I recently spent 10 days in Colombia coaching my elite squad and working with my age group athletes. The age groupers were able to enjoy a more relaxed schedule; speaking about triathlon, planning their season, going through the Trisutto.com approach to training and joining some sessions in the pool. I wish I had more time to do a couple of sessions with them, but it was a short trip with a tight schedule and included a road trip to Calima.
For my elite athletes; Juan Rubio and Brian Moya, it was more like a training camp. I say ‘like’ because Brian is recovering from a broken collarbone, which he injured two weeks ago in Peru.
I worked with Brian in his physiotherapy and we are working on building his fitness up on the turbo. He’ll be able to start doing aqua running soon and and maybe some single arm swimming depending on his recovery.
For Juan it was another story. He is healthy but for different reasons hasn’t had good results in his last couple of races. So we worked on his confidence through training and even though he had a National Cup on Sunday, we trained hard all week:
Tuesday morning a solid 25x400m on the track (leaving on 2 minutes), a swim at lunchtime and running again in the afternoon. Wednesday a 3-hour ride in the mountains followed by a 5km swim. Thursday he did a tempo set, 30x100m on 1:25 in a 50m pool. We finished the day with a ride in the afternoon.
We then travelled to Calima on Friday. Juan by plane and the coach doing it the hard way – 11 hours in the car! But he was able to take advantage of the early flight to do some light training, 20 minutes each discipline, before taking on the National Cup Triathlon. He did an excellent job finishing a close second (4-seconds back) and leading until 7km on the run.
Maybe you think this was not the ideal kind of race week preparation, but we’re looking for the big picture. You don’t have to be fresh and tuned up for every race, especially if you are coming into a big block of races. Maintaining the miles and the intensity during the block of non-target races is very important, as the next time you race fresh you will see the big improvements from having a solid foundation.
Back in Bogota, we worked on Juan’s swim technique and held meetings for all the federations and multidisciplinary groups that Colombia has for athletes. Informing them of Juan’s plans and explaining to them our training approach. Sometimes it can be frustrating as in Colombia we have the the talent and the training locations for our athletes to become strong at triathlon at the international level, but a lack of organisation at the sport’s grass roots holds us back from reaching our potential.
However, overall it was great trip and very nice to visit my athletes and family. A good chance to share stories with them and to see them race and train. The highlight for me was to return to that magic place, Calima. A lake surrounded by mountains where I’ve raced many times and shared good memories with my old friends.