Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential
The Energy Link Performance Coaching camp is one of the highlights of my year. 25+ inspired athletes of various experience and ability, came together with the goal of kicking off 2014 on a high after a week of solid triathlon training in the snowy mountains.
With hundreds of km's ahead for the week, the challenge was set for this remarkable group of athletes and coaches to survive not only the demands of training, but a week of communal living, 2 Ashes tests, Facebook uploading, Zooper Dooper eating marathons and daily compression gear parades.
Bruce and Chris are hugely experienced in running these camps and in fostering a positive environment for measured progress throughout the week. Supported by Bern, Lew and Nic who have countless years of experience in triathlon it was the perfect place for all of us to start our preparation towards our next triathlon goal. It was my second year at the camp and this year I felt much better prepared to for the training ahead and the delight of cycling in a place void of traffic lights!
As well as the having the invaluable opportunity to work with one of the five coaches on a daily basis it was great to interact with the other athletes on the camp, share ideas and enjoy each others company while training.
With some first timers on camp and some athletes on their way back from injury, each day proved to have its highlights and achievements - very inspiring!
Here are a few of the amazing group achievements throughout the week:
Swim Squad (video analysis)
Swimming every day at the camp provided great opportunity for technical improvement and consistent coaching advice in a variety of settings. The video analysis at the start of the week gave insight and focus for each of us and improvement across the group was easy to see throughout the week of various swim training.
Jindy - Charlottes Pass - Thredbo (150km ride)
In my opinion this is the toughest challenge of the week. It is the hardest ride I have ever completed (over a third of the ride is climbing, with a couple of category 1's in there) and with the winds, heat and this also being the longest ride that many of the group had attempted it was a day of success.
Lake Jindabyne, Lion Island Swim
This was one of my most enjoyable swims of the week. After the coaching advice we had received and trialled through the week we got the opportunity to put this effort into practice in a specific 2km wetsuit swim in the lake, around Lion Island (infested with snakes apparently). It also tested our specific open water skills (I believe some of us may have swum an extra few hundred metres due to sighting issues)!
Mount Kosciusko Run (18-22km)
Another big day of the camp, this hilly trail run (the first 9km is uphill) is scenic, but tough on the legs, with the back half being very undulating and finishing with a 900m run/walk uphill at a varied 8-20% gradient. Again many accomplishments were made this day with a lot of athletes being on their feet longer than they ever have before, others who had been injured managing to complete part of the course and some bettered their times from previous years.
Team Time Trial (55km)
The penultimate day of camp, after a week of hard training we headed out along Barry's Way with the task of a Team Time Trial on the way back. The wind was up this afternoon and by the time we rode out 30km to the TT start, the group had been strewn across Barry's Way by the strong head/cross winds and the fatigue in the legs (thanks to Bruce for leading the train out there). The TT back was much easier, but most had little left in the tank after some tough training, but everyone hung in and the session was complete in high spirits.
The camp capped off a wonderful start to the New Year, spent with great friends. A huge thanks to Bruce and Chris for organising and facilitating a wonderful camp with the help of the other coaches. Well done to all athletes and supporters of the camp, our successes were a result of everyone's hard work.
You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement -Steve Prefontaine