The sixth running of our camp and as usual, on the flight home we’re already chatting about all the ideas that we’ve had between us for next year’s camp! We feel that it’s a special year as we’re “Everyday” Training and it will be the 7th year of this camp and last week’s camp has really filled us with enthusiasm.
Though we aim to be consistent in our approach and objectives of the camp, there are always small changes which, along with the different mix of character’s that each group brings, make each year’s camp quite different.
This time, it was our first year with only the three ride leaders as staff. In the past we’ve had our masseuse on site and some staff’s partners too helping out with logistics, meaning we’ve had a minimum of 5 staff. It went well this year with just the three of us – in fact, i think we all ended up doing more socialising as we all had to be more involved with more aspects of the organisation. The only draw back was that none of us could participate in all the races ( Jo did none of them!) which is a shame as we like to have at least one coach race against the campers.
We had a very strong group of athletes on board this year, with the second group typically riding at a similar pace to the first (AKA “fast”) group and really it was only the style of the riding that was different. It has also been the swiftest “slow” group we’ve ever had – again, the split was more down to sharing the group between the 3 leaders than a distinct difference in pace.
We had a high non completion rate which we think is perhaps a reflection of two things:
1. It was a particularly windy week. We’ve had windier conditions I’m sure on a given day but this week it was unrelenting – we didn’t have a single day without strong winds. Also, it was typically cloudy and colder than normal. The past few days when the weather has been perfect (clear skies, light winds) we’ve reflected that the slightly poor weather can dampen spirits a little
2. We made the schedule harder. For example, on that first day we added in an extra the hill climb race after the El Golfo TT. Though it was optional, it was unlikely on the first day anyone would skip it! This meant that though normally the average hours after the first day is under 5 hrs this year they were over….combined with a longer then usual route for the second day’s ride the average training hours after day 2 was well ahead of typical for these camps – with all of the racing still to come!! Basically – every time we think of a fun new game to play, or great new route to try – it’s an addition to the standard template….which is clearly not sustainable!! As an example, in total the average number of hours training by each completing camper through the 6-day of camp this year was 35:50 – well above the original target of 30 hours in six days. The minimum hours for completion was 33:54, hence more non-completions than is typical.
We’re already considering next year backing off the standard rides a little whilst keeping the wild card ride as long. This will mean it will be harder to earn a wild card but those just riding standard can do so with slightly less volume.
With six camps under out belt the races now have a good number of people that have run them so that getting a high ranking is becoming quite an achievement. For the swim and aquathlon we’ve always found it slightly amusing that the length of the swim varies with the tides and the buoy placement so the times should be taken with a pinch of salt. In fact, this year we shortened the aquathlon swim so there were lots of top times. This change will probably stay as it’s made for much better racing as the proportions were more like a typical aquathlon.
On the Tabeyesco time trial we had a great performance by Dan Brookes giving him the 5th fastest ascent and we’re now at the point to make our top ten requires sub 33:30. We’ve also now had 4 rides under 30 minutes.
This year the 10k race had loads of little battles going on within it. This lead to some great times. Matthew had a blistering run for a new course record of 38:18. behind him Paul produced the 4th best time we’ve had (39:24) and Dan Brookes did the 8th fastest. His 40:01 must have him itching to come back. I’m still targeting a sub 40 minute run but if I don’t do it soon it won’t be enough to make the top 10.
A summary of results from all of our races, and the points competition can be found here:
This wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Steven’s personal favourite data – Eddington Numbers. On camps we love the fact that this is something that all athletes contribute to. Though we’ve never met anyone with quite his level of enthusiasm for them, it did make us smile when several of the athletes persuaded him to run longer with them after the 10k race, so THEY could get HIM his 20k run Eddington Number. They ran 20.8k -only later realising that they’d missed a trick by not running the extra 200m to bag an early 21k for next year’s target. That will be a tall order on a typical camp. As Steven finalised the database for another year he also noted that this camp took us over the 100 mile mark for the bike Eddington number. This one will hit 112 in a few years and will then be very difficult to further. Steven’s personal favourite is total daily minutes. It’s currently at 333 – this means we’ve had 333 occasions where a camper has trained 333 minutes or more in a day. Thats a lot of training ! It’s now getting to a point where increments will be hard earned.
The camp is well and truly enhanced by the generosity of our long -term sponsors:
Powerbar for providing more than enough sports nutrition to keep 19 of us fueled for 6 full days of training, BlueSeventy for providing each camper this year with their own set of gold Hydra Vision goggles and swim cap as well as provision of a swim bag as a prize for the swim race,
And of course to Emma from the Kinesis test team who gives up the cold grim Yorkshire riding for a week to come and help lead rides, time the competitions and model the latest head-turning bike fashions from Morvelo.
The hotel is booked in Lanza for next year’s camp in – dates for your diary 11-18th March, 2017