Dubai Camp January 2019
I was a bit hesitant about attending this camp as I was just returning from a 3 week holiday having not exercised while away, but decided to take a chance on it while hoping for the best. Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Exercise Structure: Exercises were mostly in the morning and afternoon/ early evening. I found that structure to be perfect from a learning/adaptation point of view. I did not feel rushed to get from one place to the next and had plenty of time to process the lessons learned during the sessions. Similarly, I was able to attend to work/personal matters during the break which reduced the stress of having things slip through the cracks during the camp and time away from family.
Instructions: Coach Harald’s instructions were clear and to the point. He made his points across easily even when the tropic was more complicated (nutrition). He was patient and listened well to my concerns and questions.
Perhaps his best skill is identifying the main area the athlete needs help with and focusing on correcting/adjusting that specific area. I saw the benefit of this approach as I have taken many swim lessons with other coaches and being told that I need to work on multiple areas was very confusing and counterproductive. I’ll never forget the puck puck puck grenade launchers.
Another area Coach H excelled in was his repetition of important points- to me this was a great reinforcement of what us athletes needed to focus on.
Training feedback: In all three disciplines, the feedback was exceptional. The “don’t beat around the bush” approach was what I appreciated the most. Being taped in the swim and the run on multiple occasions helped me understand what areas needed work and also allowed me to see my progress throughout the camp duration. Invaluable training tool.
Venues: The choice of venues for the swim/bike/run was ideal. The places were clean, easy to find, and exposed us to various training terrain and environments. For cycling, we did climbs on Jebel Jais, flats on AQ and DXBike; for swimming we did both open water and pool swims; and for running we did track, AQ, and corniche runs. I truly enjoyed the variety of the venues and appreciated the thought taken into creating such a training program.
Logistics: All meeting venues (for training and fuelling/social) were communicated to the athletes in plenty of time. The close proximity of training and fuelling locations was well received as it both: fit within the 30 min window for replenishing our glycogen levels and made it easier for us to focus on post-training discussions. As each of our training sessions were completely supported, having the pre and post nutrition hydration present at all sessions was truly welcomed.
Group dynamics: Having being exposed to numerous training experiences, I am somewhat weary of the dynamics of these group. Combining a number of people (let alone people who do not know each other well) in a stressful training situation can have disastrous outcomes. This was not the case. Our group, kudos to our coach, gelled and worked well together.
Special touches: While all social meetups were great, having the Herzigs open their home to us on two occasions was a special treat. We were able to let our hair down and learn in a relaxed environment.
Thank you again.