>Clay Reports from Training Camp


USOC’s Olympic Training Center

Friday was the second day of our four-day fitness training camp in Colorado Springs. This camp is a bit smaller than the one we have in the spring with only USSTAG athletes attending, but the small group size –about 20 athletes in total–really allows for some quality time with the trainers.

The great thing about these camps is that every hour of the day is jam-packed with workouts and meetings, so at the end of the day we all feel exhausted but we also feel like we’ve accomplished a lot.One thing that we’re doing in this camp is doing a lot more group workouts and not putting as much emphasis on just testing.

Our trainers have decided to run us through different types of workouts, giving us examples of workouts we should be doing depending on our periodization and where we are in the year. So yesterday we did an “out of season” workout which put more of an emphasis on heavier weights and longer breaks.

Warming up with the Team

Today was geared around the “lead up to a regatta” phase with lighter weights but more reps and at a much higher pace. It’s amazing how different the workouts should be!

I think Friday will turn out to be one of the tougher ones in this camp. We started out with a meeting with Sean McCann, the USOC sports psychologist. Afterward, trainers Chris Herrera and Lee Fiocchi ran us through a VERY intense three hour “lead up to a regatta” workout. After refueling with a lunch break, we headed back to the conference room for some schedule discussions and a talk from our nutritionist, Bob Seebohar.

ERG testing

Next we headed to the gym for some testing. We did the three-rep max test for row, max push-ups in a minute, max pull-ups, timed plank hold, a hexagon agility drill, and then ended the session with a 40 second sprint erg (to measure max wattage and timed splits) and a 4 minute erg test to see how many meters we can row. That one was tough at altitude! Finally, we finished the day with a great talk about sponsorship lead by Katie Smith.

So far the camp is going very well, and it’s pretty cool to work hard with all of the other USSTAG athletes. It always amazes me how no one person dominates all of the testing; a new person “wins” each of the tests. I think that’s cool and speaks to the diversity and competitiveness of the group.

Saturday we’re scheduled to do the dreaded “Incline.” The “Incline” is a 1 mile long path that goes pretty much straight up Pike’s Peak. Over the mile course we will climb over 2000 ft of elevation. All of the other athletes here are telling us that it’s really tough, and to make matters worse, it’s supposed to snow tonight or tomorrow morning and have temperatures in the high 30s. It could be pretty legendary. I’ll write more tomorrow and let you know if I survived!

Clay Johnson


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