Pacific Cycling Centre’s third camp of the 2010-2011 season took place on January 20-23 in Victoria, BC. The camp consisted of long endurance rides, technical ITT’s and a gym session. The camp was led by Head Coach Houshang Amiri.
The first day started with two time trials, one up Willis Point followed by the11km loop around Lands End. “The gruelling Willis Point time trial went well for most, as there were many improvements from the last camp in December, [and it] was great to see that everything was moving in the right direction,” said Annie Ewart.
The initial dry weather made way for showers, but “nobody was complaining because the conditions were one hundred times better than when we had done the time trial in December,” said Ewart. “The time trial went well until I realized that I had to be in English class in an hour, so unfortunately I had to do a ‘third’ time trial cycling home, so that I could be in my desk on time!”
Day two of the Camp greeted everyone with sheets of rain. As XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid observed: “We are definitely a hardy bunch!” The focus was team time trial intervals, with two main objectives from the training. “The first was to give the younger or newer road athletes more experience riding in an echelon with some speed, and to learn the dynamics of the exchange,” explained McQuaid. “The second objective was to increase aerobic fitness by injecting some higher intensity training into our long rides. The efforts were still 80% and less, so nothing anaerobic, but enough to make the 4-4.5 hours of riding of high quality in rolling terrain.”
The athletes were grouped according to their fitness levels and McQuaid was in the same group as Erinne Willock. “Riding with her was challenging me to rise to her level, as we have always had a friendly competitiveness in training that benefits us both.” Each group rode consistently fast for the three 12 kilometre efforts. McQuaid felt the benefit of riding with strong road cyclists. “It was a great boost to our fitness in light of the half-Ironman races we have scheduled for early in the season.”
The highlight of day three was no rain! A long endurance ride – to Duncan – was on the schedule, a total of 165 kilometres and 5.5 hours of riding. “The ride started by going through Langford and then we hit the base of the Malahat which is a 20 minute hard climb up Island,” said Erinne Willock. The ride featured many punctures due to the debris on the road and the riders had many re-groups. “We re-grouped after the climb and descended into Shawnigan, and then we completed a lap of the lake before heading to Cobble Hill,” said Willock. “We eventually reached Duncan at 3.5 hours and enjoyed our hot coffees and treats.”
After three grueling days, the last day, which consisted of hill repeats, was tough for the riders. “During the hill repeats we all worked on our climbing techniques and efficiency while keeping the intensity at ~85% of MAP,” said Tyler Trace. “Houshang was on side providing us with instant feedback and adjusting the intensity depending on how we were feeling. We regrouped after the workout and did 54 minutes of easy spin.”
“It was great to ride with the PCC group for the January camp. Having a solid group helps keep you motivated through tired legs and poor weather. We all thought it was a great training camp with Houshang giving us full support – I find his camps to be the best way to prepare for the upcoming season,” said Trace.
Registration is now open for Pacific Cycling’s Centre’s Spring Training Camp, which will be held on March 14 – 19. For more details visit www.pacificcyclingcentre.ca/camps/default.html.