Trimarni 2.5 day Greenville training camp - Day 3 recap

Day 3 of a 3-day training camp is always the hardest. Physically, the body is not as sharp as it was on day one and two and mentally, it is challenging to convince yourself that you still have more energy in your sore/tired body to train hard for one more day.

When we write training camps into our training plans (for half and full Ironman distances), the workouts are designed to overload the body respective to the upcoming race distance but to also strengthen the mind to boost confidence. Additionally, there is a heavy emphasis on using the camp to work on race day pacing as well as to practice nutrition. Regardless if it is an Ironman-focused training plan or a Half Ironman training plan, a training camp is designed to prepare you for race day, both mentally and physically. 

Although there are many benefits of attending a training camp, our favorite part of a training camp is having our campers motivate each other. It's really special to see campers support each other to the point that if one camper is tired or having an off day, everyone is there to lift-up one another. 

Under normal circumstances, when an athlete is sore and tired from multiple days of training, it is so easy to skip a workout. But having a group to meet your tired body to train can make a huge difference to you actually showing up! Also, motivation is increased to push harder when you see someone else having a great workout. Considering the residual fatigue in a training camp, the camaraderie of campers in day 3 of a training camp can really boost performance because the chances of you pushing hard and not cutting the workout short are much greater when you have 6, 15 or 20 other athletes there to keep you going. 

Karel and I like to challenge our campers on day 3 of our training camps because we know our campers can get so much more out of the workout in a group environment, than alone. 
We also like to give our campers a better understanding of how we train and how we train our athletes in that we go through all the motions of setting ourselves up for a great workout and this means helping our campers understand how to train smart when the body is tired and the mind is not 100% committed to the workout. I am very strict on fueling because it can be a major setback (and letdown) when an athlete goes into a workout underfueled or neglects fueling during a training camp. Lastly, we like to push our campers. We want them to know they can still train smart and stay within their own fitness capabilities but push hard to reach new limits. 


On Day 3 of our training camp we woke up to wet roads but thankfully, no falling rain. We dodged a possible ice storm and despite the temperature in the low 30's, it was an absolutely perfect morning to run.

We wanted our campers to sleep in so we set our start time at the host hotel for 9am. Our planned workout was a long run with intervals on a rolling course and a special surprise at the end of our run. We wanted to give our athletes a scenic run so after our hip/glute warm-up at the hotel, we all ran easy through downtown Greenville and Falls Park and then through Cleveland Park to the Caine Halter YMCA. 

One of the biggest reminders for our athletes during our long run was to be ok with running slow - with good form. Although each camper has his/her own running fitness ability, everyone grouped up to run easy w/ walk breaks every 10-15 minutes to stretch out (we are also big proponents of walking while running - even in races). Running slow can be as slow as you want but because this can be hard to learn how to do for some runners, we aim for at least 90-120 seconds slower than a 10K or half marathon effort. Not only is this easier on the body to resist fatigue by running slower than normal with good form but this allows the body to be more fresh for a higher intensity effort near the end of the workout (and prevents the body from quickly tapping into glycogen stores early in the workout). It's also much easier to fuel/hydrate during the slower effort during the beginning part of the workout. 

After ~4.5 miles of our "warm-up", we stopped at the field of the YMCA and did a true dynamic warm-up where Karel led the exercises. 

Then we gave our campers the main set.

2 x 3 loops strong effort (good pacing) w/ 3-5 minutes rest in between
(We switched up the direction of the loop on the 2nd round)

What we didn't tell our athletes was how long each loop was OR the total of each interval.
Each loop was actually 0.63 miles so each interval was 1.89 miles! 

Our biggest focus was making sure our athletes didn't check-out mentally before the workout began so we asked our athletes to not worry about their pace. It's so easy to compare to a past you or to feel you should be going faster but we reminded our athletes that today is a new day - new course, new weather, new training environment, new training camp - all new so no expectations are needed!

 We absolutely LOVE main sets that are grouped in three (mentally, it's easy to break them down) so we wanted to have a main set that was mentally "easy" to handle, even if the effort was not "easy." It was important for our athletes to learn how to pace themselves within each loop because the course was rolling with one section of each loop with a steady climb and another section with a steep downhill. We addressed good running form up hills and down hills and the appropriate opportunities to pick up the pace and to recover/fuel.

I ran with three of the female campers and we all pushed each other. It's so great to push one another in a group environment and we all needed the extra motivation on day 3 of our training camp. 

After our main set was complete, we all re-grouped and ran back to the hotel through the park for a total of 11.5 miles for our last day of training camp. 

Oh - I almost forgot! We didn't let our campers mentally check-out after the main set. We told them that we had one more set for them around 1.5 miles from their hotel. 

We did 1 last hill sprint (1 minute long) by Falls Park just to show our athletes that they do have that final push in the body, they just need to make sure they keep the easy parts easy (it's all about pacing) in workouts so that they can train the body to push hard when it needs to go hard (like in the last few miles of a race).

After our athletes checked out of the hotel and had a filling breakfast, we all met at Run In (our fav run store) for a little retail therapy after 3 days of training. All of our campers received a free coupon to Planet Smoothie (next door) so that none of our campers would have to travel home hungry. 

After we sad good bye to most of our campers, our athlete Izzy came over to our place for a RETUL fit by Karel to get a bit more dialed in on his bike. 

What a great 2.5 days of training by our campers. We are so proud of our campers for staying strong throughout our entire camp and we can't wait until our Clermont, FL camp in 2 weeks! 4 days of camp with the last day being an Olympic Distance Triathlon race (USAT sanctioned)! 




Running intervals within a long run. Being paced by some strong ladies!

What a great group! 

Last sprint up the hill!

Just keep running...just keeping running. 

Almost there!

Look at those strong legs! Go Leigh-Ann!

Go Laura go!

Finally...we survived! 


Trimarni 2.5 day Greenville training camp - Day 2 recap

Back in 2011, I did my very first training camp. I didn't pay any money for the camp and I didn't have to travel very far because the camp was just for me. 

 Karel designed a strategically placed "overload" training block in my training plan, around 9 weeks out from the Ironman World Championship. Since we, at Trimarni, are not proponents of high volume training within our training plans (specific to endurance training), this new concept of a 3-4 day "training camp" was such a smart and appropriate way to put adequate stress on my healthy body and gain fitness without compromising health. Plus, it was so cool to just mentally and physically dedicate 3-4 days to training and to minimize outside stressors (something that is hard to accomplish on a week to week basis).

We still continue to implement "training camps" into our training plans and for our one-on-one athletes. 

There are many different types of training camps, from camps that pack a lot of volume, to camps that jump-start a training block/phase or to escape from normal life/weather to camps that are more informative to focus on skills. 

For Karel and me, camps are a prime opportunity to see our athletes in action but to also educate. Sure, the extra push that each camper gives to one another is an added bonus and something that you can never get at home when training alone but being in the elements, one on one with athletes is invaluable.

With our big training day on Saturday for our camp, we weren't sure how our campers would "survive" but they all did outstanding, with no complaints, no excuses and no bad attitudes. We had six well-fueled, strong and focused athletes ready to learn, push and support one another. 


At 7:45am we met as a group at the Caine Halter YMCA and due to a broken water pump, we had to move our swim to the indoor pool. With the temperatures in the low 30's on Saturday morning, our campers were not complaining that they didn't have to walk outside to the bubble pool.

After a series of swim dynamic warm-ups, our campers got into the pool for a warm-up and then they began their pre-set before their main set. 

I took video's of every athlete so that they could see what they looked like in the pool since the Fri swim was more technique focused before the main set. We really like the opportunity to have our first day of camp be dedicated to skills and technique so that our athletes can apply new tips to their training the next day. 

After an hour of swimming (around 2000 yards), our athletes changed and headed to a restaurant to feed their bellies before their long brick. I advised our athletes to have a snack before their swim and a carb-rich with moderate protein, low fiber/fat meal after the swim since we allowed about 2 hours after the swim and before the bike for digestion. 

At 11am we all met at the host hotel on our bikes and although the sun was popping out (at times) it was a bit chilly in the mid 30's. However, everyone dressed appropriately and I made sure our campers stayed consistent on their fuel intake (liquid calories) in order to avoid bonking or dehydration with the cold weather. 

Karel planned a challenging yet beautiful route through Dacusville and Pumpkintown and to Table Rock. With 4000 feet of climbing and one long climb that went from 11% to 14% to 17% to 20%, the route was not easy! But we reminded our  athletes that the riding in Greenville is not easy because the routes are not steady - there is little opportunity to develop a rhythm and this is why we feel so strongly that when our athletes come to train with us in Greenville they can get very comfortable changing gears and learning how to anticipate climbs. Aside from the rolling hills, climbs and descends, we also have a lot of turns, bumpy roads and windy sections so our  athletes were able to learn how to efficiently ride their bike (and fuel) in non-"perfect" conditions. 

Our campers were strong and they never complained. I remember the first few rides with Karel in Greenville and feeling totally exhausted from this challenging terrain. But our campers knew that the focus of the camp was to learn and improve skills but to also experience added training stress that they just can't get alone or in their normal training environment.   Needless to say, Karel and I gave everyone the push they secretly craved. The group was of different riding styles and that was just fine because we had meet-up sections on the course at stop signs/turns.

After an almost 4 hour ride, we made our way back to the host hotel and gave our athletes a 10-minute transition before our run. I made sure everyone had a sport drink or gel+water for the run because the worst thing is having athletes underfuel/underhydrate in a brick workout. Karel and I never leave the house without fluids (at minimum) when we run - even for a 10 minute brick run.

It was nearing 3:45pm and our athletes had been moving since 8am but the fun wasn't over yet. 

Karel and I ran from our home to the host hotel and met the group and we all jogged easily to the Greenville HS track (which is free to the public, anytime).

We all did a dynamic warm-up and Karel and I discussed briefly about the importance of learning how to run smart when running off the bike in a triathlon as well as how to get the mind and body ready for a strong run off the bike. 

Our brick run was ~15 minutes or 2 miles (whichever came first) on the track, semi-conversational pace. Most of us found a buddy to run with which made the laps go by rather quickly. Despite 5 hours of training in the bank on Saturday, everyone looked really smooth and light on their feet for the run. We made sure that all our campers took some extra fuel around 30 minutes before we finished the bike (gels, blocks, bars, sport drinks - sugar!) to ensure that no one would bonk or get injured. Furthermore, we all had happy feet running on the track surface compared to the asphalt.

After a 3.5 mile run, our campers had around 90 minutes to shower, rest and refuel with a recovery drink and snack and then we all met downtown for dinner at Pomegranate on Main. I absolutely LOVE this restaurant and it has something for every type of diet.

Throughout our dinner, Karel and I talked about our upcoming relationship with First Bourn and our growing excitement to hold camps at the various First Bourn locations and we also heard from each of our campers to better understand what they were taking away from the camp as well as areas of continued improvement. Lucky for me and Karel, we had two of our own one-on-one Trimarni athletes at our camp and one of our athletes is a coach herself (Leigh-Ann) so the group dynamic was really powerful to hear from all of our campers, which come from all different backgrounds and fitness levels. 

By 9pm, we were all exhausted and ready for bed so we called it a night and told everyone to sleep-in to wake up super rested for our last day of training - the long run!

Day 3 recap coming soon....here are some pictures from day 2. 

Reserved lanes at the YMCA

Trimarni swim workout

Happy swimmers!

Karel refueling at the French Bakery.


We LOVE fresh bread!!!

Time to chase the mountains!

Learn to embrace the climbs. 

What goes up must go down!

Regrouping before our "big" climb!

Riding strong!

Happy on two wheels!

Everyone made it up the big climb!

Top of the big climb!

Strong ladies!!

Karel and Izzy finishing strong!

Snow on the top!

In the valley!

The closest we can get to flat roads - rollers. 

Just riding along...

We love to climb!

Cory riding strong!

Leigh-Ann riding strong

Leigh-Ann and Meryl riding strong!

Go Leigh-Ann!

Meryl riding strong!

Doreene riding strong!

Go Doreene!

In my happy place

Yay climbs!

Laura riding strong!

Go Laura!

Go Izzy!

Izzy riding strong!

Everyone made it to the top! That was just the warm-up! 2 more hours to go!

Helping our athletes learn how to draft for training purposes

Super windy and still riding strong!

Cory takes a pull!

Pacing these strong ladies behind my wheel

Super windy out - we worked on where to draft in different wind conditions

Pushing strong!

A perfect place for a brick run!

Karel instructing on run pacing off the bike

Let's EAT!!!

Veggie kabobs with basmati rice, lentils and raisins. - HAPPY TUMMY!