Last weekend I got to spend four days in the beautiful Rocky Mountains for Team Tri Life‘s Ironman training camp in Canmore and Banff. Up until last year we’ve travelled to Penticton for Ironman camp. I miss training in Penticton but it makes sense to hold camp more locally in the Canmore/Banff area. The one hour drive to camp is a lot nicer!
My life was absolutely nuts leading up to camp and for a bit I thought I may have to miss the first day. Luckily I made it out on time and I was grateful for the opportunity to get away and just concentrate on time with friends and Ironman training.
Day 1 – Thursday
We met at Elevation Place in Canmore and set out for a quick 30 min shakeout run towards the Legacy Trail. The wind as we ran westward was just a preview of what was to come! From there it was a quick change into a swimsuit for a technique focused workout in the pool.
After the swim I struggled into cycling gear and we set off for a short ride along the Legacy Trail to Cascade Pond in Banff and back.
This was the ride where I rediscovered how delicious Pop Tarts are…such yummy fuelling on the bike!
The wind riding to Banff was ridiculous, but luckily that made for an amazing speedy tail wind on the ride back to Canmore.
Day 2 – Friday
Friday was our long ride day! My longest ride leading up to camp had been 130K, but Angie wanted me to push and ride 180K on this day. At first I was a bit nervous about the big jump, but I figured why not take advantage of having the car support and give it a go?
It was a chilly morning so I had to layer up with arm warmers, capris over my tri shorts, arm warmers, toe covers, gloves and a hat. At least it wasn’t raining!
My main goal for camp was to be grateful for my time in the mountains…and what better way to see the mountains than to ride around them for 180K? I had my mind set on riding the full distance and just mentally approached the ride in small chunks. If I was feeling a low moment coming on I reminded myself to look at the scenery and smile at the beautiful wildflowers around. I made sure to eat and drink continuously as well!
When I finished 180K that day it was the strongest I had ever felt on the bike. I was comfortable all day (I used to get awfully fidgety as rides got longer) and I was incredibly happy with my day.
I was also very grateful for all the people I was able to ride with that day (including Tara and Steph who tackled the full 180K with me), and for Nola who drove our support van and took care of us all day.
Day 3 – Saturday
My legs were feeling pretty trashed this morning…but it was time to head out for a super easy recovery run just to wake them up.
Then it was time to don the bike gear for a little ride up Mount Norquay. The climb up Norquay is about 5 km with about 954 ft/290 m of elevation gain. The views as you ride up are just amazing! I’ll have to ride up it again just to snap a few photos.
My legs were tired but I just focused on turning the pedals over and I felt great going up the climb!
We rounded out the afternoon with a long swim…
…and some stretching and core.
Day 4 – Sunday
I will admit my energy was flagging by Sunday morning and I was feeling a bit less “Whoo I’m in the mountains!” I did not want to get in the pool! I gave myself a bit of a talking to in an attempt to turn my attitude around and once I got in the water I started to feel better.
After the swim it was time to struggle into running gear and head out for a long run down the Legacy Trail.
I was so thankful to be able to get in some quality Ironman training in Canmore and Banff last weekend. I truly enjoyed spending time with friends. Banff has a special place in my heart and I tried to soak up as much as possible. I also was really happy with my performance at camp. My mental toughness has come a long way in the last little bit so hard work is paying off!