May 17, 2007 -- Bloomington, MD
A few souls gathered this past weekend at Barnum on the North Branch of the Potomac for an informal training camp. We had beautiful weather with a minor interruption for a thunderstorm, but the conditions and the guaranteed water were ideal.
The theme of the camp was paddling with intensity, and yet consistency, on rough water - a tough task on any given day. On Saturday we worked on a sprint course of under 2 minutes with fairly defined lines. The course was ideal for video and timing, and everyone showed improvement with whitewater technique. In particular we were able to work on varying stroke rates in order to obtain maximal acceleration and speed. We ended up with a full run of the river, doing leapfrog sessions in both flat and rough water.
After a full nights recovery we were joined by Middy Tilghman who graciously shuttled us around and shot some great video. As we had back in October, we divided the race course into quarters and timed each one, prior to racing and then comparing back to the ideal times for each quarter. This also allowed us to directly compare times to those taken in October (www.usawildwater.com/news/2006/061005_NB_Training.htm), as the water level was exactly the same. Colby Zebel took the overall honors, but lost significant time from his quarter times. Behind him was Chris "The Magic Bloater" Norbury, only 13 seconds ahead of Hollie "One Ring to Bind Them" Noble. Notably Hollie posted this time with a huge crack in her boat patched with duct tape because she "forgot" she had a full repair kit on hand. Hollie was 22 seconds faster than her time in October, a 3% improvement, and she will surely catch the Magic Bloater target soon. Hollie also demonstrated significant consistency, as she was almost spot on the cumulative quarter times. Chrissie Zeltner, our other racer, actually beat her quarter times, and improved enormously throughout the weekend. We can't wait to get Chrissie out in a composite boat.
Overall we had a great time and everyone, myself included, felt much better in the boats on the course as the weekend went on. We will convene again on Memorial Day weekend, when we will also do some timed runs and video to work on rough water technique. We may also be able to get some speed versus heart rate versus lines data using a heart rate monitor/GPS system. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.