Sedona training camp

September 24th, 2012 by

It has been some time between stints shall we say. Time flies by when you are having fun. Or not?! Either way, i’ll do my best to bring you back up to speed on the past couple of months since racing Ironman UK in Bolton. In a nut shell, it went something like this; 1. aggrivate my exsisting hip issue during Bolton 2. hope that some recovery & treatment would heal it 3. aim for Ironman Wales in September 4. train for Wales in Sedona, AZ 5. return to the US for the remainder of the season.

In the end this plan went out the window as my hip took far longer to heal that I anticipated (6 weeks in total) and also the Olympics were on, and I didn’t want to miss out on the ‘Lympics! – I had been in the US during Beijing in 2008, and I couldn’t believe how badly the tv coverage of them sucked! It made me realise how much we took the BBC for granted. Plus, Ali and I had some tickets to see Hockey semi finals … and it would have been daft for me to be away and miss out on a chance to experience it all first hand. It was a no-brainer; Olympic Park was a fantastic experience!

My plans changed to simply getting fit again and not worrying about racing till I knew I was healthy once more. I had also been invited by Darren Smith (who was our old Scottish National Coach from 2000-05) to come and train with him and his squad. – He has his own squad that operates out of various traning locations throughout the year and from mid August he would be in the town of Sedona, which is at an altitude of roughly 5000ft in the hills of Arizona. – In the grand scheme of things not much more than a stones throw away from the Grand Canyon in fact. 

I was looking forward to visiting somewhere new to train and I was also keen to train with some folk that I had not had the oppertunity to swim, bike and run alongside before. – Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack was training with Darren during the summer in Switzerland, and he would be doing his final Kona block of training there along with Ronnie Schildnecht, who had just won his home Ironman in Switzerland for the 7th time this July.

Between these two alone I was hoping to pick up a few tricks of the trade! If nothing else the average speed of my rides has increased a notch or so.

As I write this I am starting the 4th week of training up here in Sedona. From my point of view it’s been an ideal 3 weeks so far; with there being a great mix of training location, experienced and focused athletes to work alongside as well as the expertise of Darren to tap into throughout. It’s been different, but change is good isn’t it? I’m in no doubt that it’s been exactly what I was needing after getting into a bit of a rut in Stirling after the Ironman attempt in July.

The pic above shows a group of us midway through an exceptionally long bike ride … 240k long. Or almost 140miles in old money. Lets say it was a little emtionally at times, but a good fun group providing plenty of inane banter to pass the time away. In the pic from L-R is Declan, a junior Darren is coaching, Myself, Cameron Good, Chris McCormack (all Aussies) plus Torsten Abel who has been doing some training in the area also. – He was in fact our tour guide on this epic adventure!

I’ve started to feel myself again in training – the lack of running for so long really knocked me off kilter through August, and with 3 weeks of no pain since I arrived, I can confidently say I am back to normal. It’s just a case of playing catch up on the run milage to be honest, and this is always my achillies heel in terms of training. If I’m running consistently then generally I am able to race prety well … but if this crucial piece of the jigsaw is missing then things tend to get ugly quick smart! And so I am biding my time untill I look to start racing again.

My long term plan on this trip is Ironman Arizona on the 18th November. I ‘raced’ there last year and given I placed 2nd girl I would love to make a better job of it this time around 🙂  The beauty of being in the US is that there are plenty of racing options left late into the winter, unlike at home where things have all but come to a close. I am pretty sure I will race a half Ironman in Florida on the 28th Oct, in what would be my first Rev3Tri series event. I have heard great things about them, and being 3 weeks out from Arizona, it fits in just fine.