Tour of California, 2010: Coach's Epilogue

This is what it's all about

The Endurance Nation Tour of California is four years old. Endurance Nation itself will mark it’s three year anniversary at Ironman® Couer d’Alene, born over coffee, beers, and brainstorming between Patrick and me in 2007. The two have grown together to become two very, very cool halves of the same coin.

The Tour of California Training Camp is probably the coolest training camp you can do. Some camps offer more volume and cater to an “elite” crowd. Other camps charge you a ton of dough to train on your Ironman® course or to teach you skills. This camp, by contrast:

  • Is an all abilities experience, with campers ranging from 15hr+ to sub 10hr Ironmans.
  • Let’s you experience the incredible variety of terrain and riding that California has to often. The pictures speak for themselves.
  • Puts you on a pro tour course, 2-3 hours ahead of the race, complete with sprint towns, KOM’s, and cheering fans.

There is just no other camp like it and we are proud to offer this as a natural step in the evolutionary progression of our athletes.

As a three year old long course triathlon team, we have seen many of members progress from wide-eyed first timer to veteran Kona qualifier or “I want to do something cool with my fitness.” The Tour of California is the ultimate definition of cool stuff.

The net is that our Tour of California has assumed it’s place on the top step of many members’ goals, right up there with qualifying for/racing Kona. For our 3+ Ironman® finisher athletes looking for the next challenge to experience with their Team, ToC is it.

And it really is about the Team. As the primary organizer and leader of the camp it was very powerful to be able to say “I’ve coached, trained, and formed friendships with every single one of the campers getting in the vans with us in Sacramento. These are great, great folks and the people in the camp are truly going to make the camp for the campers. The riding and training will be bonus.”

For many of the campers themselves, ToC was a reunion with old friends. For others it was a chance to add a physical dimension to the internet friendships they had shared for years. And that’s exactly how it all worked out — the people made the camp. Overhearing the conversations and watching friendships made and strengthened on the bike, over dinner, and in the vans, was the highlight of the camp for me. I’m already looking forward to next year’s tour and we are scheming to bring our stoopid-logistically-challenging-training-camp expertise to bear to create similar camp opportunities for our members and the public.

The lesson is this:

Your fitness is a vehicle for doing cool stuff. Build that vehicle, put cool stuff on the calendar, find cool friends to do it with you and call it training.

In a couple days on I’m on a plane to Lake Placid to offer a free training camp on the course to our athletes and the public. Just another example of how we do things differently in here.

–Rich Strauss

The Endurance Nation Tour of California is a members-only event. Please join our waiting list to receive an invitation to join TeamEN as space becomes available.

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Coach P

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