Hello Bloggers and friends!! Im slacking on my updates the last couple days, I have been really busy! Now I am blogging from the warmth of my home in dear old Maryland. This past weekend I was in New Orleans, LA (NOLA!) for the SMW Collegiate Training Camp. About 17 members from my team ventured out of town with me, and another couple groups from the LSU and ULM teams were there as well. It was a great group of people. Everyone really joined forces and cheered each other on. On Friday, the first day of camp, we did some skills practice with running and swimming. We got both our swim and runs taped to see what kind of mechanical problems we might have. Basically I learned that I dont know how to run, or swim, and probably dont even know how to bike. What the heck am I doing!? Nah j/k I just have a few little efficiency things to work on. For example, I do this funky thing with my hands when I enter the water. One of the coaches Shelly O'brien gave me a few pointers to help get away from that. Here is my swim video: I cant get them to upload! View my blog here for the actually videos. Saturday was a busy day from the start. We got up around 630am and went until 8pm. We had a series of lectures throughout the day....Bike Maintenance and set up...Nutrition...Draft legal introduction...Mental prep. We started the morning with a swim again, but this time after the coaches analyzed the videos, the drills were a little more pin-pointed. They made us work on what we lacked. By the end of the swim, I felt much better about my technique. I hope I can keep it up. Then we headed out to do some bike skills practice. We practiced mounting, dismounting, maneurving, and group/partner stuff. By the end of the bike segment we were all feeling really comfortable on our bikes. This was something I needed! Next we took a little break from biking and did some transition practice and open water swimmingThe #1 thing I learned from this camp was a Barrell rollBasically a barrell roll is like doing a corkscrew in the water, but you do it around a buoy. I wish I had a video to show you, but this tip really does help. You dont loose your sense of direction when going around a buoy, and I felt like it saved me a few seconds rather than slowing down and practically doggie paddling around. Next, we transitioned back to some more biking skills. This time it was the draft legal segment. We did a short group ride, and then got on a grassy field and did some more maneuvering drills. We had to practice yelling at each other and really talking about who was going and who was slowing. We practice going around obstacles in groups and again, getting comfortable on our bikes. Since we were in the grass it didnt hurt so bad if we fell. I used my road bike for this segment, and I was really glad I did! Finally, the end of the day we analyzed our videos and learned about the different techniques that many people had. I am not an example of a perfect runner, but I did learn that I dont have alot of hip rotation which could be a sign of possible weak hip flexors. This in turn would let me understand why I might have IT problems. Finally, Sunday we had a few more lectures, and finished up with strength training and a 5k run. We did the strength training set first. It consisted of 12 minutes of tabata intervals. We did burpees, jumping lunges, push ups, and this thing where we were on our backs and had to keep stream line while engaging  our abs. We did this set on repeat for the entire 12 minutes. Oh yeah, talk about painful butts. Then we did some running warm up drills and ran a 5k out and back on the levy. It was about 95% humidity and super hot. My mile times decreased by 10 seconds each mile because the heat was killing me quick! After the run, luckily we got to shower and then we headed back for our 7.5 hours drive. The weekend was a HUGE success and I think everyone learned alot about the sport we love!

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