The first day of Trek/K-Swiss team camp was all about the athletes reuniting after the off season, but on day two the athletes focused on seriously preparing for the rapidly approaching season. Athletes such as Julie Dibens and Joe Gambles will kick off their season at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon next month and they, along with the rest of the athletes, continued to prep their gear and work on their fitness today. Click here to view photos from the day.
After another hearty breakfast—these guys can really eat—the team met for a long ride on the Queen K, the same road they will race on at the Ironman World Championships in October. The day began at a relaxed pace with the athletes shaking away the final cob webs from their long run two days ago. The group pulled over for a bike check and to refill their bottles. The 5’2” Lesley Paterson switched bikes with the 6’1” Chris Lieto for a quick comparison. Turns out, their bikes don’t really work for each other.
After that stop, they continued north up the Queen K highway toward the turn-around point of the Ironman World Championship bike course. On the way, Joe Gambles decided to ratchet up the effort level and pulled the group at about 25 miles an hour for a long stretch. When the rest of the group begged for some relief, Gambles replied, “But this is too easy!” They made it to Hawi and stopped for a quick refill and group photo before getting back on the highway to head home. Julie Dibens reported that the conditions on the road weren’t too bad. Only moderately hot and the winds Kona is notorious for were calm today.
On the way back, the pace quickened and the group split, but the serious riding hadn’t yet started. Instead of heading directly home, Chris Lieto led a small group up Kawaihae Road, which steeply climbs up the volcano to the town of Waimea. Eventually, Chris Lieto and Paul Matthews rode away from the rest of the group, including Fraser Cartmell and Heather Jackson, and only Dibens bothered to give chase. Everyone was clearly riding hard. The rest of the group turned for home, but the trio continued up the climb for several miles. Matthews said he struggled to keep up with Lieto and had to sit on his wheel to make it up the climb ahead of the rest of the group. Dibens settled into her own rhythm and estimates she averaged a little over 250 watts for the climb. They flipped around and headed home after the climb.
Once they arrived back at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Fraser Cartmell, Heather Jackson, and Joe Gambles logged a quick 5km brick run while Dibens looped back onto the roads for a few more miles. She was slated to ride four-plus hours today but was at 3:45, so she kept riding. Lieto continues to tweak his position, so he went out with Dibens and Retul fitter Mat Steinmetz to look at focus on the changes. After she returned, Dibens estimated she had ridden 85-90 miles in 4:15. Not a bad day in the saddle.
After the strenuous long ride, the athletes refilled with some lunch—burgers for many—and then learned a bit about the gear they will be using in 2011. Their bike, the Trek Speed Concept 9 Series, is largely unchanged for 2011, but it has undergone some subtle improvements including a stronger seatpost clamp, more secure Draft Box attachment and smoother cable guide system. Click here to learn more about the Speed Concept.
The major equipment change will be their race shoes. K-Swiss has updated the K-Ruuz racing flat, now called the K-Ruuz 1.5, by giving it a seamless upper with their new Ion Mask coating that prevents the fabric from absorbing water. Water really does bead up on the fabric and never penetrates. The K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light is another popular racing shoe with a slightly more substantial sole and a similar upper. Both shoes feature a medial post, which K-Swiss says is necessary for Ironman athletes because even the most efficient runners break down at the end of a long distance triathlon. The team then heard about new Bontrager components, but the media wasn’t shown those new goodies just yet.
Quickly from the equipment presentation to the vans, and the crew sped down the highway to a luau. The athletes filled themselves with a gorgeous spread of food, and maybe a mai tai, while watching a Hawaiian dance show. Matt Lieto was dragged onto the stage during the show, where he danced along side five other volunteers, all who happened to be less than ten years old.