by Holly F.

Experience Triathlon Spring Training Camp 2010

As a newbie in the triathlon world, I began seeking out training programs and information, and met Coach Joe through a Master Swim program.  Immediately recognizing the benefits of his class, I hired Joe for one-on-one swim coaching. After seeing my enthusiasm for learning as much as possible about the sport, Joe casually mentioned his Triathlon Spring Training Camp.  I wanted to go. Then I found out that it involved a trip to California and really wanted to go! But, darn, I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it; I asked Joe to send me the information anyway.  Upon review, my husband fueled my desire to go.  The schedule of training activities was nicely balanced and included ample private down time so that we could enjoy a little vacation along with the pursuit of fitness.  We were going!  I was nervous about how well I’d be able to keep pace with my more experienced campmates, and used it as motivation to intensify my training.  A week before our departure date, we received the camp itinerary, including information on our destination: Solvang, CA.  The town of Solvang looked like a quaint Danish village, and the surrounding country-side appeared to be designed for biking and running.

We were NOT disappointed! All we had to do was show up; the coaches took care of everything else.  This trip fulfilled our every expectation AND THEN SOME!  The hotel was comfortable, charming, and a great value. The locally guided bike tours were challenging but manageable, and included breath- taking scenery almost beyond description. In the final leg of our ride, we were beckoned by the gourmet lunch awaiting us at a beautiful local vineyard, to be followed by the obligatory wine tasting.  I honestly could not believe that the cost of these experiences was included in our camp fees.  We had such a wonderful time. Words really can’t do justice to what a refreshing, SOUL-renewing vacation this was for me.

While no one would have minded anyone spending their down time in relaxing privacy, my campmates seemed to naturally enjoy each other’s company. So much so that we ate every meal together, went shopping/exploring together, soaked in the hot tub together after our long rides, and spent a fireside evening together singing along while my husband played his guitar (ok, so really only Kyle sang, but we were singing along in our heads).  I was very proud of myself for keeping up on those long bikes, especially on the second long ride through the mountains in rain and gusty winds (even the guides said we were hard core for biking in those conditions)!  And I’m even prouder to have made life-long friends who helped spark a new passion in my soul.

Thank you to camper, Holly F, for sharing her experience from our wonderful Spring Training Camp.  All campers had ample opportunity to test not only their bike legs, but their wine palates as well!  Athletes also had a chance to run the picturesque streets of Solvang and Santa Ynez with the post-ride brick run option.  Coach Joe provided his expertise as we enjoyed our day off from cycling with a swim at the local YMCA, followed by an ET Power session of strength training.  Once again, our Spring Training Camp was a smashing success, and we are already looking forward to next year!

Check out all of the photos from this great training adventure in CA wine country on ET-Photo!

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