As 2020 commences and students continue to settle into the new school year, the Somerset Triathlon Team are hard at work with training and racing. Having such an amazing sports director, Mrs Mckenna, the triathletes were able to go on the Triathlon / Cross Country camp.

The camp provides aspiring athletes with crucial knowledge, information and training they wouldn’t get otherwise. Embarking on a camp is always exciting, yet there was a lot of anticipation for what was to come. The athletes were met with a well-deserved dinner and an early bedtime for the 8-kilometre beach run that took place the following morning. After a steep and long journey to Lennox heads, the triathletes and Cross Country athletes went their separate ways. The triathletes hit the road and did some essential bike skills, learning vital techniques about hill climbing, gear changes and road safety.

While the XC team went through a stretching session with Coach Mark. Before lunch we all came together for a Heart Rate monitoring versus exercise intensity seminar where we learnt more about the training we do and capabilities of the body. A short bodyweight and strength and conditioning session were held allowing athletes to put their skills in action!

The athletes were in need of a nice cool break where we discovered staying on a paddleboard just wasn’t for us. After the break, the triathletes went over some videos watching elite athletes perform race strategies and manoeuvres, and practices executing those manoeuvres ourselves in the lake which marked the end of our first long and vigorous day.

Refreshed from a dip in the tea tree lakes, the XC athletes headed to the open grass fields to complete a never been done before technique session. We were lucky enough to have coach Mark Ladbrook take us through some tips and tricks on our running technique. With Mark’s expertise and the help of a buddy to critique our 60-metre run-throughs, we were able to focus on the little changes that make a big difference to the way we run. We then put these new skills to the test in a 3-kilometre run around Lake Ainsworth. Tired and sore from the early morning and long run, all athletes challenged themselves both mentally and physically to make it to the finish line. Exhausted from the hectic day, the triathletes and XC runners reunited for dinner and a full cinematic experience of Frozen. It was early to bed for everyone as we prepared our bodies for yet another early morning.

The following day the triathletes were up just as the sun rose, and hit the roads once again, this time with more speed. The bike riding, we did was faster and covered more distance with an aim to improve our power and stamina on the bike. While the triathletes were on the road, the XC athletes hit the sand. At the beach we went for a time based tempo run set our own pace. After a quick debrief and chat with the coaches, the bus arrived. It was a bitter-sweet departure from the Lake Ainsworth recreational camp site that morning. We were sad to be leaving but also ready to rest our legs and rejuvenate for school on Monday.

A special mention to all of the fabulous coaches that went of the camp with us. Glauber Correa, the head triathlon coach continues to push the athletes to their full potential, such a respected and knowledgeable coach. Mrs Smith who just came back from Year 7 camp was amazing with what she was able to do and help us with whilst looking awake and alive. Mr Thornton for being with us for every training session and helping us push ourselves. Coach Mark Ladbrook, Somerset’s new head of Athletics and Cross Country, who was able to provide us with great tips to improve our running and motivate us to always strive for success. And a huge thank you to Ms Opperman for working alongside all students through the whole weekend. This camp was a truly exceptional experience, which allowed all athletes to further develop their skills and improve the success of both the Somerset College Triathlon and Cross Country team.

It will be great to see all the athletes from the camp apply the skills and feedback they received from our amazing coaches to this year's Inter-House Cross Country Carnival. If you too have a passion for sport and running but weren’t able to make to this year’s camp, make sure you stay tuned at the start of next year to sign up for Cross Country and Triathlon Camp 2021!

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