Helen, GA – Another Helen Training Camp down and I’m ready for some spring races. I can’t believe I’ve been coming to this amazing town since 1995. My first trip to Helen was to recon a potential fall mountain bike event to take advantage of the recent UCI World Cup event that put Helen, GA on the map in 1994. Yep…HFP used to produce Mountain Bike races back in the day. After spending a very warm day in May visiting with local officials and running the trails I was hooked. What a super cool venue with the Chattahoochee River running right through the middle of town and awesome pubs like the Troll Tavern serving cold beers and burritos the size of your head (sadly they no longer serve burritos). HFP only produced a couple events in Helen but it became an annual spring training stop for myself and my HFP teammates. The Helen Training Camp has a way of getting you out of bed in the cold winter mornings to get in training that you may otherwise choose to blow off…because you just can’t show up to Helen the first week of April with hopes and dreams to get you through this brutal week of training. No…the only way to survive this annual sufferfest is to have put in some significant miles in advance. The camp gets started each year with our meet n greet at the Troll Tavern next to the Chattahoochee River. The excitement of being in a warmer venue and the nervousness of what lies ahead is evident in everyone’s demeanor during dinner. The first day starts off with a 60 minutes swim workout in the local recreation center pool then a ride to the highest point in Georgia…Brasstown Bald. It’s at this point when the reality of what you signed up for sets in and legs are telling you there is NO way you can go any further…and so it begins. Photos from this year are below. In 2018 we’ll be taking the camp to warmer weather in Oro Valley, AZ (next to Tuscon). Look for more details on our website in the coming weeks. Thanks to all the campers for your photos of this epic week.
aka HFP Man
Time to Tri is a new, unprecedented initiative within the triathlon industry to grow the sport of triathlon by proactively recruiting and supporting athletes as they train for and compete in their first race. The initiative, a strategic joint effort between USA Triathlon and IRONMAN, was unveiled in early 2018. The overarching goal is to increase triathlon participants by 100,000 nationwide by the end of 2020.
Pledge your support or commit to your first triathlon at the Time to Tri website.
In an effort to get through this brutal Ohio winter we’re having this year I recently broke down and purchased a Kickr bike trainer and joined the masses training in the Zwift training community. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I’ve pretty much trained “Amish” my entire triathlon career which spans more than 30 years. I’ve never kept a training log or written down my workouts. I don’t own a heart rate monitor and I don’t run with a watch. However, in my effort to keep going fast as father time continues to move on I’ve decided to adopt some modern training methods and technology. The Zwift training has been a welcome change to the boring trainer workouts I was accustomed to for the last 3 decades or so. Along with constant reminders of the watts you need to be pushing during the workout, you have the option to join a group or invite a Zwift buddy to do your workout with you. This additionally accountability provides an amazing level of intensity to your indoor trainer workout that I’ve never encountered while riding solo on my trainer. Though I’ve never kept a log, the simple and easy way Zwift saves and records your workouts upon completion offers an easy way to see your progress. There are lots of pre-programmed workouts or you can simply create your own favorite and customize the workout to your specific goals. You can even sign up for the many races going on each week too. There are also several FTP testing workouts that will give you a good idea of your starting point and this will help you plan a better workout schedule to increase your FTP as you push towards the season. The Zwift workouts are so enjoyable (in a hurt so good sort of way) I’ve already decided to keep a couple of these workouts in my regular weekly training even when the weather breaks and most folks will be outside.
Bringing it in Granville!
aka HFP Man
Are you going into the 2018 with high hopes and big PR goals? Hopefully you’re not planning on reaching your PR goals while training, eating, sleeping and living the same as you did in 2017 because that formula is just not going to work…you’re going to be very disappointed. The old Albert Einstein quote rings very true if this is your plan going into 2018. Now is a good time to evaluate your total approach to the 2018 season.
You’re training may be spot on and you may have a great coach but your diet sucks…or vice versa OR you’re got both those things down but you’re burning the candle at both ends and only getting 5 hours of sleep a night and wondering why you can’t recover from your key workouts. Every off season is great time to reflect on what went right and what went wrong with the previous season. Don’t be afraid to “really” look yourself in the mirror and ask the hard questions as it relates to your goals. Do you really want to see that six pack in mirror at any cost or would you rather skip the morning “insanity” workout and focus on getting 8 hours of sleep so you can crush your key afternoon workouts and actually recover from them? The latter may result in a softer mid-section but you’ll likely be going faster in the end. There our lots of decisions you have to make in your training and most of them require some sort of sacrifice (ie; less sleep, less beer, less cheese on that pizza, etc…). Just remember…most of us are not training for the Olympics or doing this for a living so don’t take the fun out of this awesome sport just to drop 5 seconds on your swim PR.
So, go ahead and sleep in tomorrow…tell your coach HFP Man said it was OK!
Shannon Kurek, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
aka HFP Man
Looking forward to seeing you at our FINISH line in 2018!
Shannon, Jennifer, Henry, Maddy and Ezra
Want to look super cool at your 2018 races? Then take a sneak peak of the 2018 Team HFP Racing kit design. The team store will be open from January 1-30. The store offers all your custom apparel needs from hats to full tri suits. We have all the gear you’ll need from spring-summer-fall training gear to the latest in triathlon racing speed suits. Visit http://www.hfpracing.com on January 1 to get yourself a sweet HFP kit.