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Starting on Friday I’ll be attending a training camp and race weekend in Costa Rica with coaches Michael and Amanda Lovato. The Lovatos’ clinics will run throughout the weekend, and the races will include a 2575 sprint distance on Saturday and Olympic and 111 distance races on Sunday, part of Unlimited Productions’ event series. I caught up with the Lovatos in advance of the camp’s kick off in order to learn about the purpose of the event and why the country of Costa Rica appeals to them as a prime training and racing destination.
Triathlete.com: First off, explain where we’re going and what we’re up to this week?
ML & AL: This week’s trip is to the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. We’re heading to a place called Hacienda Pinilla, on the Pacific Ocean. Lovato Performance has partnered with Race Quest Travel to host a three-day clinic for Costa Rican triathletes. Additionally, Michael is going to do the 111 race on Sunday – a 1km swim, 100km bike, and 10km run.
Triathlete.com: What do you enjoy most about putting on camps and clinics?
ML & AL: Both of us love coaching, and doing so in person at camps or clinics is a very effective way for us to instruct and guide the athletes. We are each very social, and really love the in-person coaching environment. We tend to thrive in these situations. Also, we notice that the athletes who sign up for camps tend to be very committed to the sport, and it’s always gratifying to work with that type of athlete.
Triathlete.com: What you hope athletes gain from the experience?
ML & AL: This particular camp is different than some we’ve done in the past. We have targeted all abilities, but we find that many beginners will attend this particular clinic. We hope that those athletes go home with a better understanding of how to swim, bike, run, fuel and recover. We also hope they have a great time, and grow to love the sport as much as we do.
Triathlete.com: What people can expect at a Lovato Performance Camp?
ML & AL: Some of our camps are training focused–for example, our Solvang Training Camp in April. At that one, people can expect to work hard on bettering their fitness, while learning some new tricks of the trade. We also promise that they can expect fun times and laughter. Others, like the Costa Rica and Austin versions, are shorter clinics or weekend-long camps, and people should expect to have brief training sessions as well as skill development segments. In Costa Rica we’ll be covering everything from video swim analysis to detailed fueling plans, as well as how to tackle a race of any distance, from sprint to Ironman.
Triathlete.com: What is it that you two especially love about the warm Latin American races and the culture?
ML & AL: First and foremost, we love the Latin people. We have thoroughly enjoyed traveling all over Latin America, and we find that we both really jive with the vibes and we mesh very well with the cultures. It helps immensely that Michael speaks Spanish fluently. We find it a lot easier to navigate without a language barrier. Additionally, we love warm weather! Many of the destinations we pick are hot and humid, and that’s where we are the happiest. Finally, who can argue with Latin food? We absolutely love it.
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