This past week I arrived home from a short, but very effective training camp in Palermo, Italy – followed by the French World Cup event in Hyeres, France. The primary purpose of the training camp was train in a warm, “non-event” venue for 10 days, focusing primarily on fitness and short course racing. Training in a “non-event” venue is very important from time to time, as it allows me to refocus my training. “Non-event” venues are free of the distractions and stresses of the 20 – 30 other international sailors that often show up to train on site before a competition. Furthermore, I intend to train on site at the 2012 Olympic venue for nearly 70 days starting tomorrow until the Olympics. Training in Weymouth, UK can be cold, rainy and dreary. Taking a few weeks to train in warm desirable location is a good way to keep the mind fresh, which ultimately increases motivation and performance.
The eight-day training camp in Palermo, Italy was productive. The scenery is gorgeous and the area offers a bit of a “playground” effect. The cross training opportunities were limitless and we took advantage of them. Throughout the trip, we did about 6 hard bike rides (2+ hours), stand up paddling boarding and sailing. The mountain biking, in my mind, was the most productive training. Each day we tackled a new mountain and rode to the summit. The most memorable ride was an unnamed mountain, with an hour and 30-minute climb (3:00 total ride time) covering an elevation of 3,000+ feet. The climb took us through 20 degrees of temperature variation, rain, hail, a lot of fog, sheep, horses and a few bulls. And yes, per usual, we underestimated how difficult the ride would be and clearly didn’t bring enough water or food, the last 45 minutes of the ride were brutally challenging.
I really enjoyed the time I spent in Palermo. We had on the water coaching for all but one day and the cross training was truly amazing.
French World Cup
After 8 days of training in Sicily, We embarked on the overnight 12-hour ferry from Palermo to Civitavecchia (outside Rome). Following the rough nighttime ferry ride, we drove 10 hours through Tuscany, up towards northern Italy, through Monaco and finally through much of the French Riviera. We finally arrived at our destination in Hyeres, France on the southern coast of France, a small town in between Marseille to the West and Nice to the East. The drive was absolutely stunning. We arrived in Hyeres, two days before the regatta, arriving two days early is something I typically do not do; however, this was not a peak event for me.
The racing at the French World Cup was “full–on.” You may remember from my last update, the Cadiz Worlds were very windy. Well, this event offered similar conditions, but with nasty chop and on the last day, massive waves (4 – 6 feet). Because this was not a peak event, I did not have a coach, as I intend to allocate a majority of my coaching budget toward training in Weymouth. Throughout the event I had a range of issues that I believed plagued my performance. For one, my boat speed was good, but not great. At first thought, I can attribute that to the older sail I was using. Furthermore, I was having difficulty navigating the chop in the first few days and it was extremely shifty. In Cadiz, I felt like I sailed tactically sound; however, here in France, I had difficulty staying in phase with the oscillating breeze. This may be a function of me not spending time training on site before the event. I did have many positives to pull from my performance, specifically my consistency. I did not have any great races, nor did I have any terrible races. Performing consistently and turning a bad race into an okay race, we call it “mid-fleet management” was a goal of mine at the beginning of the season. I am happy to be making progress with this. Finally, I was disappointed with how I sailed; however, I still managed a fairly good result (25th/56).
I am heading off to Weymouth, UK tomorrow for 4 weeks of training, followed by the Sail for Gold Regatta in early June.
Bobsails.com and Jim Karas Personal Training:
For the month of May, Jim Karas Personal Training in Chicago is doing a “bobsails.com” workout month! Come in on Sunday (5/6, 5/13, 5/20) and enjoy a ”free” workout – and donate to my campaign! I went to the workout last Sunday and it was a blast…hard, but fun! I highly encourage all of my supporters and followers to check out one of these classes!
Contact Info@jimkaras.com for more information
I am pleased to announce that I am know an official Vega Ambassador. I am very excited to be working with Vega over the next few months leading up to the Olympics, in addition to using their plant based products as I gear up for London 2012