My Coach (Kaustubh Radkar) has planned for a 3 days Triathlon Camp in Goa. It was from 8th March to 10th March.
Most of the participants were preparing for Ironman 70.3 Goa. Kaustubh and Indrajeet were our coaches for the camp.
I arrived at Goa Airport at 2PM from Delhi. As Camp was supposed to start at 4, I immediately fetched a Bike Taxi to Hotel (The International Center)
For Friday, only one session was planned - Open Water Swim Session. This session’s focus was on key sea swimming skills - Sighting and Backfloat.
Few guys from Pune had cars. We packed ourself in the car, and reached the session venue - Bambolin Beach.
When we are swimming in the pool, there is no need to lift our head and sight. Pool is usually 25 or 50m in length, and we’ve a dedicated lane.
But when one is in open water, there is no intuitive way to swim in a straight line. If sighting is not done properly, people tend to drift away. This is likely the most common and costly problem faced by people new to open water swim.
Kaustubh and Indrajeet showed us how to integrate sight with the stroke. For me, they corrected how much head to lift (tip: very less lift needed), how to time the headlift with the pull - this gave a very easy bounce.
I have done open sea swim as part of Philippines Full IM. But my sighting was clumsy and tough on the neck. In this session, I could immediately feel the difference - this was an effortless way to sight, and it felt amazingggggg!!!
I used to wonder why do I need to do the back float. But Indrajeet made a good point. If during the swim, Goggles come off (or you are tired and want to pause), the back float is the easiest way to handle the situation.
I have NEVER been able to back float. Never. I’ve tried (and failed) many times - much to the amusement of my family. But kudos to Indrajeet as a teacher - he made a very small correction in my technique, and YES - I could back float. Oh boy! Even if I might not use this skill during the event, it felt amazing to be finally able to do this.
A very useful session indeed! Everyone came out from sea smiling, the joy of new skills acquired :)
6:15AM-6:45AM : Morning Run with small hills. 30" run.
7AM - 8 AM : Swim session in the sea (Caranzalem Beach, Next to Miramar Beach). This session built on the backfloat. We learnt how to move from freestyle to backfloat, adjust the goggles, and continue to swim. When we got hang of it, it felt so awesome.
10-10:30: Nutrition session with Kaustubh and Maitreyi.
11AM-12PM : Swim session in the pool. This was a technical session, focused on sculling and right leg movement. Some videos were also shot by the coach :-D
12:30PM - 1PM : Sun was blazing, and we were tired. Perfect time to simulate the race day. Kaustubh made us run for 30" in the sun. During Ironman, it is very important to be able to run with the tired legs. This was a good simulation. Maitreyi and I did a comfortable 5km run.
4-6PM: Now, with all the drills and technique, this was the time to face the fear. This session called for us to go inside deep sea. Indrajeet (25m) and Kaustubh(50m) were our targets :D. Everyone did this comfortable - big reason was the practice in the sea sessions before.
A hectic, but super wonderful day. The group was super awesome, and together we all did this sea swim easily.
6:15AM-6:45AM : 3 repeat of the hill, followed by a surprise extra hill loop. Coach (@radkar82) had a big grin on his face, on successfully surprising us with the extra loop 😊
7AM - 8AM: Back to the sea. This time everyone was looking forward to it. Not much time was wasted, we directly decided to go to the deep sea. Water was choppier today, but the group took this as another chance to learn.
The swim was easily done, with some practice on sea entry and exit too.
And that was the wrap of 3-day session.
The beauty of this sport is not only you get to learn so many skill, but meet so inspiring people. Everyone is in the journey to improve themselves and succeed together.