Arizona Training Camp – A Success!

By: C.Lewis

CL Peformance Training’s 2017 Arizona Training Camp has come to an end!! Everyone pushed their limits and made big physical and mental gains with respect to triathlon – and made new friendships in the process!  Our group consisted of people from age 19 to age 60, from beginner triathlete to elite – all who worked together day in and day out to help each other learn and improve.  Half of our participants arrived early and we did a pre-camp ride consisting of hill repeats over the steep side of Gates Pass – 6 of them for many of us!  This could have been deemed a rude re-introduction to outdoor training to some, but our group embraced it and pulled it off with satisfied smiles!

The group then participated in a coached swim workout while we waited for the second half of the group to arrive.   When the second group arrived and bikes were built, we headed out once again for a short shake out ride.. to test our gear and make sure we were ready for the next big day!  Day 2 started with a coached swim workout with bands and paddles to work on strength, followed by a bigger ride over Gates Pass, around the McCain Loop and out further into the desert.  The crew did a 5km run in the middle of it to add some spice to the day!  We appreciated the support of our sag vehicle driver Michael in the heat of the day.

Day 3 started with a track workout where everyone did a number of 400m repeats.  Our athletes were put into groups so they could challenge each other and we learned how much training with a  group can help at times, as well as what a body could do even when our minds thought we were too tired!  After lunch we headed out for a recovery ride along the beautiful Spanish trail.

The next day was the big one, the day that everyone was waiting for… Mount Lemmon, a 26 mile ride up a mountain!!  Some of our athletes had been to Arizona with us a number of times before and knew what the challenge was going to be.  Others had been nervous for weeks leading up to this, wondering what it was going to be like.  Al and I made sure that everyone was well equipped with the information they would need in terms of effort and nutrition to make it up this mountain… and they did it!!  Pizza and plate sized cookies at the top of the mountain always taste better than ever after a 2-4 hour strong effort climbing a mountain!!

That night we had a group dinner out at a local Mexican restaurant and were serenaded  by a live band while we ate some delicious Mexican food.

Day 5 was our last day of cycling and after a group swim we headed to Green Valley to ride up Madeira Canyon – another challenging climb!  This ride starts out on a very slight incline and gets steeper and steeper as you go.. for a total of 13 miles.  By mile 8 you realize you’re really climbing and by mile 10-11 it catches up to you!! The last 2 miles are STEEP… but possible with some careful energy and nutrition management.  It’s a beautiful ride and another ride that leaves you feeling a big sense of accomplishment!!

Monday morning we got up and did a long run in Sabino Canyon, a beautiful recreation area out in the desert and we made sure everyone was prescribed a run at an effort and time that made sense based on the fatigue they were carrying and what their training schedule had looked like before camp.  This was a beautiful way to end the camp.

Overall, everyone did so well and took home some valuable information and lessons from our time in Arizona that can put to good use back home in training and in racing! We hope to see some of the same athletes next year at our spring training camp in California!

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