ERICA HAWLEY REPORTS ON HER TRIATHLON CAMP IN ECUADOR

Erica with Ecuador camp participants and coaches
Erica with Ecuador camp participants and coaches

Where was the camp and what were the facilities there?

The camp took place in Ecuador in a town called Cuenca and it was at an altitude of 8,500 feet! We swam in the Olympic Swimming Facility (50m pool) and Cycled at the Velodrome/Road and ran at a track and at a local park.

How long was the camp and how many athletes were there? What ages and nationalities were they? Did you know any of the athletes?

The camp was 11 days and in total there were 34 athletes and 7 coaches. The ages ranged from 16-23 and people came from all over South America and some Caribbean islands such as Aruba. I knew a few of the athletes that competed at the YOG and other ITU draft legal races.

What was a typical day training?

We would swim from 7-8:30 then come back for breakfast and at 11 we would either go running or cycling till 2 then come back for lunch. At 4 we would either run down to the track and do stretching/Pilates for an hour or have a lecture back up at the hotel.

What was the riding like at the camp?

We did half of our sessions in the Velodrome where we would practice group skills such as rotating around a Peloton and Cornering. We also went out on the road but I personally felt quite apprehensive on the roads as there was a car crash and cars didn’t overtake the riders with much room.

What was the hardest training session you had to do?

Every training session consisted of lots of drills and warm-up (especially the swim) and it depended on the day as we had to do a run test and a swim test whilst already having a workout before so that was probably the most challenging. I would say the hardest session was a track run where we had to do 5 x 1k intervals after swimming in the morning and 1 hour of drills beforehand.

Did you do anything else other than training?

On one day we were allowed to go to the mall and on one day we went to a National Park where we learned about some of the history of Ecuador.

What was the hardest thing about the camp?

For me, the language was a huge barrier as none of the coaches could speak English very well and there was only one other athlete who could speak it and had to translate everything the coaches said. I think that this made it difficult because I couldn’t receive as much feedback as all the other athletes.

Would you recommend other juniors to go on a triathlon camp like this in the future?

Yes, of course. Camps are always very educational and I have learned many skills and drills for each discipline which will aid me for the future. I think that if I could go again I would obviously choose to go on a camp where more people spoke English but camps are always very good.

 

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