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!


Anonymous said...

Ben, can you contact me.


MarkyV said...

Tell me about it.

As we've seen... organization can be tough. ;)

But it's those same smiles and tales of good efforts and personal bests that flow from my athletes that I also want to impart to a collection of campers.

It did not work out this time around but I do very much look forward to learning from you in the future on how to run these.

Uh... email coming soon... assuming i don't fall asleep from the excessive fatigue... 5+hours of killing it on the bike tomorrow... uh... plus run and swim.

two more weeks, two more weeks, two more weeks. :)

Hope all is well!!!
A smile, a thank you and a successful race day can be one of the best "payments" a coach can ever receive.