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Hamilton Training Camp Weekend
By:  Gavin Hamilton   (2007/07/24)

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This past weekend XCOttawa held its second training camp of the summer. As the OWL rafting camp was a big success, it would be a hard act to follow. We held the camp was at my cottage on Lac du Marble, just an hour drive from Ottawa.

Unfortunately, a number of the team would be absent from this training weekend with various excuses ranging from canoe tripping to having wisdom teeth out. Only the die hard XCOttawaians made it out for the whole time; Karl, Megan and Gavin. Special guest, chain mechanic extraordinaire/Carleton skier, Chris Mamen also came for the length of the camp. Other members who made appearances were Tom, who came for Saturday's workouts, and the Dustin contingent of Wayne, Erika and Kaitlin, who blessed us with their presence on Saturday evening.

The original plan looked like this:

Day 1 : Long 5-6 hr combo workout Z1 (swim, mountain bike, run)
Afternoon- strength circuit

Day 2 : 2-3 hr. rollerski (near my cottage, not on the parkway)
afternoon- run/swim 1hr. (run at Nakkertok North)

Our actual training went as follows:

Day 1:

We planned to do the mountain bike first as there was an off chance that the loop we had planned might take slightly longer than we were expecting. We could then cut down the other modes of training for the combo workout accordingly. The loop consisted mostly of dirt roads and a few ATV trails passing by the spectacular Low dam, the town of Ferrelton and Lac Clair (for those of you who are familiar with the area). Our map was a hand drawn representation of the 5 year old topographical map at my cottage which was sketchy (no pun intended) at best. The first part of the bike went without hitches, we forded the rushing rivers and pushed on through an overgrown grass field which was above our heads to find the main dirt road. It wasn't until the last leg of the loop where we "believe" that we made a wrong turn. With the help of two cottagers and my innate sense of direction, we found our way without backtracking at all. There were a couple of good spills, Karl dented his helmet and hip, Megan her knee, Gavin his pride (Chris saved him from drowning in a puddle half a foot deep), and Tom his chain. Without going into details, the ride took about 4.5 hours. We came to the consensus that it was only about 3.5 hrs. of training we can count because of the breaks we had from our broken chains, beaver dam crossings and stream wading.

Our run and swim times for the afternoon were shortened (around 1.5 and 0.1 hrs respectively), and the strength was postponed until the next day which enabled us to spend the rest of the day nursing our injuries, refueling and basking in the sun on the dock.

Day 2:

The second training day wouldn\'t contain a workout that was quite as eventful as the mountain bike in terms of adventure and exploration, but it rivalled the previous day in quality. Chris and I started the day early (6:30) trying to catch fish for breakfast but we decided that a 5 inch sunfish wouldn't do for the 4 elite athlete's nutritional needs at breakfast. We settled on oatmeal, eggs and toast.
It is always interesting skiing or running in areas that are unfamiliar and new. Both our 2+ hour workouts were in locations I had rarely been and this led to the workouts feeling uncharacteristically short. The rollerski was on quiet rural roads between Denholm, Poltimore and Lac du Poisson Blanc. Upon returning to the cottage, we did 30 minutes of core strength followed by short swim. Our weekend's training was concluded with a run at Nakkertok North out to "the summit" (the highest point in elevation between Nakkertok North and South, ~365 metres above sea level). The group of us decided that it would be a great fitness testing course (not unlike the notorious Penguin Time Trial) starting at the base of the "world cup climb" to "the summit" which would be about 3-4km and 155m elevation gain.

All in all it was a successful weekend for those who made it out. Thanks again to my parents who helped me host everyone and provide copious amounts of food and drink which ensured maximum recovery! The muffins, cookies and fresh bread was a hit with all who were present.


















 
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