Sunday, August 10, 2008

Noosa Training Camp

This weekend I went up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. My next big tri is in Noosa on November 2. It's the largest olympic distance triathlon in Australia and has been called the best olympic distance tri in the world. Noosa is 12 weeks out, so the squad went up to Noosa to practice on the course and all in all have a good weekend of working on our endurance.

The weekend boiled down pretty quickly to a routine: exercise, eat, sleep, repeat. I arrived on Friday afternoon, got changed and went for an hour and a half run out along the national forest. It was spectacularly beautiful with the sun setting as we climbed the cliffs out to the furthest outcrop and tried to first avoid the wedding guests and later to navigate through the forest in the dark. It was a nice run, but the course was a bit sandy, and my shin splint started acting up again. The run is followed by dinner and sleep.

Saturday morning starts with a 6:30am ride (yay, it's a sleep in!). We ride most of the Noosa course which includes a 3km winding climb. It's not too steep, but it's 16 switchbacks and it's through eucalyptus forest. I started in the back, but made my way up past all but 2 of the other riders by the top of the hill. We then rode out through some undulating hills and did some standing practice up some really steep ones. I'm getting much better at standing. Back to the resort and we have breakfast and I take an hour nap.

At 11:30 we head down to the beach for a nice long swim. Most of the team has wetsuits. I do not. I probably will buy one soon, but with water temperatures at 19 degrees, it was not completely unreasonable to swim just in my suit. The swim was around 2.2k in the end. Then, of course, lunch and another nap.

This nap was not as easy to rise from. At 3:30 I woke up for our 4pm run and decided I could snooze for another 15 minutes. At 3:45 I had to start talking myself out of bed "Get Uuuuuuup! Get Uuuuuuup!" My legs, by this point, were dead. But I made it out for the run. It was supposed to be along the actual Noosa course, but we cut it a bit short cause of traffic. Once we got moving my legs actually felt much much better. 45 minutes later and we were done for the day. Time for a real shower complete with soap!

The whole weekend was social with the squad but due to the high number of hours we spent training and the propensity to nap in between sessions, it wasn't as social as I had anticipated. Saturday night every one was just wiped out and knew that the following day held a repeat of this day's activities. I think the earliest to bed was around 8, and I don't think any one made it much past 10:30.

Sunday morning, back on the bikes at 6:30. This time more undulating hills after 45 minutes the group split up with those who were knackered heading back. I continued on with 6 others from the squad. And it was great. We rode in a tight pack, which is awesome. It's easy to go fast, and easy to hang onto the back of the person ahead of you. Plus, we were on a nice flat stretch. We then caught up with the super fast group (they started riding at 5:15). And we hung onto them for 30 minutes going about 5km/hr faster than we'd been going. This was fantastic, big group, good riding skills and with the blood flowing to my legs, I didn't even notice how tired they were. Til we got back to the hills. Then, they dropped me, it'd been 2 hours on the road and I just couldn't hack it. By the time we got back I was lightheaded and my hands and feet were numb.

More breakfast and a quick leg massage instead of a nap, then off to our last session: one more ocean swim. This one was a bit shorter since the boat we had swum to on Saturday was no longer mored in the harbour. We swam a triangle, at the first stop the coach essentially said you can swim back if you want, but you've got to ask yourself "Am I tired, or am I just lazy?" Yeah, so I swam the whole thing.

What a great way to end another year.


Steve Laniel August 10, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

Lately something strange has been happening to me: I've been noticing little coincidences just all over the place. I wonder if this is something out of the Matrix, or whether I'm just making it up -- for instance, maybe I'm not noticing all the coincidences that *fail* to materialize.

The reason I mention this is that only a few hours after reading your post, I googled for the author of an unfortunate book that I just finished. Turns out he lives in Noosa Heads.

Now, what are the odds that my friend would be doing a triathlon in the same small town where the author of a book I just read lives?

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