Well, last full day at the OTC and we made the most of it! We started off with a tough swim/bike brick workout–or as I like to call them: simulators (race like simulation). We set up 12 bike trainers on the pool deck, pulled out some of the lane lines (made a wide area to swim) and got down to business! Fyi a bike trainer holds your back wheel in place and adds resistant to your bike so you can bike in place.
After warming up on the bike, we hopped in the pool for a race-like warm up. Then they pulled us out and explained to us the set. Similar to the simulator session the other day in the bike/run, we had different scenarios on each round. The main set was 3 rounds of 400m swim followed by a 10min bike. The swim was fun because we didn’t just go up and down like you would in a pool. We swam in a large rectangle without touching the wall and did some pace lines and drafting in there too.
After the swim, we hopped out of the pool, jogged (very carefully!) down the pool deck, and hopped on our bikes. A coach would call out specific things to do on the bike–in the saddle, out of the saddle, attack, high cadence, sprint… They kept us moving and breathing hard for 10min straight. A set like this burns the legs and makes the heart work. You have to dig deep for motivation, but it is sets like this that prepare you for race day. You know what it feels like to swim hard, get out and then have to put the hammer down right off the bat on the bike. It hurts big time, but I know it will pay off come race day. As my coach says:
Training is hard. Racing is easy.
We worked up quite an appetite and headed to lunch after that. Then it was time to break down our bikes and pack them up. I did pretty good with it. Each time I get more efficient in disassembling and packing my bike in the bike box. The only way to get good at it, is just to do it.
After a brief snooze, we headed out to the Sante Fe Trail for a long run–steady, aerobic. I ran for a little over 10 miles. It felt good just to go and run. We’ve done a lot of new skills, drills and speed work this week. It was refreshing just to get out in nature, run, loosen the legs and keep the heart rate steady.
We finished off the day with a wrap-up meeting–survey, takeaways and discussion. It’s hard to believe it’s time to go. We got here just last week, but it feels like we’ve been here longer. We accomplished a lot!
I’m sad to leave Colorado, but also excited to get back to my Clermont training hub and sleep in my own bed. This training trip began on July 8th for me, so I’ve been on the road for a while. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to come out here though. I see it as like a carrot on a stick. I’ve gotten to eat, sleep, breath the Olympic Training Center for over a week. I know what it’s like and now I know what I need to work on in order to get invited back to be an OTC resident athlete. Fyi, to be a resident athlete there are certain qualification standards you must meet.
I have lots to think about and process through over the next couple days and weeks. I’ve met many new people, worked with some of the best coaches out there, and learned a lot to help me improve. Stay tuned for more on my lessons learned and key takeaways from Colorado 2011 coming in the next few days! Ciao!