I’ve just had an amazing week of triathlon training in Clermont Florida, thanks to the wonderful coaches of NRG PerformanceTraining. With the winter we’ve been having in Toronto, it was a welcomed change to get outdoors and run/ride on clear roads and not worry about water bottles or gels freezing in the middle of the workout! Don’t get me wrong-I’m a northern girl and love the winter months-the more snow the better! But there is nothing like escaping and getting a change of scenery to motivate you for the upcoming training season. And although I did not get the chance to run any local trails (the coaches kept us busy!), I did feel a surge of excitement for the upcoming trail running season – especially since my upcoming trail running camp on June 7/8th in Hockley Valley, Ontario was announced in the recent 5 Peaks newsletter. Registration is starting to come in, and I’m very pumped for what is going to be a very exciting and fun two days.
As I sit in the plane heading home from the training camp (with my training partner fast asleep in the seat next to me-yet more proof that the coaches worked us hard!), I started to think about some of the key learnings that I took away from this experience:
- The body is one tough chick! And it can handle more than one may think. I found it fascinating that despite a large volume of training day-after-day, my body felt stronger as the week progressed. Certainly there were times when I did not feel like sitting on the saddle or lacing up my shoes -but as the workout progressed, I was amazed with the way in which my body (and mind) would simply adapt and would just do it! Even doing (the dreadful) time trials on the bike seemed to become less daunting as the week progresses. I was tired yet I felt strong. This was a nice little confidence booster that I will take with me in my future training and racing.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new or to get out of your comfort zone. Not only will it likely go better than you thought, but you might actually surprise yourself. For me, this meant joining the other camp members in their swim workouts. As the lone duathlete (run-bike-run) of the group, I had very limited experience with lane swimming. Yet I literally jumped right in the pool and completed the workouts. No near-drowning experiences either! And to my surprise, I actually liked it. Enough to switch to triathlons? Time will tell! But again it gave me more confidence in my abilities.
- It’s the people that make the difference. Ok, maybe this is not a lesson per say but more of a reinforcement. At the end of the day, it is not so much the details of the camp that makes it’s so enjoyable, but rather the people –including both the coaches and the athletes. Although we may not all have the same fitness background or have the same training goals, we are all there for the same reason: to do something that we love and to challenge ourselves. And together, we make the camp what it is. From Eleanor who crashed on her first ride and was brave enough to get right back on her bike the very next day, to Andrea who had the determination to cycle for hours on her own at her own pace, and to all the other athletes and coaches who inspired me in their own way. Is it no wonder that this is what’s motivating me the most for the June 7/8th trail running camp: to be surrounded by like-minded people who share a passion for trail running?