10 February 2009

EC NZ '09 - Epilogue

EC NZ ’09 – Epilogue

Some of the things I’d like to cover here:

Future Epic camps
Other great camps
Staying healthy
Group training
Personal responsibility

Future Epics - Our next Epic Camp is in the French Alps June 13-22. We’ll be taking in many of the famous Tour climbs as well as seeking out a few of the “more intimate” routes as usual. Some of the accommodation comes highly recommended as well as some of the restaurants we’ll be eating at. Hopefully the days of the likes of the Haast Motor camp are well and truly behind us! Ian and Julie Wright from Pyrenees Multisport http://www.pyreneesmultisport.com/ will be helping us out again for the 3rd time so I know we’ll all be well looked after.

For 2010 we’re working on a camp that will take in the complete length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff. We’ve mapped it out and it will take at least 15 days in order to stick to our s/b/r every day format. If we pull it off then I hope to convince the other members of “the committee” to have a neutral day or two where we agree to a temporary truce in the points competition and don’t race on those days. I’ll keep you informed on how those discussions as they progress ….
In the June/July period of 2010 the tentative plan is to go to either Switzerland or Spain and most likely returning to the 8-day format for that.

Other great camps
My good friend Kevin Purcell http://www.coachkp.com/ and I are planning a new type of camp. They will be for the over-50 crowd and open anyone from age 50 – 100, to both sexes and all abilities. Our thinking here is that the approach to health and training, athletic goals and needs of the over-50 athlete are quite different than those of younger people. These wont’ be Epic in nature although there will be plenty of adequate challenges for those who are looking for them. We will have some discussions covering the topics that are important to older athletes and bring in some expertise to address various areas. At the moment there isn’t a camp that exists that will offer anything close to what we’re offering the older athlete and I’m really looking forward to them.
Our first camp is planned for this year - September 12 (Saturday) – 18th (Friday) in Sedona Arizona. I can tell you that we won’t be roughin’ it! The accom, food and wine will be of suitable standard to those who’ve earned/acquired a taste for the good life. J
Please pass the word on this camp to any prospective older friends you have as I haven’t gotten my lazy ass around to advertising it yet! In 2010 we’re also planning a Vet camp for Tuscany as well most likely in late May or early June.

– Ian and Julie do put on plenty of tri camps and cycling oriented tours so its well worth checking out what they have on offer.
– Gordo and the crew at Endurance Corner http://www.endurancecorner.com/ have some great camps coming up soon but I haven’t checked to see if they are sold out.
– John Newsom is opening up his Poland camp to others of a suitable standard (they’re tough m’f…rs over there!) and the date for that camp is June 4-8. Travelers will fly in and out of Warsaw for that one.

Staying healthy

This is where my priorities for the athletic part of me lie now. Training for performance in races isn’t anywhere near as high a priority for me than enjoying training consistently and pain-free for many more years.
There are areas of my physical life where I have been woeful for many years but I haven’t given up thinking I’ll improve at some point – my lack of flexibility and lack of restraint with booze are the most obvious ones. I ran 8 days in a row at this camp and the last time I was able to do that was the last Epic I did in June in Italy. The last time I was running really well was in June/July of ’03. So long ago its embarrassing and infuriating.
My short term goal is to run decent and pain-free for a month+ prior to Epic France and arrive at a good weight (73kgs) and more flexible than I am now. I did make an effort today on both fronts.

One area I have been good at over the last 20 years is in giving my body the anti-oxidant nutrients it needs to keep my immune system strong, my joints lubricated and my arteries clear. For those of you that have read this far I’d like to offer some useful advice! Here’s the list of supplements I use daily/religiously:

1x Multivitamin/Minerals tablet
Dry vitamin E – 400-800 units
Vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid form) 2-8 grams. (I stir it into every drink I drink other than booze or coffee.)
Selenium 200-400mcg
Beta Carotene 3-6mg
Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) 60mgs/day
L-glutathione – 350mgs/day + 350mg n-acetyl cysteine which also boosts glutathione level
Fish Oil – 1-5 grams
Glucosamine – 1,000-2500mgs
Boron – 3mgs
Magnesium – 400mgs
DMAE – 100mgs
DHEA – 50-100mgs am and pm
Melatonin – 3mgs @night

During really strenuous periods of training I also make sure to make protein a higher priority and often use Whey protein (20-40grams/day) and/or extra glutamine (5-10grams/day) and try to reduce booze.
Group Training

Having even one good training partner will help anyone train better and improve more. If we can set ourselves up with a good, positive group to push us then the entire process of improvement will be a lot quicker and certainly more enjoyable.
At Epic we try to create an extremely positive environment for exploring limits. We don’t articulate it very often but when we are screening potential campers for Epic one of the questions we ask is: “what will this camper offer the others?” We’d like everyone to be able to contribute to the experience of the others, even if its just to push from behind (my specialty!) or keep the humor of the group going.
If we are constantly in the presence of greatness its easier to see! Surrounding ourselves with excellence clarifies our insight into our deficiencies and hopefully encourages us to take action to improve or eliminate them. Not everyone wants to or is ready to see their deficiencies and that’s one good reason to train by yourself all the time – no one is there to show them to you.
I fully realize that there will come a time when I can no longer keep up with the Chris McDonald’s of the world but I’ll still enjoy playing the game of training (as Dave Scott puts it) with people better than me. I’ll always enjoy trying to get into better shape. I can’t envisage a time when I wont’ have some fun racing some one up a mountain. I also get a lot of satisfaction from putting myself out there for others to hammer into submission! Its what makes playing the game of training fun.

Personal responsibility

Gordo writes a lot about this. His website is a goldmine for those looking to improve any aspect of their life. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself more! but occasionally share here in this Epic blog or with those that ask for advice. It looks like I’ll also be writing for Inside Tri now as well so hopefully I can offer something useful to the general tri public.
Luck has always followed me through life, but I feel my life is like that saying “the harder I work the luckier I get”. When people tell me how lucky I am to be my own boss and have so much flexibility with my work, training, etc. I just thank them and tell them I’m glad it only took 25 years of hard work to get this lucky.
Somehow I learned some lessons about life from my parents that have enabled me to succeed to a degree in spite of my other obvious flaws.
For example I’ve always been a prudent person and “saved for a rainy day”. I’ve never lived above my means which over time has ensured my family and I are immune to the boom & bust cycles that seem to affect so many. Disclosing this isn’t to brag – its to stimulate some action in those who are ready to take action to set yourself up for the next 10-50 years whether its addressing the athletic side of your life or something else.
Its up to each and every one of us to get ourselves into good situations for training, work, relationships, what-ever. Its no use throwing your hands up and saying “well what can I do???” and then skulking around waiting for lightning to strike. Hopefully those of you who’ve attended an Epic Camp have received a little help in answering that question.

A big THANK YOU to our support crew on this camp. They are:
Dave Dwan, John Ellis, Daniel McDonald, Sarah Helmore and Steve Motley.

Another big Thank You to our sponsors. They are:
Blue Seventy, High Five Nutrition, Oomph Sports, Fuel Belt and Coffees of Hawaii.

Until France…..
Train Hard, Satiate the Need