Last weekend in Boulder, CO, team amazing day hosted its first training camp. Camp ran from Friday through Monday and was designed with the runner in mind. Over the course of four days, runners ran long, easy, short, hard, on trails, on the track, on the roads and on the snow. We also included an optional swim component in camp for triathlete or athletes simply looking to improve their swim for cross-training purposes.
Camp opened Friday afternoon with a group run. Many of our athletes flew in from the east coast and were thrilled to strip off their many layers and run in shorts as the sun went down over the Rockies. Saturday morning the group completed a long trail run of varying distances from the Marshall Mesa trailhead in south Boulder. Runners were treated to rolling terrain, steep hiking, and the gorgeous views that are the regular backdrop to training in Colorado. Because we had athletes of varying experiences and abilities attending camp, we were able to split up into several groups that allowed runners to cover anywhere from 6-13 miles over the course of the morning.
After a hearty brunch, we regrouped (many athletes rocking our soon-to-be-trademarked striped pants) at RallySport Boulder that afternoon for a class taught by Erin Carson, the owner of RallySport and an extremely talented personal trainer who’s roster includes professional athletes over multiple disciplines. With Erin, we worked through many topics including training while traveling, nutrition, strength as related to flexibility, and sport-specific progressive training. Thank you, Erin!
We finished up the afternoon with a quick splash in the pool, walking through the fundamentals of stroke technique for newer swimmers and simply flopping out the long day of training for the athletes more comfortable in the water.
Sunday morning graced our athletes with a taste of the mercurial weather in Colorado, as the temperatures dropped and we were sprinkled on with snow. We met at the track for a session on drills, running form and technique by Josh Shadle. Josh walked the group through a full roster of running drills, discussed how they are related to form, where drills belong in training and some general technique work. We finished up the session with a standard ladder workout and then piled our layers back on to brunch. Thank you, Josh!
Sunday afternoon brought another opportunity for a swim, stroke analysis and development and a surprise time trial for the athletes racing an early season 70.3. Monday morning turned quite snowy and we broke into small groups, allowing athletes to choose between an early morning swim or a gentle recovery run through the snow before heading back home, physically tired but stuffed full of knowledge and motivation that will hopefully power them through the rest of the cold winter months.
Why attend a winter training camp?
Training camp can be a small but significant bump to the fitness level of any athlete. It allows an opportunity to train for a short period of time without the distractions or stressors that exist in life on a regular basis. All of the athletes attending camp knew well in advance the schedule of the weekend, and the coaches made sure to prepare the athletes appropriately for the work that would be done.
In-person time with a coach is an invaluable experience, no matter the level of athlete. For the coaches, being able to watch the athlete move in real time gives a huge opportunity to improve the relationship, to better understand the strengths and limitations of the athlete, and to better plan and coach the athlete in the future.
Attending training camp, for many athletes, is a step outside of the comfort zone. Many athletes train alone, and being put into a group environment of mixed abilities can be a positive and confidence-boosting experience no matter the level of runner. Some athletes this weekend were pushed outside of their comfort zones by the group experience, and left camp with a boost of confidence in themselves and their potential. Other athletes were able to recognize their strengths in the group environment, and that has turned into positive training motivation now that they have returned home.
Stay tuned for details to come about the next team amazing day training camp in late May, which will be triathlon-focused and include racing the Bolder Boulder 10K, America’s All-Time Best 10K!
Huge thanks to OSMO Nutrition and Justin’s Nut Butters for supporting our athletes at training camp this weekend!