The Quiberon Experience

MAY 8-10 , 2015

Lots of different experiences here,

…by Aurélie[cml_media_alt id='97616']IMG_0459[/cml_media_alt]

Thinking of the “Very Bad Trip” movie, I could say that ‘What happens in Quiberon stays in Quiberon’. But, since it was a very good, even extraordinary trip, we have to share about this Tri Camp experience!

Under the supervision of the one and only best Coach Nick (Alias “le cheveux long” as Paul’s mother-in-law was calling him), and our best host Paul (Alias “Rider in Chief” for me), we:

– bravely rode 30kms through the dark and slept 4 hours the first night

– experienced not once, not twice, but three f***ing times swimming in Atlantic [cml_media_alt id='97614']IMG_0455[/cml_media_alt] Ocean at 12 degrees, with Australian exists, as well as comical situations getting the wetsuits off.

– we rode 230km along the beautiful coast of Brittany, discovered charming places, dreamed about laying on the beach under the sun like the other tourists, but h ell no, we were there to sweat, suffer, learn, practice and have fun!

– we learned how to jump on a bike at transition 1, jump off of the bike at transition 2, manage shoes strapping / unstrapping on the bike, play with plastic bands…yes, a psychomotricity workshop could also have a link with triathlon!  And this part made some of us more philosophical than others, such as Matthieu, explaining with much seriousness just before falling down his bike fiercely: “you have to resign yourself and jump into the unexpected”.  The unexpected being the pedals, sometimes you find you miss them.

– compete in a transition championship. Most of us really wanted to compete in a “grosse gamelle” championship for which it was difficult to decide if Rajah, Ionut or Matthieu should be the winner.[cml_media_alt id='97612']IMG_0473[/cml_media_alt]

– had the chance to test the cooking talents of our coach and learn more about nutrition. Yes triathlon makes you smarter.

– finally had lots and lots and lots laughing, lots of fun, even in the train coming back despite unhappy neighbours in the train coach.

– For my part, I will for sure be faster in transition for my next triathlon and feel much more prepared for the race to come end of May. To be continued…!



[cml_media_alt id='97611']Quiberon_exp1[/cml_media_alt]

…by Rajah

Such amazing memories, I can’t stop laughing…even if I am now half asleep at work, after my lunch time swimming session.

I can’t count my bruises there are so many but I remember all of my falls with the bike… Roger telling me a week before… you will fall but you will learn quickly and you will not fall again 🙂

Every part of this tri camp experience was a big challenge for me but even if I didn’t get a trophy I am really proud of myself. And this is definitively explained by th[cml_media_alt id='97615']IMG_0462[/cml_media_alt]e great spirit of the group. I was very well surrounded, everyone has contributed to make the Quiberon experience a resounding success!

You couldn’t go wrong with such organization. I usually forget half of the essential stuff but the check lists prepared by our organizers set the tone from the beginning! Nothing would be left to chance. I was very impressed by such great guidance! All the equipment required was carefully listed so you couldn’t miss anything when preparing your bag. And the instruction was the lightest bag possible as you will have to carry it when cycling… that was already a challenge to pack! When I checked the weight of the bike bag (3.6 kg) that we had to carry on top, I definitively optimized the content of my bag!

Coming with a new bike, and all its brand new accessories, with new Garmin cycling clothes (looking like a pro), and a new wetsuit… for sure I was not feeling really comfortable, wondering if I was ready for this Tri Camp.

We couldn’t have had a harder start. The first challenge was at the exit at the Auray train station…reassemble the bike and ride at 2 am for 1h30. My first 30kms ever with 2 big bags on top of my shoulders in the middle of the night fighting against the somnolence… crazy start! But with the supervision of Paul and Nick we managed to arrive in one piece in Quiberon.  And thanks to Laetitia who was  supporting me and shouting « Pedal »,  » stick to the peloton »  and Nick who was shouting « don’t stop pedaling » « push and push and push » It kept me awake! 🙂

If riding was a discovery, swimming in the Atlantic was another exploration, another challenge that the group pushed me through. Most of my gratitude goes obviously to Nick who didn’t give me any choice! You jump in the water and you swim! That’s it! He’s really good at pushing me out of my comfort zone. You might hate him a little bit at the beginning but later you undeniably realize that he made you go further and further. That is what you expect from a great coach!

I thought the morning was the worst part of the day with the swimming in the sea. I discovered the afternoon was also tough with a nearly 80 km ride on the programme under the very great supervision of Paul! We learned how to clip in and out, practice using our gears, etc. It was very educational despite my 4 falls but I managed to stay in one piece! Thanks to Paul for his patience and his great sense of prudence![cml_media_alt id='97617']IMG_0458[/cml_media_alt]

We were wrecked when we got back home but that was not the end of the day, Nick was waiting for us for the next scheduled event, the running part along « la côte sauvage », beautiful landscape, and finishing this first Tri Camp day with some of Kathryn’s stretching. Chef Nick prepared « the Special Nick » dinner with rice, peas, carrots, chicken, coconut cream… (he did not disclose the whole recipe) and nothing was left! We all crawled to our beds. Day 1 was finally over.

Day 2 was dedicated to learning about transitions and practicing a Duathlon (Run-Bike-Run) where we were all timed.

The fun started when we tried to jump on our bikes for transition 1, learning about strapping and unstrapping shoes on the bike. We learnt to jump off of the bike for transition 2. It did not turn really fun for Matthieu who literally flew over his bike and injured himself, followed by Adrien. But nothing stopped us from getting back on our feet and continue the Tri Camp experience!

For a moment we lost Ionut in the cycling part – we all discovered his Achilles heel and no sense of direction! After that effort, it was time to relax with the kind invitation of Paul’s mother-in-law for the Apero . We got a warm welcome from Eliane who really took care of us and showed us the Breton way to welcome people. She was so kind and generous. A Great host ! We all saw how she was taken with Nick and blew us away when she said: “c’est dans les vieux pots que l’on fait les meilleures soupes mais avec des carottes nouvelles !!”  We finally finished Day 2 at home around a nice barbecue. And again we all crawled to our bed!

Day 3 was the Aquathlon challenge in duo (except for Ionut who managed to finish first on his own!). I will not forget that day as I managed to swim about 1 km in the sea! That’s incredible, and I felt so proud with the encouragements of my team mates. A sunny day when we learned how to change a flat tyre before making our way to the train station. Then another ride of 30 kms to practice under pressure as we had just enough time to catch the TGV back to Paris!

Nick scored all the competitions of the Tri Camp weekend and the trophy ceremony started in the train : Adrien got the Trophy for the best time for transition, Ionut won the Aquathlon, and Aurélie the best time for swimming. We were in fact all winners!

Thanks everyone for this beautiful experience, Nick, Paul, Aurélie, Matthieu, Adrien, Laetitia and Ionut.[cml_media_alt id='97613']IMG_0466[/cml_media_alt]

Lot of fun, lot of laugh, lot of pain…. but we all know no pain no gain! I will definitively recommend renewing the experience!

…by Ionut

I will take advantage of my fresh memory (could not say the same about my body though) to write a few lines about what we all know as the Quiberon Experience.

It was my first Tri Camp, an experience hard to forget. A former Indian president once said that a man needs difficulties to enjoy success, I could not agree more!

The first time I wore a wetsuit and I swam in an ocean was during this Tri Camp. One might say that the swimming was the most difficult part of this. I would say that breathing and sighting were the most challenging for me. The Australian exits, sprinting on the beach to get back into the water, was a hell of an effort. I do not know what I enjoyed more, the winds of Brittany or the chilliness of the Atlantic Ocean.

The coasts of Quiberon and the surrounding villages offer great roads for biking. The biking rides are technical, with steep descents and long climbs, all seasoned with a bit of Brittany’s winds. The Tri Camp included biking exercises to help a triathlete during the transitions: jump on and off the bike, running and holding the bike by its saddle. I learned how important is to pedal correctly (pull up and push down), it really makes a difference mainly while riding up a hill. All these made me the cyclist I am today 🙂

Conguel, in the south of Quiberon, offers a 2km running loop. Any runner will enjoy this area due to its gravel surface and the « faux plateaux ». I particularly enjoyed the « faux plateaux » which I think give you an advantage if you are trained to run them.

One wraps up any of the two above sports, and has aquathlons and duathlons to remember. We gave our best on Saturday and Sunday during individual and team competitions. The ocean was calm, with small waves and weak currents. Transition times, sighting while swimming and the running had a big weight on the final times. Trophies were earned for the fastest transitions, the best time for the aquathlon and the fastest swimmer.

Congratulations to everyone and many thanks for the organization! Looking forward for the next Tri Camp. Harder, better, faster!

We must be proud of ourselves and, even if it was not all just sugar, we must not lose sight of our achievements:

– we played like a team

– we tested our limits

– we improved our skills

Have a great week team!


…by Matthieu,

I really enjoyed the experience and atmosphere of our Quiberon Tri Camp. (As a matter of fact, before being part of that adventure, I was unsure about what Tri Camp meant, it sounded a bit military to me). I liked the sport part of the programme, as well as the conviviality of the moments when we were not practicing sport.

The sport programme first sounded a bit of a challenge to me. I joined the ExpaTRIés team in January as a new year’s resolution, and a few months after, I was not yet 100% sure I was ready to do sport intensively through a whole week end, especially with so many non-Lane 6 members! And if I had known before signing up that the weekend technically started at 1:45 am at the Auray train station, I would have probably reconsidered participating 😉 But it would have been a big mistake.

I certainly had some hard times during which I had to push my limits, but at the end of the day, I am so happy to have made it! I survived the Atlantic swims in a 12°C water, the transition challenges (despite some scratches), the 80km ride along the côte sauvage and the night ride, and the higher-than-my- usual-speed runs (a special thanks to Aurélie for the competitive runs). The teaching part about how to change an inner tube on a sunny terrace was easier to handle 🙂

Beyond the practice of sport, it is always nice to put people sharing a common interest together. Apparently, food and sleeping were other interest we shared 😉 We had fun and some good laughs around the dinner table, enjoying Chef Nick’s specials, while learning about nutrition (from now on, I will only have pain complet). It certainly helped create a positive atmosphere throughout the week-end, which was a key point in this nice experience.

I obviously want to thank Nick (the guy « aux cheveux longs » wearing a T-shirt with Organization / Staff) and Paul for their organization and assistance skills. You made our week-end work very well! But I also feel like thanking my team-mates to have contributed to the collective success of this week end. It was a pleasure and will remain a very nice memory, on top of being a very good training for the next steps of my triathlon life.