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The athletes of Team Trek/K-Swiss have gathered on the Big Island of Hawaii for an early season training camp. Triathlete.com was on hand and struggling to keep up with the team to report on the athletes’ training. The first day featured changes to Chris Lieto’s bike fit, team bonding and recovery workouts (see a photo gallery of the day below).
The first day was scheduled to start with breakfast at 7 a.m., but a few of the athletes got an earlier start. Chris Lieto went down to the beach for a core strength session with two bags filled with tools and a banana in hand. Others took the opportunity to get loose before the day started as well. Once at the table, the athletes had a light breakfast before changing for a leisurely run around the Mauna Lani Bay hotel grounds.
The team did its long run the day before. Many ran for roughly two hours, with Julie Dibens tacking on a second run in the evening for a few extra miles. After a serious day on their feet, the athletes were eager for a mellow trot. Dibens and Lesley Paterson elected to ride cruisers while the rest of the crew ran. The pace was relaxed and conversation was loose while the Lieto brothers navigated the hotel grounds.
Big training days lead to big appetites, so the run was followed by second breakfast. After the meal, Julie Dibens and Chris Lieto ducked out to check their bike fit and do an easy spin to loosen the legs. Julie is coached by Mat Steinmetz, Retul bike fitter, so her position was already well established before the camp, but Lieto is making some dramatic changes to his position after consulting with Steinmetz. Most significantly, Lieto’s saddle was moved forward 4 centimeters. Triathlete.com will follow up with a full report on Lieto’s bike fit changes, but the new position passed its first test today. Lieto reported no issues with his legs and only mild discomfort in his saddle region.
After riding, Lieto and Dibens rejoined their teammates for lunch. A theme has developed—lots of eating.
The team re-gathered after the meal for the Trek and K-Swiss presentation of the 2011 team, and the athletes made clear what they see as the difference between their group and most triathlon teams. Personal unity. Joe Gambles talked about the advice and guidance he received from Lieto before Ironman Wisconsin, Heather Jackson expressed her gratitude to Dibens and Fraser Cartmell for their interest in her progress as a swimmer and Lesley Paterson, the team’s new member, gushed about her new teammates. These kind words in a pre-arranged setting might seem hollow, but the genuine relationships between the athletes were evident at the afternoon swim.
After making a few laps around a small bay, Matt Lieto pulled Jackson aside and took her through the finer points of head position while breathing. Meanwhile, Paul Matthews dragged Dibens and Lieto around the bay, eventually dropping the Brit and leaving Lieto to gasp compliments about Matthew’s swim fitness. On the stroll back to the hotel, three of the athletes joked about their failures trying to meet girls from years ago. The group feels like a high school cross country team rather than a collection of mercenary professional race-winners.
All photos by Aaron Hersh.