On Saturday morning, we met for an early morning run where we previewed some special bits of the run course – the golf course run – the 18th hole spectator viewing point – the finish line – and the amazing run up from the swim to transition. Once everyone had a feel for the ‘logistics’ of those areas, we began our run. We stopped after a little warm up to go over the ‘learn to run fast’ drills and then we executed our speedy fast strides with perfect form. When we finished the instructional part of our run, the athletes began their long run on the course and I jumped on my bike to coach. It was then that the skies opened up and it poured rain – it was crazy and cold – but the runners were fine. Everyone loved the run and didn’t feel cold at all. Our coaches, Jody and Hans, ran with the athletes and Dave and Teresa supported from within the warmth of the Subaru vehicles.
After a little recovery period compliments of Power Bar, we met for a chat about building a running program. We chatted about strength work, periodization and hill workouts. Then we had a little break and met a few hours later for our swim session. We had planned a 2 hour session focusing on a proper swim warm up, sighting, drills, anxiety and other swimming information but the lightening shortened our session by about 25 minutes. We all ran back to our rooms with our wetsuits still on!! I am sure the brides from the 3 weddings being held at Deerhurst were a bit shocked, not only the weather, but by having 30 rubber clad ‘people’ entering the lobby!
We met again for dinner and then we discussed proper mental preparation for the 70.3 bike ride the following day. To finish off the evening, I did a little motivational chat and slide show presentation to get everyone excited for our special Sunday ride.
Thankfully, the rain stopped just in time for the 6 a.m. roll out on our bikes. The first half of our ride was on wet road but by midway, the roads were dry and the sun was shining! This ride is very challenging and everyone did a great job hydrating and eating and getting themselves up and over and down all of the hills. Dave, Ray and Teresa did a great job encouraging and coaching from their portable aid stations, while Jody, Hans and myself rode with the athletes offering cycling tips and motivation. I made sure I hung out on some special hills in the last 5 km to ensure everyone kept pedaling up those sneaky hills. The ride was capped off with a short run and then some PowerBar recovery bars and drinks. More recovery occurred at the Deerhurst brunch where we were able to socialize and continue to share information and answer questions.
Once again, Dave and I remember why we love our sport so much. The impact of sport on lives is tremendous. Our athletes left not only physically and mentally well prepared for Subaru Muskoka 70.3 but also dedicated to having sport in their lives beyond racing. The most beautiful thing was seeing everyone encouraging each other as they passed each other running and biking. This is true sportsmanship and something that will go beyond race day on September 14th!