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Ironman 70.3 Augusta Training Camp
The Ironman 70.3 Augusta Tri Coach Georgia Training Camp was one of the most anticipated events in my training calendar. Mr. FauxTriathlete had done it 2 years ago and I knew he’d benefited from it. There is more than one post that I want to write about this weekend (detailed tips and recon on the course, my personal experience on the course this time, other random topics that conversations over the weekend sparked).
Why attend a training camp? Why this one? Here are my 5 reasons to attend the TriCoachGeorgia Augusta 70.3 Training Camp.
1. You get to have a packed, intense, well organized and informative weekend
Remember the days long ago as a kid when you were excited for a sleepaway camp or even a sleepover, that was the excitement the days leading up to the camp. For the ridiculously low price of $100, the camp offered entries to two events – the Gator Fest swim (1.2 or 3.4 mile distance option), and Ride for a Reason (the 56 mile bike ride on the race course); along with seminars on injury prevention and race day strategies.
It’s all about the butt and gut. Strong glutes and core make all the difference in all three sports.
Increasing stroke rate on the downstream river helps you go faster. (I don’t know anything more about this since I’m such a bad swimmer anyway and I like my recovery stroke. If you have any questions on the how and why, I’m sure Ryan will be happy to answer questions)
If you take the first 10-15 miles of the bike course in blazing glory and excitement after the swim, the last 10-15 miles of the bike course will take you down.
Roads at Miles 17-25 are bad. You will find out how well your bottles are secure. Hugging the white line provides the relatively smoothest rides.
2. You realize that it is an Ironman 70.3, not P***yman 70.3
Yes, the word was said. Harvey is not one to mince words and the normally offensive word was appropriate as he drilled into us that this race was business and not a stroll in the park.
And I realized as much the last time I rode the course and at about mile 40, I told Mike that this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And it IS. There is a lot of marketing from Ironman that says “Nothing is impossible”. Very true. But only IF you put in all your effort and all your heart and even parts of your soul into it. Running 13.1 miles after biking 56 miles after swimming 1.2 miles is NO JOKE!
It will be hot, especially during the run – train to run in the heat of the day. It sucks, yes. But better now than on race day.
It will be hilly on the bike course. But it gets flatter the more you ride hills. Prepare on hills, or simulate hills on the trainer if you are a flatlander.
3. You come out of it feeling like the badass you are
(If you’ve been reading my journey and/or know me in real life, you’d know that I never use any out-of-dictionary words. So this one is special!)
My tryst with the Augusta bike course last month left mental scars that I’d worked hard to heal. I put that out of my mind as I started my ride and tried to focus on the fact that I had done the 56 miles once and I’d do it again. I had not only my determination backing me, but I also had the encouragement of course veterans who gave me cheers as I rode out. Chad who reminded me to tighten my core at the hills. And Brian who told me to leave the scars behind and ride. And Katie, who was the sweeper and rode with me until the first aid station. And Jeff, who stayed with/near me from the first water station until the end.
Even those riders who had a harder ride than they expected – you are a badass. You rode the miles fair and square. And now you know your strengths and weakness. Race day will bring back familiar roads and the memory of how to whoop the 56 miles.
The river swim is a source of nervousness for so many (me included who hates the cold water). But we all tackled it, we faced our fears. Even though Gator Fest 1.2 swim was my third dip in the river, I was still nervous and joked to Brian if he would yell at me again if I didn’t get into the river this time. I gave him no chance to. My wave was called. An extra breath of 1-2-3 and I slid in and started. That’s badass.
4. You make mental notes of the race course that mean something to YOU
When you do the camp and you do the course, there are some things that you pick up that are special to YOU. My notes might mean nothing to you and yours might not mean anything to me. But those are the little things that will get you through on race day. Maybe a memory of you toughing it out, or one that you rode next to a friend and shared a joke, or one that just gladdened your heart and made you smile.
The kelp and underwater plants in the river were actually beautiful and not creepy – with the sun shining through making patterns in the water and plants swaying smoothly along the flow of the river.
Mile 32 is *my* hill, which is in the middle of the longest climb, where I had to stop the first time around. And funnily, there’s a farm next to it call “Laid-Back Farm”. When I passed that spot, I gave an internal cheer.
The road to the completion of the first run loop is one of the worst – going towards transition and I’m sure many athletes would be picking up their bikes by the time I’m running. But towards the end is *my* fire station where I fell last time and the firemen took care of me.
5. You actually look forward to race day because you get to see your friends again!
Camp makes memories. There is nothing else to be said there.
I renewed friendships with people I’d met before and I made new ones. And I got to know people who I’d only known as a FaceBook name. And felt connected to other kindred spirits. I laughed, I blushed, I giggled. And for a brief moment, forgot that I had a real life to go back to. I reveled in the wonderful hospitality and organization of the TriAugusta Club and Mayor Awesome Jeff Spires.
Remembering that there is only 7 weeks minus 2 days left in the #LongRoadToAugusta brings me waves of nervousness but also excitement knowing that we are all together in this individual sport. We train hard and we play hard.
If you are planning to race Ironman 70.3 Augusta, I highly recommend this camp for recon and knowledge. If you have any questions about the race or the Augusta 70.3 training camp, please contact the coaches at TriCoachGeorgia and they will be more than happy to help you with your queries. Or join the TriAugusta club through the very active FaceBook group!