Thursday, October 16, 2008

Training Camps Exposed

As someone who earns their living through coaching triathletes I always have to think hard about the ROI on running training camps. Most of you probably think 'wow what a great way to spend a week or two, training alongside athletes and enjoying typically good weather all the while getting paid to do it'. Now I hate to shatter those illusions but the bottom line is training camps are hard work to organize, promote, and run. Not only that, the return is often very low given the significant investment of time and energy.

So I hear you ask, why bother running camps in the first place? Well here is the crux of this post and may I just bring your attention to the photo on the right. What do you see? I see a bunch of friends who look healthy and happy posing for a photo in a beautiful location somewhere just West of Beebee Bridge, WA. In actual fact many of these people only met each other for the first time four days prior to the photo being taken. Now maybe I am just sentimental (or just mental) but I love the fact this group of people came together at a training camp organized by my wife Cindy and I to help prepare them for the biggest race of their year (for some of them the biggest race of their life to date). To be able to impart my knowledge and experience onto these athletes and provide training opportunities that they themsleves would have been unlikely to undertake in the comforts of their own world gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. To know after the fact that they would all go on to have great races at their respective IM races also gives me a warm feeling.

So I run the numbers and they don't always look good but would I ever stop running training camps to help athletes move their athletic potential forwards, never!

Friday, October 10, 2008

And the winner is???

Well my wife I guess for getting a photo with 'man crush' material Craig Alexander. But seriously Craig (Crowie) is a very realistic contender for the top spot. Having sat down to dinner with TJ and discussed some of the training they undertook together in Boulder I have to say Craig's workouts were very impressive. The 2008 champion, maybe!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The TYR Family

Arrived safe and sound with only one small problem, no bags! Okay I dramatize, they arrived on the next flight several hours after we arrived so not too much of a horror story. My biggest single concern was my bike (I traveled with my P3C in the hope of getting some training done for 70.3 Worlds) as when I left it the oversize baggage guys had decided to search it and all I saw were straps and bubble wrap everywhere! It is still in the box as we speak so I will update you later on the outcome.

Cindy and I were met at the airport by my friend and boss Ryan Dolan (National Sales Manager Multisport and Team at TYR Sport) and were greeted by a big bag of TYR goodies some of which were custom made for the race. Cindy also got some rather nice swim suits from TYR's parent company Swimwear Anywhere (who own Juicy Couture, Donna Karen etc etc) so she was happy!

The rest of the evening was spent the three of us having dinner with TJ Tollakson and talking about what else - Triathlon, perfect! In the picture on the left Ryan, yours truly in the middle and TJ on the right, what a trio! Off to bed now for an early night after lots of travel, and an early wake up call to go for a run before the day begins.

I love this Island!

Kona 2008 - A view from the industry side

Here starts the unofficial Vo2Multisport/TYR Ironman Hawaii 2008 blog. I will try and post somewhat regularly work and play permitting! This will be my first time on the island as a spectator and I must confess I am really looking forward to it. On the two occasions I have raced here (2004 and 2005) I can honestly say the race itself has not been terribly enjoyable (am I allowed to say that?) but the build up and the post race euphoria were incredible. I love the Big Island and the energy it exudes is phenomenal, add to that the fact my wife and I cemented our relationship here and it makes it a really special place.

Firstly let me clear up a few things if I may (hopefully I won’t anger Madam Pele in the process). This is not the 'hardest course’ on the Ironman Calendar. The lava fields are not expansive. The natural energy lab is no more difficult than any other part of the run course. The swim is the most brutal one I have ever experienced in my 19 years of racing. Alii Drive is the most hallowed ground in this sport and the most awesome finish ever in any sport.

Photos and more to come as the week progresses, watch this space!