Triathlon Ontario Swim Clinic

IMG_5330The highlight of last week’s training was a father/daughter trip to Toronto to participate in a swim clinic put on by Triathlon Ontario. We drove to Toronto on Friday night and got up early on Saturday morning for the clinic. The venue was amazing. It is called the Pan Am Centre, a facility built for the purpose of hosting multiple events this summer during the Pan Am games being hosted by Toronto. The Canadian Institute for Sport (CISO) has there head office inside the centre. CISO is the organization that trains the Olympic athletes. They have there own section of the Pan Am centre for specialized training. The classroom portion of the swim clinic was held in their training room.

IMG_5337We were given a tour of the CISO facilities and it was amazing! It was modelled after the Australian Institute for Sport which has been very successful. Apparently Canada no longer has a socialist strategy when it comes to Olympic athletes. Instead of giving equal amounts of money to all sports they now choose which ones Canada has the best chance of making the podium and fund those heavily. They had elevation simulation rooms, totally sealed off from outside air. They removed oxygen from the room to simulate higher elevations, kind of cool. The treadmill in that room is also on a gravity system (you wear a belt) so that it can simulate the appropriate gravity at various elevations as well. Cool stuff! There are high powered sports cameras at each station as well to analyze your form, etc.

IMG_5331Moving on to the swim clinic! It was an excellent session. The classroom segment had some interesting components including the national team nutritionist. She had many interesting things to say about training nutrition, pre-race, post race, etc. She even passed around some high quality foods to try. The in-water sessions were broken into three stations that we rotated through. The first one I did was video analysis. It was like watching a turtle underwater, lol. A Biomechanist analyzed your stroke in front of everyone else on a big screen! It was useful. The second station had a technique focus with the Director of CISO. It was also very useful from a technique perspective. The third station was the open water training. It was hard but very good practice. They had a square course setup with Buoys and as a group we did multiple drills around the course. They drills are hard to explain with words but they simulated open water swim conditions (bunching up at turns, passing, drafting, etc).

Overall it was a great experience! Brittany also had a great clinic as well. She was put in a different swim group than mine so I didn’t see much of her swimming or video analysis (We were grouped by speed). The national coach pulled her aside and told her she has an excellent stroke technique so that was motivational!IMG_5333

My training distance for this week was down due to travelling on the weekend. I travelled 138 kms this week.

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