Winter training camp: 5 take-aways


I just returned home - okay, I am not home yet, we had a week of R&R in Mexico to help my dad celebrate turning 70, first! Happy birthday, dad! - from my second year at the QT2 systems pro camp in Clermont, Florida. 

For those that don't remember from last year - you can read it about it here. The short story is - last year was my first month training under Jesse Kropelnicki & QT2 Systems. Camp was a massive learning curve for me. I showed up out of shape, super green and didn't know a whole lot about QT2 systems and how it operated. 

Fast forward a year, and here I am! This year I was fit for camp (which was much more fun!), I was educated on the ways that QT2 athletes operate, and most importantly I am a much more durable athlete than I was a year ago. This durability is thanks to consistent training the past year, strength training & injury prevention (thanks Jay Dicharry & Rebond physio!) & Jesse's supportive guidance. All in all this, meant I was able to partake in nearly all of the painful sessions over 3 weeks. Once again, I left camp a stronger and smarter athlete. I wanted to share a few of my take-aways. 

1. FOCUS ON YOURSELF: There were 25+ of us at camp, and we all had different agendas (and often times different training). It's easy to pit yourself against your competition in training and see how you measure up. For me, this is self-defeating. It required a lot of discipline to not get caught up in those around me and stick to my plan. I had my doubts of training with a squad this big, but somehow Jesse makes it work. The best way it works is if you focus on yourself and focus on your own personal improvements. One of the best ways we do this is with heart rate training. Luckily with this many of us together, you were bound to have great days, bound to have horrible days (one day I got pulled out of the pool on a recovery swim - hello, sinking ship!). 

2. I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: It's pretty hard to chicken out of a workout when 20+ of your other sweaty friends are all lining up, giving there best, and not backing down. There were plenty of times where I thought, no way would I: swim twice in a day, go for that second run, ride my bike that fast, or eat that other piece of pizza. But the power of peer pressure can be a positive one! 

3. FOOD: This may have been the most important part of camp. I am always blown away by the amount of calories needed during these three weeks. To put it simply, you pretty much have to be shoveling food in your mouth as much as possible, and sometimes as quick as possible to make it from session to session. My days started with a bottle of CLIF sports drink before we even left the house to ensure I was hydrated and my nights ended with a bottle of protein recovery shake before bed. On top of that, I ate a ton of CLIF Bar products - my go-to's included CLIF Shot electrolyte drink (lemon-lime), CLIF Shot recovery drink (chocolate), CLIF Z-bars, CLIF bars (Sierra Mix), CLIF Shot bloks, CLIF Shot gels, CLIF Mojo's. We often only had enough time for one "real" meal a day, which was usually dinner. One of my go-to choices when looking for something other than a CLIF Bar & being limited on time was simple steamed rice with 3 fried eggs, salt + pepper on top. I found I could eat this and be ready for a run less than an hour later. 

4. DON'T THINK, JUST DO*: After the first few days of camp, this motto was employed early and often. Just like in Ironman racing, sometimes the best thing you can do is turn your brain off, don't second guess your body, and just go. 

5. GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE*: Towards the end of camp, this mantra ran through my head several times. After about 10 days my body was exhausted, my head was exhausted and I would think "No way can I ___________ another mile. Sure enough, if I activated Rule #4, and gave myself a chance at the session - my body never let me down. Repeat after me, Linsey: My body never let me down! Pretty amazing stuff, really. Thank you, body. You are an awesome one! 

*these terms are officially Kropelnickism's - I take no credit :)

THANKS! On that note, a huge thanks to my body for carrying me along for 3 weeks of awesome training in Florida. We tested limits, stayed healthy & now I am a better athlete! A huge thanks to my awesome sponsors for supporting me on the way to the races. A huge thanks to Chris Corbin for not burning down the house while I was away + plus a whole lot more. I love you! A huge thanks to Jesse & the QT2 coaches for there support all camp. And lastly, a huge thanks to my fellow QT2 athletes: we laughed, we cried (well, I did!), we inspired, we pushed ourselves & we had a lot of fun! 

I am topping off my stores, letting the hard work marinate and then dreams really do come true: this chick is headed to South Africa to race the Ironman!!!!!! 

Thanks for reading! 

Linsey Corbin