50 athletes, 50 bikes, 6 houses, 3 magpie attacks, 2 broken spokes, tubs of Acend Protein Powder, boxes of Shotz Gels & Bars and lots and lots of food!!!

Our third training camp for the season was held 16-18 September 2011. And what a fantastic camp we had!

The aim of this camp is on boosting athletes training endurance and strength and start preparing for our pre compeition phase of our training block (race specific). The focus on was preparing athletes for the challenges of training and racing, while pushing their bodies both mentally and physically through 3 solid days of training.

On Friday just under 50 athletes headed out of Melbourne and down the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay to start their 3 days of solid training.

After a slight ‘hiccup’ with accommodation, Coach Sarah quickly sorted out and everyone was settled in and prepared for their first session of the day – a light 60km ride to Wye River and return. The pace however was quickly turned on on the way back home and what started out as a leisurely ride soon turned into a nice hit out on the way back to Apollo Bay. The smart ones though knew their limits and held back knowing what was in store for the enxt two days.

A change over into running gear, as a few more athletes hit Apollo Bay and the group was off for their first run along the Great Ocean Road. The sun was shining and everyone was loving the start to the weekend.

Saturday athletes were up early preparing their bikes and nutrition, eyeing off what others were eating for breakfast and wondering how many gels they could stuff into their pockets. (Better to have too many than not enough!) With the sun shining and barely a breeze to talk about, the group headed towards Lorne to kick start their first big ride. Distances included 60km for beginners, 90km for Sprint, 110-120km Olympic, 135km Half Ironman and a whopping 170km for Ironman, followed by a run straight off the bike ranging from 8-21km. A great effort by all to get through their first day, with little incidents – and a great learning curve for some as they discovered what is required for training (and nutrition) of such length and intensity.

Following the bike / run athletes headed down to the ocean to ice the legs and the cold water never felt so good! A few athletes even braved a full dip in the water and with the sun shining why wouldn’t you!!

Saturday afternoon athletes gathered for a briefing, downloading how they went during the sessions, what went right, what could be improved and how to tackle the next day. We all hoped that Ollie’s words of ‘you will generally feel better on the second day’ would ring true!

With the briefing wrapped up, we headed straight to the Apollo Bay Pub for a feed. Garlic breads, spaghetti and risotto were big on the menu and the standard palmas were also popular. A few brave souls stuck around to watch the Rugby, while the rest were in bed not long after sun down!

Sunday was an early morning start, with a 6.15am kick off heading into the Otways and out to Lavers Hill. Another glorious day to be out on the bike, as athletes tried to get their legs back in order hitting their first hill only 2km into the ride. That should sort them out! Our Ironman athletes set a cracking pace from the start, on what is a great (but tough) ride through the Otways. Athletes again racked up anywhere from 60-150km (including the famous Wild Dog Creek Road) on the bike and 8-12km on the run. A great effort to back up from the day before. Well done to everyone!

But next was arguably the hardest part about the weekend, driving the 2.5-3hours back to Melbourne iwthout falling asleep!!

Noteable mentions:

  • Mark Jenkins for driving back to Melbourne on Saturday arvo to coach his girls basketball grandfinal and then turn around and drive the 3 hours back in time to get a few hours sleep to start Sunday’s training.
  • Jay Mueller breaking not one but two spokes on his Sunday ride, and learning how to change a back wheel via YouTube!
  • If you didn’t know about wearing 2 pairs of knicks AND vasaline on long rides – you now do!
  • Complete 380km of riding, and 55km of riding in 3 days and you will be a 2 pot screamer!
  • Anthony ‘Levo’ Leverington is now the new Hugh Heffner, hanging out with the girls all weekend – just don’t seek any encouragement from him!!
  • The magpies kept a keen eye on us all weekend, but most of us escaped unharmed on the ride. But Emma was unlucky to be attacked while walking home!
  • Ugg Boots need to be put on the Checklist – a mandatory item.
  • Tim Grant proved he reached the top of Wild Dog Road by graffetting the road with chalk drawings.
  • The group didn’t have one flat on the weekend – has to be a record!
  • Irene was the big winner – chauffering athletes, cooking the biggst pavlova’s EVER, and providing support when needed. Thanks Irene!

Tri Alliance athletes said of their experience on the camp…

“Thanks for putting together a great training Camp. Personally, most  satisfying so far.  I have gained immensely from it. You and your team of coaches and TA  guys are just great. At  the age of 47 and just being new to the sport,  over 18 months ago,  I could not have imagined to come thus far  without your guidance, brilliant coaching  and mentoring. Looking  forward to the future!”

“Just a quick note to say thanks for this weekend, I had an awesome time even though my bike gave up the ghost near the top of Lavers. It’s really made me think about my training and what I can actually achieve, especially as I did my longest bike ride ever on Saturday and my longest run in a decade today.”

Check out photo’s from the camp here.

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