Saturday, 12 May 2012

NRG Camp - final day

Today, the last day was billed as an easy day after a big week of riding. Whilst a few of the clients took the opportunity of the great weather and having the very beautiful mountain of Superbagners literally out of the back door of the hotel for one final climb, others opted for a ride in the van for a short lake swim.
I rode out and met them there  - though my legs had no desire to pedal up another mountain this morning, they felt pretty happy to pump out half an hour each way to the lake. I'll take them for a run later on too, and then Sunday will be a full day of travel, so a day off prior to a few easy training days next week.

It's been a relatively tiring week with  about 36 hours of cycling over 6 ride days, and the nature of the terrain has meant that even on the relatively slow riding days there has been between 2 and 4 hours of hard work at constant high power and torque. However, in our roles as ride support/leader but without any of the responsibility for the camp logistics, athlete welfare and coaching etc it has been a lot less tiring for us than our own camps, and despite the long days, we were able to relax each afternoon and fit in a few runs too, so I'm hoping that whist receiving a big boost of cycling fitness, the low swim and run volume and decent recovery means that I'll be able to recover quickly and commence race prep training schedule from next weekend. It'll be interesting to see how hill climbing on my compact road bike will translate to flat/rolling time trialling on my tri bike  -and with the summer CTT season kicking off in the UK , I'll soon have a chance to find out!

It has been interesting to observe how other coaches run training camps (NRGTP is a very large coaching organisation in Canada- the great majority of the 16 athletes on this camp are coached by one of the camp coaches), and gain further exposure to the cross section of attitudes of the clients who sign up for them. By leading more rides and groups of all different riding ability and experience, Steven and I were able to learn and practice skills that we will be able to apply in our future camps, as well as the chance to meet triathletes from quite a different environment and culture.  I don't know what they thought of us "Brits" but  I found them a jolly bunch with a far more relaxed attitude to training than we're used to seeing (but, maybe that's just the nuts that we tend to attract!) It was very gratifying how much everyone appreciated  the amazing scenery and terrain of the Pyrenees, and despite the obvious suffering by the week, really kept great spirits and enjoyed each challenging day.

For me, this first trip to the region and to Ian and Julie Wright's Pyrenees Multisport base has been a real revelation. I really have fallen in love with the region in general and in particular the convenience of the location of Luscon, which aside form the obvious draws for cyclists, offers a good variety of running routes, lake swimming as well as pool swimming in the summer. Ian and Julie have been fabulous hosts, providing all the facilities that a cyclist or triathlete needs ( and more) for a great week of focused training with a more than a bit of comfort to relax in afterwards, and we're most grateful to have been asked to come and assist. Steven will be back here next month with Russ Cox helping out with their Iron Camp  -I'm kinda jealous and wondering if I can possibly justify another trip out so soon!!

It's early days but it's highly likely that there will be an EverydayTraining Camp Pyrenees happening in this space

day 6 - back to Luchon

day was another Point -to -point, with the majority of the camp riding a full tour stage ( that which i beleive will be used for the Etape de Tour), with the added highlight of meeting Cadel Evans doing the same route. for the more weary or slower paced campers, i lead a shorter option which *only* took just over 6 hours...
Hourquette d'Ancizan
Col de Peyresourde (from the other way) 

More Pyrenees...

Luz Ardiden
(Not quite the top of) Col de Tourmalet

Pyrenees camp day 4 -in transit

a point-to - point route from Luchon to Argeles Gazot
Another go over the Col de Peyresoude

Col de Aspin 

there was then an out and back part way up the Tourmelet, which is still closed due to snow...and a cross country route which bagged us another couple of little Cols between Bagnerres de Bigore and Argeles Gazot ( referred to later as "the wall" on account of the unexpected 18% grade)

rest day

tuesday was a rest day, or at least a day off the bike. there's a nice small lake about 8mile jog from our Pyrenees Multisport base where "Baignade" is "Interdite". Unfortunately, no one in our group
speaks much french....

Monday, 7 May 2012

Tour Stage, but slower

following one of the (provisional ) TdF days - they'll be going not quite as far, but in half the time...
Col De Mente
Col des Ayres
Port de Bales
(view from) Perraguides

Sunday, 6 May 2012

day 2 in the pyrenees

a little trip into spain!
Col de Portallon:
Pla du Beret:
Port de Bonaguaia:

hills in the pyrenees

a 10 day camp based in Luchon the pyrenees & assisting ian and julie wright of pyrenees multisport on NRG tri camp & getting a few hills in on the bikes day 1

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