On December 16-17th, MelRad Racing is hosting a swim and run camp in Victoria, BC. You might be thinking: “Why the heck would I want to go train hard RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS?” or “I’m not interested in training before Christmas.” Those are fair comments and I get that it is hard to do camps when racing is a LONG WAY AWAY but I am going to explain why I think this camp is valuable at this point in the year.
The December Swim and Run Camp Schedule
This camp is not about mileage, fitness, or testing. Instead, the goal is to instill habits, knowledge, movement patterns, and understanding. Athletes need to know where their gaps in competency exist. A coach can tell you “you need to work on your swim” or you can say yourself “I wish I swam faster” but that isn’t identifying the gap.
There are a lot of reasons swimming can be challenging. Lack of shoulder mobility, lack of strength in your back, lats, or triceps, incorrect pull in the water, incorrect breath timing, or finally (there are a lot more but I’m trying to keep the word count down) it could be fitness that holds you back. Doing one-arm drills with shoulders that can’t reach an effective pull is not going to effect change on your swimming (meaning drills will be a waste of your time).
There are three swim workouts in the camp. Each session includes dryland strength and mobility. There will be three different workouts addressing three aspects of swim fitness: technique, turnover, and strength. I will teach you what the difference is between these different workouts and why you need all of them this time of year. Notice there is no testing and no threshold. We will discuss the foundation of swim fitness and how it is achieved in order to build toward race specific fitness in another phase of training later in the year.
The second objective of this camp is addressing running form***. The most impact of all three sports in triathlon on your body comes from running. Most triathletes have paid to have a bike fit but next to none have had any run form analysis. Most people think they know how to run, but don’t-full stop. Many people do not understand HOW to run.. they just go out and move their legs at a pace faster than walking. With little to no run form knowledge there is exposure to significant injury through poor biomechanics.
Triathletes often think they get injured from doing too much speed work and in some cases this is true – but it may not be the speed session itself that is the problem. I would argue that more athletes get injured because their slow runs are not slow enough and/or when they are really slow, their form is bad and introduces risk of injury. As we head into the first phase of base training, doesn’t it make sense to get some work on HOW we run?
This swim and run camp is going to address how to run EASY (a feeling – not a pace is the perfect definition from my friend Marilyn Arsenault) with an awareness of the things you should ALWAYS be thinking about when you are running easy. All running requires conscious thought and engagement.
On Saturday, we are doing a workout with short hills that will introduce how to run WELL, and how to incorporate this work into your program. Finally, we will cap a great weekend of training with a long run/hike on Sunday in the beautiful trails in Victoria using what we learned about being conscious of our form during all of our running.
We will also being having a fun camp dinner on Saturday night. Whether you are focused on Ironman, short course, or XTERRA, this swim and run camp for triathletes is a great foundation clinic on how to approach your workouts to make the most of them in the new year and how to take steps to improve your weaknesses in swim and run.
How To Sign Up
There are a couple spots left for athletes at this December swim and run camp for triathletes- you don’t have to be coached by me – and the fee for the weekend is $175. If you are interested in taking one of the spots you are more than welcome. Contact me through email through the contact form on this site or at www.facebook.com/melradracing.
***Actually changing how you run takes a long time. This camp with introduce how to start but an EXCELLENT program for athletes constantly struggling with injuries and lack of progress is MINDFUL STRIDES with Marilyn Arsenault. I can introduce you to some of the concepts of run form in this camp and would refer you to Marilyn for a more in-depth overhaul of your running.