Morzine training camp – July 2017
On the first day we arrived at the chalet and built our bikes. Since I had never built my bike before I learnt a lot. We did an 11mile hill climb upto Avoriaz, 3,759ft of climbing, a total of 22miles and 2hrs and 15mins of riding. The average gradient was 7% with the steepest section being 32%. I found it a very challenging climb and consequently had to get out of my seat in order to keep the momentum up. This is something I need to work on in order to be more efficient when climbing. I focused on getting into the correct gear to allow me to tackle the hill with power. Having cycled up the steepest part of the mountain we stopped for a well deserved breather to take in the spectacular views before carrying on the long but steady incline to the town of Avoriaz. On the way down I practiced my cornering on the fast descents in order to simulate race pace in triathlon. I reached 42mph which is pretty fast for me. It has definitely increased my confidence.
On the second day I hired a mountain bike and had my first experience of some downhill mountain biking. It is a completely different way of cycling as it involves more bike handling skills than fitness and stamina. Therefore, this gave my legs a rest and provided me with a chance to improve my bike handling skills via the downhill tracks. I came off a few times but I didn’t let this put me off. I persevered so that I could complete a downhill run staying on my bike. The Super Morzine routes were really good for me as I could attempt routes with varying difficulty levels. By the end of the day I was on the intermediate runs which was a big achievement.
On the third day we did a hill run in the morning and then a mountain climb on the bike in the afternoon. This was to simulate a duathlon race with our legs being quite tired after a hard run and then getting on the bike to push out some fast miles. We ran 5miles up to Lac Montriond gaining 1,043 ft. This was very tough and demanding on the quadriceps muscles due to the steepness.
Now onto the fourth and final day with a cycle up to Le Col de Joux Plane. It was only one 16mile ride and 1hr 30mins ride but the mountain was a beast with an elevation gain of 3,156ft. I worked on staying in my saddle on this climb, which was tough, but the beautiful view across to Mont Blanc at the top made it worthwhile. Both climbs contributed to improving my strength.
To top the week off we did a swim session in the outdoor 50m pool. It was great to be able to train solidly for a week with other like minded athletes. The trip allowed me to gain more knowledge of how to become efficient when racing and training.