life, train, tri

Vermont Training Camp 2015 RECAP (and lots of pretty pictures)

First of all, I have been slacking on the blog posting train.  Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s okay…. finally I’m back!

Today I’m finally talking about my training camp in VERMONT a few weeks ago, that totally changed me as a cyclist!

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Location:

Camp was located a three hours drive  north of my home in Mass to Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont.  The thing that’s really cool about living in New England (and something I take for granted) is that you can be in a different state, with completely different landscapes within a few hours drive. I am very lucky to have both the ocean and the mountains right at my disposal. I have never really spent a lot of time in VT, so I was happy to get the chance to spend a weekend up there. I was reminded of why it’s called the ‘Green Mountain State’…. all I could see for hundreds of miles was green:)

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Each of our bike rides passed through the Green Mountain National Forest (just gorgeous). We rode by several farms, cattle pastures, maple syrup stands, country homes… it was quintessential Vermont. It’s hard to put into words, or even into photos what I experienced during my hundreds of miles of riding in VT. You really have to go there to experience it for yourself! Oh and I should mention there are HILLS, LOTS of HILLS. Hills so steep I couldn’t believe it! If you want hill training for an Ironman, go to Vermont, your power meter will thank you. 

Weekend Totals:

288 miles biked with 25,000 Feet total elevation gain.

Some hilly running miles

& 5,000 yards of swimming

 

Day 1: Thursday

103 Mile Ride

App Gap, Middlebury Gap

10 Minute Recovery Run

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Day 2: Friday

Swim 3,000 yards

Bike 85 Miles

Brandon Gap

Run 30 minutes

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Day 3: Saturday

Swim 2,000 yards

Bike 100 miles

App Gap,  Brandon Gap, Rochester Gap

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Day 4: Sunday

Rainy Day gym workout with plyos!

The crew:

I was joined at training camp by Coach Jorge and some of my Age Group Elite Teammates i.e. fast cyclists, swimmers and runners. This group included the speedy Czech Chick AKA my friend Jana, who I tried to keep up with all weekend! There were about 6-8 of us on any given day, a great mix of people!

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Agenda:

Each day started with a swim in the beautiful outdoor pool at Sugarbush.

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Next up after swimming, a big breakfast (all the pancakes!) and then time to digest while getting our bikes ready to go. Digested or not (ha) it was time to ride for 5-6 (hilly) hours followed by a run.

After our long bike ride, we were all exhausted and it was time to eat ALL THE FOOD before hanging out and relaxing before bed. There were lots of laughs plenty of team bonding. I LOVED training camp!!

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Training camp in Vermont made me not only fall love with biking but understand biking more than ever before.

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What I learned at camp:

Spinning my wheels like a hummingbird (cadence 95-100 RPM), is NOT the most efficient way to cycle.  Still working on this, but getting closer. Most of my rides were dialed in at 85-90 RPMs.

Cornering while going down hill is still scary, but I learned better technique. Clenching my breaks and upper body only makes it less safe.  During camp I got to practice being more relaxed going downhill and cornering.  One of the tips I learned was not to break on the corner, but just before, and most importantly, to relax the body as much as possible.

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I realized that I wasn’t working hard enough (before) attending camp.  I wasn’t feeling that burn in my quads, I was just ‘comfortably’ riding.  “So this is supposed to be uncomfortable?’ Similar to running, riding your bike isn’t supposed to be pleasant all the time.  It might burn and it might hurt, but this is what will make you stronger. It may have taken 5 years to realize this, but now I GET IT.  In order to get better at cycling, I need to make it hurt a little. Oh and did camp make it hurt!

In order to keep up with the strong cyclists at training camp, I was going to need to put out more power and work harder.  The thing is, before camp I was scared to push on the bike. Perhaps it’s because I had a knee surgery four years ago and my brain is still being ‘cautious’ with pushing on the pedals.  I think in my mind I was always scared of getting injured, so I didn’t want to push too hard. Also, coming from a running background, I wasn’t sure how to bike and I was never coached for it, until now. Riding with your coach and teammates is something you can’t put a value on.

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I’m actually a fast cyclist. I got to camp last Thursday thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with my teammates. These were people I had rode with on the weekends and often got separated by about five minutes.  I would start with the group and they would lose me.  I thought the weekend of training would be the group riding together and me all by myself.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was not only able to keep up, but I was very strong going up the BIG Vermont hills… HUGE confidence booster!

I gained confidence. This was definitely the most important takeaway from camp.  Practice makes perfect and I think to think I’m well on my way to a successful Ironman one month from this Thursday!

Have you ever participated in a training camp? Would love to hear about it!

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14 Comments

  • Reply Beth July 14, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Seems like an amazing camp, so much riding!

    I have done a couple camps in Moab, UT and loved it so awesome to ride and run with friends

    • Reply Kristin July 22, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      It was awesome!! Oh I love Moab!!! That would be an incredible place for a camp:)

  • Reply Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles July 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Awesome! I would love to do a multi day camp like that. It sounds incredible and looks stunningly beautiful. I was signed up for a training camp last year but had to bail last minute when the wedding I was in ended up having the bridal shower the same day, I was super sad to not go.

    • Reply Kristin July 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Training camps are so much fun! Hopefully one day you can do one!!

  • Reply Hailey July 14, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I’m glad you recapped your experience at the camp! It looked like it was a great one from your pictures on Instagram! The location looks beautiful! One thing AZ definitely lacks is some nice greenery:) I’m so glad you were able to come away from it with a greater sense of confidence in your cycling abilities! I’m SO excited for your Ironman.

    • Reply Kristin July 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Hailey!!! Vermont is beautiful!! You would love the running there too. Cycling has been going well and I can’t wait to see all of my hard work pay off!

  • Reply erin July 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Yeah! So glad you’re getting more comfortable on the bike! It’s the best leg of an IM 🙂 Super jealous of all the riding and climbing… looks amazing! Can’t wait to watch you crush IMMT!

    • Reply Kristin July 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you!!! It’s taking a lot of time, but I’m being patient and working HARD! You need to come out here to New England and ride with me!!!!

  • Reply Kecia July 22, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Love the bike and am so happy that you are getting more comfortable pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!! I have attended only one training camp, but this was when I was COMPLETELY new to cycling, had no idea what I was doing and was left in the dust on the rides. I’ve often thought of attending another camp, but just haven’t bit the bullet and done so. This camp looks like a lot of fun and serious hard work, which will pay HUGE dividends on race day!! I can’t wait to watch you destroy IMMT 🙂

    • Reply Kristin July 23, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Yay!!! Finally loving the bike… it no longer is something I dread:) You should totally attend another training camp! Riding in Vermont will definitely help me at IMMT, I have a good feeling!

      • Reply Kecia July 24, 2015 at 11:13 am

        I do need to try another training camp!! One with more coaching guidance on the bike would be good…the last one was “Here is the route. Ride and we’ll see you back here for the run.” They would then drive the course to make sure everyone was “safe.” I wasn’t super impressed with the coaching part of the training camp.

        I know you are going to ROCK IMMT and I can’t wait to watch!!

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust July 23, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Ugh, I am soooo jealous of your awesome training!!! it looks like you are having an incredible time and are riding in some beautiful areas. That’s great that you are feeling more comfortable and confident on the bike. Way to work hard and get some time in the saddle. I really can’t wait until your IM. You better believe I will be tracking you and cheering all the way from Oregon. 🙂

    • Reply Kristin July 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      I really have been SO lucky this year. I found a new team that I love and I have been enjoying every second of it! I have one more 100 mile ride this weekend coming up. Appreciate your support, lady! Hope I can make you proud!

  • Reply ig February 27, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!

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