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The Elite Training Experience
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Thursday 20th October 2016


Tags  Elite Training Experience  |  ETE  |  Julian Hucker  |  Matt Leeman  |  Perry Agass  |  Steve Osbourne  |  Trisutto


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Review: Elite Training Experience - Gran Canaria

In June this year we published the announcement of a new triathlon training camp concept, Elite Training Experience (www.elitetrainingexperience.com), a new series of training camps overseen by Trisutto coach, Perry Agass. ETE held their first camps in September and October this year, and we were invited to experience the long distance camp in early October, which was supported by long distance professional, Steve Osbourne.

To cover this for us, we sent GB Age-Group triathlete Boo Smith. You may remember that we followed Boo's journey several years ago as she took on her first Ironman in Austria. Since then, Boo has continued to work hard and progress, winning a couple of ETU European Long Distance Duathlon Championship medals, plus several National Championship podiums along the way. Having had a few years away from Ironman racing, she is looking to do another one next year and so this opportunity fell just at the right time for her. Here is her report from Gran Canaria.


Elite Training Experience

At the beginning of October I was fortunate to attend an Elite Training Experience Triathlon Camp (www.elitetrainingexperience.com).

A new initiative, this was the third camp run by Julian Hucker in Gran Canaria, aimed at endurance athletes offering a taster of the Trisutto (www.trisutto.com) method of coaching. It was of special interest to me as I have been tempted into 'going long' again after a four year break from Ironman racing. I was also looking forward to meeting Trisutto coach Perry Agass (HERE) and also spending some time with Pro athlete Steve Osborne, who has many Ironman races under his belt, including Ironman Malaysia which is on my bucket list. Also present was Matt Leeman who had a sound fourth place finish at the Outlaw this year. 

Although I have attended a couple of swim camps in the past, I have never taken the plunge and signed up for a triathlon training camp, so with a few last minute nerves I packed my bike box and headed for Gran Canaria. 

The flight and transfers were straight forward, one other participant was on my flight. Bikes and bags were delivered within minutes and Julian was there to meet us. Twenty minutes later we arrived at Hotel Barcelo Margaritas.

The rooms were spacious and comfortable. Each room had a small kitchen area, which was handy for making tea and coffee, pre-swim sessions. The accommodation included half board, the meals being the usual buffet style. The food was of excellent quality and varied every day. All requirements were catered for; vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Even the coffee machine produced great coffee, which in my experience is usually not great at these hotels!

Matt and Steve were on hand to help putting bikes back together, so no worries for anyone not totally confident with bike mechanics.

Elite Training Experience

Every day started with a swim session at 8am. The aquatics centre was approximately 10-15 minutes walk from the hotel and consisted of two 25m outdoor, salt water pools. Swimming has never been my strong point and I usually find myself apologising for my lack of speed. However, I was made to feel totally comfortable. A bonus being there were just two of us in one lane, pretty much swimming at the same pace. 

We had a warm up, and were then given a short swim set to complete. From this short set it was obvious Perry was very quick to pick up on our strengths and weaknesses. From then on I was told I needed to work on my arm cadence, which would be my focus for the rest of the week in the pool. To my delight, I was also instructed to use the biggest pull buoy I had ever seen for the whole week...what a bonus! This certainly helped me to enjoy and actually look forward to the swim sessions. 

Elite Training Experience

On Monday afternoon we met up for a run session in the local park, a ten minute bike ride from the hotel. Perry gave each athlete a tailor-made set, again hints and tips were given on running form and cadence, which could be worked on during the remainder of the week. It was interesting to see 'Pro' Steve Osborne at work and talk to him about his training and background, especially as he works full-time as well as competing in Ironman and other endurance events.

Steve is 34 and from Somerset. He initially found his way into triathlon to get fit and loose some weight; he lost about three stone! He then signed up for his first 70.3 at Sherborne. Steve says the hardest thing about motivating yourself to get out there and train on your own, when you are holding down a full-time job involving shift work is the tiredness. However, having such a supportive wife helps!

His fastest result to date is 8:48 in the Ironcat event in Spain, but has fond memories from Ironman Malaysia where he was 13th overall. His favourite race to date is the Elbaman. "The organisation was fantastic, the scenery is breathtaking and it is killer tough!". I asked Steve what he has enjoyed about being the 'Pro' on one of the initial ETE camps. He says the whole thing has been a positive experience, from meeting and imparting knowledge to new people, listening to Perry coach, and being able to do a bit of training himself. If he has one piece of advice to anyone thinking of entering their first Ironman, it would be try and enjoy the race, show patience, think about your nutrition, keep cool and carry on. 

Tuesday's training consisted of a swim session and a bike session in the afternoon. The key coaching point was the utilisation of overgearing when training, which in essence means cycling with a bigger gear and slower cadence, the result being stronger legs for the run. We also covered the importance of bike position and training on your race bike. 

Elite Training Experience

We were also encouraged to do an easy 20 minute run on the treadmill to flush out the lactic acid from our legs.

Wednesday's swim session was just 45 minutes. Fast and furious, followed by an easy one hour flat bike ride. In the afternoon a few of us took the opportunity to take a trip to the beach to practise our open water skills.

We then had a one-to-one with Perry for 20 mins. He took us through the principles of using the treadmill for interval sessions and hills.

Thursday was quite a tough day. The usual swim session was followed in the afternoon with a Brick session. After a moderate warm up, we were instructed to do laps on the bike followed by run laps. This was also a good opportunity to simulate transition skills. 

Friday's swim session was followed by an optional long bike ride to the coast. Followed by coffee at Cafe Cappuccino! 

Elite Training Experience

It was interesting to have a chance to be coached by Perry Agass, known on social media as 'Tripezza'. He primarily works with Brett Sutton at Trisutto (www.trisutto.com). His interest and passion for coaching initially came from his varied background from boxing, football and latterly athletics. It was here he 'picked up' budding triathletes in need of a coach. From this moment on Perry knew this was his calling. He decided to compete in numerous events to understand triathlon from a competitors point of view. Having built up a diverse group of athletes to coach he began to work with Team Dillon. Perry's link with Brett Sutton came about through sheer persistence. Perry had read about Brett and was attracted by the fact they had both come to coaching through similar backgrounds. He was also interested in the fact that Brett had never competed as a triathlete. After numerous emails that weren't acknowledged for four years, the rest is history.

Elite Training Experience is hoping to attract all levels of athlete for the ETE experience, from beginner to the elite athlete. This brand has something to offer everyone although Perry was keen to tell me, "It's a triathlon training camp, not a holiday. You won't get your five hour ride with a cake and coffee stop!" The combination of ETE’s approach, top class coaching from Trisutto and the opportunity to train alongside Elite athletes is a powerful one. Athletes looking to improve will have coaches directly mentored by Brett, with a wealth of knowledge and understanding. The Trisutto methods are not for everyone, but you will be given the opportunity to try a school of thought that has produced some spectacular results.

Elite Training Experience

From a personal point of view, I had a great time. I do emphasise the importance of the fact it is a training camp not a holiday. Training sessions can be spread out and you can be left a fair amount of time to keep yourself amused. However, the whole concept is a winner with something for everyone. 

For more information and details on future camps, visit www.elitetrainingexperience.com.

Elite Training Experience


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