camp is. 

Breakfast was again at 5am.  Some of us (myself included) were a little more subdued as we ate our oatmeal, toast, fruit, or eggs.  There was constant chatter about the final clinics we had coming up.  We were asking one another what they were like and what to expect.  We were also still processing the information from the last three days.  Thankfully, all of it is being video taped, so we will always be able to go back and look at a session again.

At 5:50a, we packed up and headed out.  Yet another day of rain in the state that has 330+ days of sun a year!

We got to Rally Sport and hung out for a bit while Siri and the camera crew got set up with Rinny and Paula Findley.  Pre-workout, we were still all pretty subdued.

Then we headed upstairs!  Today's observation was Rinny and Paula Findley on the treadmill.  Each of them had their own workout to do, but they offered six of us a chance to do a cadence drill workout with them.  I jumped right in!

We warmed up for 5-10 minutes and then alternated with one another for 20 seconds on the treadmill and 40s rest.  We were looking for around 100 beats per minute cadence (that's 25 strikes of one leg in 15 seconds).  We started off at a certain speed and increased 0.3 mph every round. 

At first, we found 100 bpm hard to do; we wanted to slow it down, but as the speed came up, most of us fell naturally into a rhythm near that cadence.

The workout really energized the six of us that were running.  It just so happened it was 5 of the 6 people in my squad.  A number of others got to spend some time stretching themselves out.

Morning stretch session!
I cannot say enough good things about Siri.  For the entire camp, unless she was being pulled directly to her own athlete, she made herself INCREDIBLY available to each and every one of us.  Every question got addressed no matter what it was.  She is such an amazing person.

On a random note, we saw Tim Don, who just won IM 70.3 St. George, and Julie Dibens in the lounge on our way out of the run session.  There are pros EVERYWHERE!  Richie Cunningham swung by our morning swim session yesterday.

After the morning observation, we headed out to run with Bobby McGee.  Let me tell you first off that this guy can teach!!  If he notices one small thing, he has five different ways to address it and I would bet that he has a way to get you to understand all five in less than 20 seconds.  Incredible knowledge base!

Since it was raining, we headed to an indoor soccer field nearby, which turned out to be quite good.

We went through a short explanation of running, how to train for it, what to look for, and key points about the sport in general.  Then we went through a series of warm up and drill exercises.  If I had to guess, there were 20 of them altogether than we covered.  He explained them, we did them, he corrected us, and we perfected it.  Some felt a little odd, but once he explained it, they clicked with each of us.

We also did a series of video taping so that Bobby could then observe our running, record it, and analyze it for our one-on-one sessions.  Not to brag, but our group was the only one that when asked to run a tad under our goal pace we were able to do it first time out.  We are awesome!!

After we did that, we had a short break where NBC did an interview with Bobby...

We got to chat with Mirinda who had made herself so available to us outside of her workout sessions...

Mirinda did a bit of work with the RPM2 crew...

NBC Universal interviewed a few of us as well...

And we made sure to get some group shots since our group shot from the other day was with only half of us.

In between all of that, we each had an individual session with Bobby to go over our mechanics.  Again, Bobby has such a knowledge base and has been through analysis and teaching so many times that it shows in how quickly he is able to pick up on something in our video, address it, and give us ways to work on it.  He even made a few small predictions about how I stand and the forces I generate with my feet that had been shown earlier in camp with the RPM2 products.  So both RPM2 and Bobby saw the same thing.  It was great to have it confirmed from both sides.

After our one-on-ones, we individually headed back over to the RPM2 station at Rally Sport and repeated their work.  The goal was to get a series of data from before and after the sessions with Bobby.  RPM2 wanted to see if there were any changes, but they also wanted US to see if what he gave us to think about made any changes right there and then. 

Then it was back to the run clinic to go over some more quick dynamic and active drills since we had the time.  That session was simply amazing!!  I've got 3-4 different things to work on and I'm excited to put them to use!


After the run session this morning and the clinic with Bobby (though that didn't amount to a lot of running altogether), we were HUNGRY!  Today was pasta, meatballs, chicken, salad, and these absolutely delicious rolls. 

I was able to sit down with the film crew and find out how they were doing.  It turns out that a couple of them do some running, but they laughed a bit when I asked if they did any triathlons.  However, we did conclude that they may be getting more work than the athletes in having to run around to get all the video and photographs of us. 

Then finally, we hit our very last clinic/session of the week; Erin Carson and Strenght/Recovery.  You may be sick of me saying this already, but just like Siri, Ivan, Bobby, Eney, Rebekah, and everyone else, you can FEEL Erin's love for what she does.  Now, she admitted herself that she enjoys being someone's strength coach as opposed to someone's full on coach or weight loss personal trainer and I can see that.  Erin absolutely loves strength and seeing that benefit an athlete in their performance.

Each of us had an assessment to identify any major movement patterns that we need to work on.  We also got a packet of information that Erin then went through page by page.  We went over activation exercises, stability exercises, strength exercises, what parts of the body to strength, what to release, what to load, and what to stay away from. 

We went over a LOT of exercises!  Glute activation and strengthening the back...

Alternatives to strict plank that get in instable movement and upper back strength...

Plyometrics and reactive loading exercises...

It was incredible!  I absolutely agree with Erin's approach to strength for athletes; it is a necessary compliment to their training.  It's so hard for most of us not to want to see the progression of higher weights in the gym while we train, but ultimately that can take away from our training and ultimately our performance in the pool, on the bike, or on the run. 

And Erin's favorite quote...

Conscious thought is the enemy of brilliant movement

After our four hours with Erin, we hopped back in the bus and headed to the hotel.  On the way, it was hard not to attempt to catch some sleep.

And the day ended just how it ended...  WITH FOOD!  Tonight was salad and wraps.  We hung out in the conference room talking about everything; what we liked most, what we wished we had done, and of course what we were going to be doing tomorrow for our mock triathlon.

Due to the "beautiful" rain that we're getting today (Saturday), our plans for a 750m open water swim, a 32 mile bike, and a 10k run have been altered a number of times.  The plan as of this morning is as follows.
  • Talk with Siri and Rinny on race day (how to prepare, psych yourself up, and deal with issues)
  • Outdoor ride of a length dependent on the weather (may be indoors if it's too bad)
  • Optional afternoon swim
  • Back to the hotel by 3pm
  • Celebration dinner at 6pm with all of the coaches and staff 

Sadly, that will be the fifth and final day at camp.  While I can't say how worth while this camp is and how much I'm looking forward to going home and putting all the information and motivation I have to use, just like summer camp as a kid, I will miss being here.  It has been a great experience and will continue to be so even after I get home.  But we're not done yet!

One more day to ROCK it in Boulder!


1.  Do you ever work on running cadence?
I have worked on it a bit at the track, but nothing focusing on cadence only.

2.  Do you use the treadmill for your runs?
I avoid it at all costs, but in talking to Rinny, she uses it for MOST of hers.  She also has some good taste in music.  I asked her what she was listening to while we did the morning session.

3.  Do you incorporate strength into your workouts?  What do you do for strength workouts?
I do strength, but I will admit that it is the first thing to get dropped when I'm short on time.  That will happen no more!


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