Although we missed out on all the May bank holidays back home, the first weekend in June provided us with a long weekend for the Queen’s (summer) Birthday. Delightful. We’re take that. This also coincided with a winter training camp with our tri club – Tri Alliance – in the beautiful town of Lorne. This is our favourite place on the Great Ocean Road.
This training camp was a little different to others attended back home. At home we escape the British winter to warmer climates. Here, the camp stays in chilly Victoria – which resulted in bags and bags full of lycra!
People began to arrive on the Friday and Kat completed the first afternoon of an easy 1:30 bike ride followed by a 50min trail run. Turns out the trails round Lorne are just a little hilly! i.e. I think I was going backwards up some of the ups…in my running coach’s words from back home I was mantra-ing “it’s a hill get over it” (check out his book here).
The evening was the camp briefing in the local pub, good food, goodie bags and an early night for the weekend ahead.
6am alarm (what! – we’re on training camp!)
07:00 – bike ride time (starting in the pitch black) – for 110km ride including the infamous Benwerrin climb at the 90km mark just to top it all off! This climb is none other than Cadel Evans’ favourite training climb and is a 10km winding climb through the forest. As we are in the strength and endurance phase of training as the season is still well away the whole day was in the big chain ring. Mmmmm burning legs.
After each session we had the obligatory leg soak in the ocean. Now as a Brit I pictured beautiful Aussie beach in the glorious sunshine in barmy water. Not so much. Its winter. And the ocean is cold. Really cold. Cue much girlie screaming for the 10mins in there.
We had many speakers over the weekend and today included:
Sports Dietician Margaret Mielczarek giving some nutrition advice (see previous posts about Kat’s link with Margs at Fuel Right Nutrition)
Lakeside Sports Medicine Centre providing advice on triathlon specific pilates and using your core. It was great to have a really fresh perspective on running and technique.
Mizuno running providing advice on winter training and of course Mizuno runners! As Kat’s choice of runners for a number of years it was great to be provided with some trainers to trial – and this was followed by a 70min run back out on the trails testing out new trainers.
Again pub dinner and an early night (8pm)
Highlight of the day and boyfriend of the year award has to go to our friend Dayna’s fiancé who drove all the way from Melbourne that evening to come and fix her bike so she ride the next year. I was swiftly told by Jonney, that would NEVER happen for me!
6am alarm again !
6:45am roll – 110km ride (140km for Jonney). Again the first 45min in the pitch black. Turns out lights better than commuter lights might have been useful. Cue lots of holding the breath as going downhill, praying that we didn’t hit a pot hole! Another day of bike chain ring only. Ouch!
Post lunch swim – only Jonney participated in this as Kat was well and truly smashed by now! This was the infamous pier to pub swim route which is held in Lorne each year. Kat was very glad she didn’t swim as was then shown a video with great white shark being sighted in the waters just 3km from shore 3 weeks earlier! Eek.
Pro triathlete Jason Shortis providing advice on strength and conditioning
This was followed by a 60min trail run – again up those vicious hills. Today actually involved having to walk slightly up one!
Highlight of the day was Jonney claiming his ravenous hunger, and then physically struggling to finish a parma. Poor form.
6am alarm, blardy blah, you get the picture!
This morning was an hours’ ride in one direction out of Lorne and then a handicapped time trial in the various groups we had been riding with over the weekend. Both of us were deemed to be the last ones off in our groups, and therefore the aim was to hunt everyone down and catch them. On the way out I (Kat) was feeling exhausted and truly wondered whether I would even make the ride back. The legs felt dead.
However as people started to roll off in front of me the sudden ‘race nerves’ and adrenalin kicked in. Apologies to Steve, David and Scott who had me jumping up and down on the spot in a panic (calm down Kat, its not a real race…it’s just for fun) – yeah right!
Both of us went off like bats out of hell. Personally I found the first person extremely hard to catch, but as soon as I started catching people the confidence grew and grew. I pushed my legs to another limit – seriously shut the brain off from connecting with them! Every up on that road I pushed and every down I pushed even harder. Kat managed to catch everyone in the group and got to the infamous Lorne sign and finish line first, with a big fist pump when returning back to camp – happy times! I of course did the ride in my GB top, proving that the Brits came out top! Jonney again starting last managed to catch all but one – the elusive Andy – who started off first in their pack. However Jonney was awarded ‘time trial specialist’ at the end of camp and was provided with plenty of kit, so he was a happy chappy regardless!
We finished off camp with some open water skills with Bo Chudosnik, which turned out to be a truly amazing session. Both of us can now body surf (not a skill you tend to learn in the UK in lakes and rivers) and definitely feel way more confident for our next sea triathlon. (Which is basically every triathlon in Australia!).
A final feed and then it was time to drive home and start the mammoth washing pile – but a fantastic weekend overall.
And of course highlight of the day has to go to poor Al who got locked in the house at 6:30am – whoops! Sorry Al!