The past weekend in Quiberon was extremely dense. I have been trying since last night on the drive back to find a way to briefly and exhaustively report on the weekend and have finally accepted that I won’t be able to cover everything. You will just have to try the weekend yourself in order get the full benefit!
We were a group of seven, filling all but one of the eight spots. Nick Lamb (club President), was our organiser and trainer. Paul G. (team manager) hosted us in his lovely family home located one kilometer from the main beach in Quiberon. It is equally close to the ruggedly beautiful Cote Sauvage where you can bike or run (trail or pavement for the running) Nick and Paul worked together to organize the entire weekend, including providing a car for passengers (Paul) and a van for passengers as well as all our bikes and gear (Nick rented the van). In addition to hosting and organizing, Paul participated along with me, Ionut, Luis R., Matteo and Deidre. Ionut participated in 2015 and was the one to convince me at the last minute to go. Teo, Luis and Deidre and I were first timers to Quiberon.
Nick said that our group was more experienced than the group the previous year. However, our skill and training levels were very mixed. Nick organized the training schedule, routes and group rules in such a way that no one was pushed too much nor held back too much. In that sense it was not a boot camp, but, as advertised a training camp. We achieved the goal of swimming, biking and running every day. The focus was more on technique than on distance or speed. We did running drills on the beach and worked on our transitions. The transition work included improving our time getting out of our wetsuit and learning how to mount and dismount our bikes with the shoes clipped in. The latter is something I thought I’d never learn to do and now I am unafraid and I am even looking forward to trying it out in the Versailles triathlon!
The weather cooperated with moderate temperatures, not very much wind, no rain to speak of and even sunshine on Thursday. The sea air was so good for us. I was fighting off a chest cold on the way there and it cleared up quickly once there. The water was cold, about 10 to 12 degrees, but it got easier each day to go in. Personally I like it because it cools the core and reduces swelling.
It was a rich experience to spend four days living is such close quarters and training together. We exchanged experiences and knowledge on topics of interest to triathletes – Equipment, races, training, injuries, lifestyle, nutrition…On the subject of nutrition, I have to say that Nick did a terrific job planning healthy meals which respected the diet my gastroenteroligist has me on, the Low FODMAP diet. Although it was to be a weekend without alcohol, we decided that a couple of glasses of wine in the evening are good for you.;-)
Finally, spending four full days with Nick, we witnessed first hand how much Nick has to do running the club, promoting triathlon in France and being a father. He has done a tremendous amount for the ExpaTRIés. He has grown it to a critical point where we need to do what we can to ensure that the club will get better and better, that the funds and volunteering are commensurate with our shared goals. Our club is full of extraordinary people. I am sure we can rise to the challenge!