Once again, the University of Exeter Triathlon Club was invited out to Portugal for a week long training camp put on by our sponsors Tri Training Harder. For the club members who attended: Sam, Jack and Joscha; it was an intensive, yet enjoyable, week of training in the beautiful Algarve with fantastic weather throughout.
Despite arriving very late on the Thursday, it was an early start on Friday for the first day of the camp. The morning involved a session in the 50m pool where athletes were filmed from above and below the water to analyse their swim technique. This was followed by a VDOT test on the running track and video analysis of running technique. In the afternoon there was a 75km introductory ride.
On Saturday, there was a chance to practice transitions during a brick session. In the afternoon, we traveled down to the marina after the pool session to watch the elite men’s ETU race and enjoy the sunshine.
The Sunday was the highlight of the week, with a 120 mile ride. The ride involved a lot of climbing up to Monchique, and then a time trial up to Foia, the highest point in the Algarve. All three club triathletes set very respectable times up the mountain, especially Sam and Joscha. Jack started to struggle towards the end of the ride, but considering it was twice as long as any he had done before, this was perhaps understandable.
Monday was something of a recovery day. The morning swim session focused on technique rather than pace, and there was a gentle recovery spin on the bike in the afternoon down to the marina for ice cream and coffee. We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel spa, working the tension out of tired muscles, or tanning in the hot Portuguese sun.
Tuesday was another busy day, starting with some cross-country running around a local running trail. We then headed down to the beach for some open water swimming practice. Sam unfortunately had to sit out due to his injured collarbone, whilst Jack did well to slightly overcome his fears of open water swimming. There was a 90km hilly ride in the afternoon. Joscha again put in some great climbs, as well as top efforts during the chainganging at the start of the ride. Sam and Jack took it a bit steadier, with Sam saving himself for a race the coming weekend. The only bit of bad luck to beset anyone in the entire week happened to Jack when he had to stop and change a slow puncture towards the end of the ride.
Fatigue was starting to show on Wednesday, with both Sam and Jack sitting out of some of the morning swim session due to shoulder injuries. In the afternoon there were two options for the ride. Joscha chose to do the tough intervals session, whilst Sam and Jack did hill reps, or rather Jack did hill reps while Sam sat in the cafe resting for his race on Saturday.
It was a very enjoyable week for all involved. The weather was fantastic, and all three club members came away feeling they’d really achieved something. The University of Exeter Triathlon Club would like to thank Tri Training Harder and their coaches, particularly Philip, Fiona, Chantal, Mike and Tom for all their work during the week, as well as Max and Natalie for the amazing food they provided and all their hard work organising the week.