Triathlon: individual, never solitary

February 4, 2015

One of the common misconceptions people have about triathlon is that it is a solitary sport.

Of course, it is most often an individual sport but solitary? Never!

That is so obvious to me as I train on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kona, where I’m on a two-week training camp with my coaches and team. It’s hard work – very hard work – but the fun part is the camaraderie and team spirit.

I’m in a condo with five other girls and we’ll hang out between workouts, cooking, watching movies, chilling out and catching up. We have a great team dynamic and there are a lot of laughs – team banter is one of my favourite parts of camp! I seem to have won brightest swimming costume in Hawaii with this little number from Funkita (pictured).

This is the third year I’ve attended this camp and it never ceases to amaze me just how stunning it is here. Our swims take place in warm clear waters teeming with tropical fish and bike training takes us through lava fields and up into the green, lush hinterlands.

Kona holds a special place in every triathlete’s heart: every year it plays host to the Ironman World Championships, which, aside from the Olympics, is arguably the most prestigious race on the triathlon calendar.

Training here is therefore all the more inspiring and magical – oh, and brutal too! It is typically hot and humid with temperatures this week sitting around the 30 C mark. Riding and running in the middle of the day have been seriously sweaty workouts!

A typical day for us sees us hitting the ocean around 7am for a 90-minute swim. There are 10 professional athletes here and our coach Matt Dixon of purplepatch will set out the session and coach from the sand.

We’ll often do loops of varying intensities, swimming out to a buoy or boat and racing back to shore. Once swimming is done, we’ll head home to eat and shower before riding later in the morning. Depending on our schedule, we might ride for anything from two-and-a-half to five hours, sometimes running off the bike immediately afterwards or otherwise running later in the day before dinner.

We’re here for another week, so there is still a lot of work to be done before returning home to San Francisco on February 9.


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