CTC Training Weekend, 20th February 2009

Cork Tri Club returned to Kenmare in County Kerry on February 20th for an intensive early season training camp. Taking in the whole weekend, fifty members were put through their paces by an impressive selection of coaches. The camp was based at the Kenmare Bay Hotel which afforded members the opportunity of using the excellent facilities at the Hotel while staying in the modern holiday homes on the site.

Saturday morning brought bright sunshine and very favourable cycling conditions. The organising committee had secured the services of top Irish cyclist Padraig Marrey and he led the first group of experienced cyclists through a testing route over Moll’s Gap and on to Sneem. Mary Mulchrone led the second group with Trevor Woods leading the final group of cyclists over the same route.

Feedback from all three groups was extremely positive as individuals were challenged with high gear climbing and a series of time trials on the return leg to Kenmare. The various coaches spent time with every cyclist throughout the morning and a lot of sound advice and coaching tips were shared.

After a well deserved lunch the groups split into two teams. Mary and Padraig took a core session with the first group while Trevor led the second group in a series of running drills in the hills surrounding Kenmare. Later in the afternoon the groups traded places so that by the end of Day 1, each individual had a coached session in cycling, running and core exercises.

The day was not over yet however, as Trevor and Padraig both gave outstanding presentations to the whole group late in the evening. Trevor spoke at length about rest and recovery strategies while Padraig gave a very interesting presentation on time trial training sessions. The objective of both presentations was to highlight a number of key elements that could help to improve an athlete’s performance. Both presentations were highly informative and handouts were provided for each individual to take home and review.

A well earned beer was had at the Brooklodge Hotel before dinner in the main restaurant. The evening provided an excellent opportunity for new and old members to mix in a social environment and compare notes on the day’s activities.

Sunday morning saw four separate groups of swimmers in the hotel pool under the guidance of swim coach Chris De Looze. Chris took the first session at 7am and spent forty five minutes with each group focussing on stroke correction and breathing techniques. Once again, feedback was extremely positive and everyone was given a handout covering a series of practise drills.

Following breakfast, the camp completed its final session with a cycle over Moll’s Gap and into Black Valley. Once again, the weather played its part as the group moved through the Black Valley and up to the Gap of Dunloe. The focus from a coaching perspective was on improving descending techniques and the three main peaks provided testing descents.

Overall, the training camp proved to be a huge success. The quality of coaching was top class with Padraig, Mary, Trevor and Chris impressing all throughout the weekend. By general consensus, it was agreed that the various sessions complemented each other and there was sufficient time between each session to recover. From a social perspective, it was also a great opportunity for new and old members to mingle. Overall, a very positive start to the new season for Cork Tri Club.

(Thanks to Donal for this report)