Without a doubt, today ranks up there as one of the best Placid days I have had here in 15 years of training. No wind. Slightly overcast. Mostly in the 60s. Throw in some great people and a few hills and it’s official — Life Is Good.
Everyone arrived on Thursday night, and from what I gather pretty much everyone got in a good swim on the course. The Lake Placid swim course is set up for kayak / canoe races, so you have plenty of buoys and underwater cables to follow. With the mountains and town as a backdrop, there simply is no better open water swim venue for triathletes.
It was time for a mad dash to the evening meeting to prep the campers, where I met all 16 of our amazing athletes. Some are veterans I have known for over a decade…others are new friends I just met. All are just great and clearly pumped for the camp. After the meeting I quickly checked in and joined the crew for dinner at the Lake Placid Brewery.
Day One: 112 Mile Ride, 2.75 Mile Run
The plan was simple — we ride most of lap one together so we could stop to talk at key areas of the course. And I was blown away by how well the group did — not easy to get a group together from across the US to ride, much less on this course.
Here are some of the key things we noted across the day:
- The descent was pretty darn smooth, compared to the past, except for the final 2 miles into Keene (rough roads + some construction).
- The out and back leg into Ausable Forks is still pretty chewed up; worse on the return trip for sure.
- The climb back into town still remains a chance for speed but only when ridden well — especially thru the Whiteface area.
- The final climbs into town are just as classic as ever — Momma, Baby and Poppa Bear all continue to work their magic on triathletes.
Here is my Bike File: https://www.strava.com/activities/324074998
After the Bike
Given that the first day of Camp is designed to be a race simulation activity, almost everyone was ready (not willing!) to run off the bike.
Since the camp hotel is adjacent to the swim start area, our plan was to run the 2.75-mile loop of the lake.
Despite riding this course more times than is probably legal, I was once again surprised to see how well I was able to run despite being in a terrible, terrible place at the end of the bike. An excellent reminder that mentally committing to the run and actually getting out there to see what happens is the best policy.
Here is my run file: https://www.strava.com/activities/324732178
Camp Talk #1
On the first day the focus of the talk is about learning the course, and general areas for improvement. We spent the first half of the talk breaking down the layout of the course and how we handled it — our focus was on how to improve our
execution for the Saturday ride.
Then we shifted focus to talking about the critical elements of writing a hilly course: climbing, descending, pacing hill, soft-pedaling, and timing your admin/nutrition windows. It was a solid presentation with lots of camper input.
By 7:30 it was time to head out for some much needed dinner before Day Two!
Stay tuned for more…
Not on the Team or not at Camp? No worries! We have great resources to get you up to speed even if you didn’t make the weekend.
For those of you who are not on the Team, please check out the Unofficial Ironman® Lake Placid Race 411 page, which has everything you need to know about the race.
We are also doing a FREE Lake Placid Race Strategy talk at the Main Street Movie Theater — Friday July 24th @ 10:00 AM. This is open to the public, so bring your friends. You can all RSVP here (capacity is limited): http://the4keysoflakeplacid2015.splashthat.com/