Immediately following my 4 day bike team camp, I drove the seven hours to Tucson, Arizona for an eleven day training camp with my coach Torsten Abel( I was super excited and anxious to finally get to train with him one on one as that was the first time I’ve worked with him in person. (Here focus on how intense you have already worked him and gotten to know him) Nervous, excited….


Day 1 consisted of an easier day with a run, bike and swim all easy just to get myself adjusted and recovered from the previous 4 days of hard team camp riding.  My body was pretty tired but that may have also been from the long car ride the night before. (Share the details of the workout, but also your own story)

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Day 2 was a treat! I met Torsten at the Pima Community College track in the am for a challenging track workout of 15x 800s.  I honestly was really nervous to start this workout because Ive never done anything that long or have even done a track workout in the past couple years.  We broke them up into 3 sets of 5x800s all on a 1 min rest interval and blood was taken to measure lactate levels. My legs felt pretty heavy warming up but somehow managed to feel a little better when I actually started running hard. My lactate levels were surprisingly higher than Torsten thought they would be which is no bueno for ITU racing.  I still wanted to complete the workout and hit all the target paces so I did just that.  The results of this lactate step test showed my body burns through carbohydrates rather than using energy from fat.  This could be from training at too high of an intensity when I should be doing more in the fat burning zone. After the run workout I had a nice set of 6x800s in the pool and another run in the pm. Here is some data from the 800s.


1-3:09.56 6:27 pace 155 hr avg(.49)

2-3:12.07 6:22 pace 155 hr avg (.50)

3-3:12.10 6:23 pace 159 hr avg (.50)

4-3:11.64 6:17 pace 163 hr avg (.51)

5-3:08.25 6:11 pace 167 hr avg (.51)


6-3:04.45 6:03 pace 166 hr avg (.51)

7-3:08.82 6:03 pace 169 hr avg (.52)

8-3:04.57 5:52 pace 173 hr avg (.52)

9-3:06.27 5:56 pace 174 hr avg (.52)

10-3:04.57 5:52 pace 173 hr avg(.52)


11-3:06.27 5:56 pace 174 hr avg(.52)

12-3:01.10 5:54 pace 177 hr avg(.51)

13-2:59.77 5:46 pace 171 hr avg(.52)

14-2:56.50 5:44 pace 179 hr avg(.51)

15-3:01.37 5:47 pace 179 hr avg(.52)


Day 3 was a nice 95 mile ride and sprint swim workout which Torsten joined me for. Torsten has so much knowledge (helped coach Leanda Cave to 2 world titles) and experience from coaching and from actually racing professionally himself that we talked the entire time.  I’ve struggled a lot in the past with the mental side of the sport but he gave me some great ideas to help work on it. One idea was having a nice bracelet worn on the left wrist but each time I have a negative thought it has to be put on the right wrist.  Then each morning I can put it back on the left with a fresh start. This really makes you aware of your thoughts.  The entire time I was in Tucson the bracelet stayed on the left:)

Day 4 began with a hard hill running repeat session. Torsten did them too me but behind me so he could coach and yell at me about my form. It was awesome and it made going hard so much easier.  He hasn’t trained much over the last few months but did 99% of all the workouts with me and thats a lot of training.  The rest of the day consisted of a bike, swim and another run.

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Day 5 was just a swim at the University of Arizona rec pool.  I had never swum there before but it was pretty awesome. Main set was 15x400s on 5:00… I was really tired before but once i started going, I got into a groove and felt alright. Held between 4:34s-4:37s. After the swim I treated myself and coach to coffee at Starbucks(my sanctuary)..For 2 hours we chatted about the importance of dialing in nutrition and potential races for this season.



Day 6 I planned on riding the infamous Tucson ‘rip your legs off’ group ride called the ‘Shootout’ but since we are trying to make my body burn fat instead of straight carbs which happens when you train intensely, we rode a nice steady 100 miles which I was able to keep my heart rate down.  I even got to do a transition run after which I’ve never done following a really long ride. My legs felt great.

Day 7 was a nice long progressive run on the River trail followed by another swim.  I’m just amazed that my body can handle this much training.  Of course we have worked up to it but I was never just thrown into it. Torsten has kept careful tabs on all my workouts and the constant communication between us has made for a very successful start.


Day 8 was my favorite training day of the camp.  It seemed quite epic but now I realize that I will be doing these types of workouts on a regular basis to help build a strong fitness and strength foundation.  We rode a good 40 miles before we hit the base of Mt. Lemmon then continued up the 25 mile climb which averages a 5% grade.  In the past I’ve always gone way too hard in the beginning but Torsten gave me a specific heart rate to stay at and I felt great the whole way up with lots of energy to spare. I may have even come close to a personal best:) This ride ended up being 110 miles plus we got in a swim after.


Day 9 was on the lighter side with just a swim and a massage by super therapist Bill Kruse. He works on several of the top athletes in Tucson including the U of A track team.  He was very thorough and had lots of knowledge. I felt amazing after I left.(


Day 10: Today was the last full day of camp with another hill repeat session, coffee shop bike ride and another run in the pm. As we were warming up on the run, Torsten looked at me and said ‘You are going to be an Ironman champ someday!’  This type of comment threw me such a loop my head ran circles around it for horus…. Honestly I never really thought I would want to do one because I was still stuck thinking I would be racing ITU for the rest of my career. But, those words stuck in my head and I want to be one. It means the world to have him believe in me and I can’t thank him enough for taking the time to coach and train with me. I’ve come away with a whole new attitude and perspective towards life, training and racing.  So this season Im making the switch to half ironman racing and may even try my hand at an Ironman.  I really want to be an Ironman Champion, and I will do anything it takes to get there.