Peter Reid pushes the reset button in prep for camp!

Written by Peter Reid, 3 X Hawaii Ironman Winner and Solvang Coach.

Yup – oops! It’s the first word that came out of my mouth when I jumped on the scale October 1st. I put on a bit too much weight during the summer. I didn’t prepare for any races in 2017 and spent most of my weekends learning a new sport, kiteboarding, which has pretty much zero cardio to it and a bit too much beer consumption.

I had to do something about the lack of fitness and shedding the few extra pounds. It was time for a mini training camp. My ‘mini training camp’ would be a commitment of 3 weeks of exercising 6 days a week at a very low heart rate to get my fat burning system going again and to create a regular workout routine.

Those first few runs and bike rides were a huge struggle. I hooked up with one of my old training buddies for some rides and he was having a blast dropping me on hills. I stuck with my plan and let him consistently ride away. I also walked up a lot of hills on training runs to keep my heart rate low. Toward the end of the third week I was finally able to run slowly up hills and I decided to avoid my training partners.

After completing the training camp I was back into a groove. I also had a few goals to help motivate me. The first goal was to get fit for the Junior Mountain Bike spin class which I lead from December to March on Thursdays. The kids are the best in the regionand two of them are currently the best Juniors in the country. I needed high end fitness to lead the class so it was back on ZWIFT to force me to dig deep during workouts.

Goal number two was to persuade Charlie (Solvang Tri Camp’s Camp Director) to have me back as assistant Coach at the Solvang Camp. She agreed and now I’m on to goal 2:

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Top 5 reasons to include a camp in your spring training

By Coach Mike Ricci

As we head into the coldest part of winter, and our time on the bike trainer gets old and the ‘dreadmill’ gets worse each week, give thought to a training camp where the sun is shining and you get the fresh, outdoor air into your lungs. Give thought to a destination where there are real hills and the riding is endless in all directions. Oh, that does sound nice. A spring camp will give your training and mental energy the boost you need at just the right time.

Here’s a short list of why you should think about a training camp in 2018:

1. A camp will get you out of your comfort zone. I have been to many training camps over the last two decades and I still get that warm fuzzy anxious feeling in my stomach the first day of camp. Who are the fast riders? Will I keep up on the climbs? How will I feel by day 3? All these wonderful questions pop into my head and confirm I made the right decision to get out of my comfort zone with my training.

2. At camp, you will meet new people. Yes, you may already have training partners, but meeting new athletes who you may recognize from various races is an important part of the community of triathlon. As you meet these new athletes, you’ll gain a better understanding of how faster athletes train, and this will help you with your own training. There’s no single way to do anything, especially training. Meeting new people and learning what they do to maintain their edge is a definite benefit.

3. Attending camp in a new location will afford you the opportunity to ride routes you’ve never ridden before or run on trails you’ve never been on. There’s a huge benefit for getting out of your local hood and learning the roads and trails of another town.

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2017 Camp Athletes Share ‘Best Moments of the Year’

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s always fun to look back at that one best moment that made all the training hours, the early mornings, and the digging deep worth it during the previous 12 months.

And so it gives us great pleasure to share some of the best sporting moments of the 2017 Solvang athletes, who accomplished some amazing feats. Thanks to everyone who shared their best moment of 2017 and many congratulations to all; what a huge array of accomplishments and range of events. Inspiring stuff as we roll into 2018!!

Sean Carlson at the finish line of Ironman Santa Rosa! One very special best moment.

Sean Carlson, Santa Barbara, CA: I completed my first Ironman in July 2017 at Ironman Santa Rosa…this was my major accomplishment and camp was one of the things that really helped me understand what I needed to do to accomplish my goal. I had a great swim and bike, but had a terrible run but completed my goal.

Jenna post race 70.3 Lake Placid

Jenna Hannigan, Bethesda, MD: This year’s accomplishment that I will look back on and smile… “my first Ironman 70.3 at the first Ironman 70.3 at Lake Placid with my friend and fellow camper, Trish, Coincidentally, I wore my camp jersey for this race!



Dan hitting 6:31’s this year on the run

Dan Wheeler, San Francisco, CA: 2017 was a year of making progress on the run, which included a 6:31 / mile pace in a 5K, running the Double Dipsea in 2:43 as part of the Dolphin Club Escape from Alcatraz and placing 6th in my age group in the North Face Challenge half marathon.



Mike finishing Hawaii Ironman!

Mike Pierson, Neenah, WI: Best day was finally being able to run in mid August and finishing Iron-man Hawaii in October with my wife as a competitor too. Saw Mike Ricci there as well at finish.




Mike qualifying for the 70.3 Ironman World Champs

Mike Davis, Boulder, CO: At Ironman 70.3 North Carolina this year I PR’d by about 15 min for a 4:34 finishing time and also landed a qualifying spot to 70.3 Worlds in South Africa in 2018.




Trish all smiles post race at Ironman Santa Rosa!

Trish McDonough, Washington, DC: The highlight of my 2017 season was IM Santa Rosa  – I finished with a smile on my face, and had a fantastic day all around.  The rest of my season was great too, ending with Lake Placid 70.3, which was a great day.




Molly winning her first Ironman outright!!! WHAT?! Fab!

Molly Smith, Denver, CO: My best moment of the 2017 season was winning Ironman Maryland. 🙂





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What’s an athlete blog without a cookie post?

It’s the holiday season and while that can mean time out of a normal routine and the chance for a longer training day or two, it’s also a time for good food!

Enter: Orange Pecans Cookies!

This recipe is very scrumptious and very simple with pecans and orange zest flavors leading the way.  By default the recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, low fodmap, and has very few ingredients which is always a good thing!

Our thanks to Julie at Calm Belly for allowing us to post this recipe, albeit with a small adaption. Her recipe was adapted from this one at Self magazine, which was adapted from somebody’s grandmother’s mother’s aunt years ago. 🙂 But seriously Julie, thanks for the great recipe.

Orange Pecan Cookies – Yum!

Prep time: 15 mins (plus chilling)
Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 40 mins
Makes: 14 to 15 cookies

2 cups (225 grams) pecans
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 large or extra large egg whites
1/4 cup white rice or brown rice flour*
Zest of 1 naval orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
Cooking spray or coconut oil for lining parchment paper/baking sheets

*For paleo option omit flour, see Julie’s recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread pecans on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through. Cool completely. You can do this ahead of time. Keep in the freezer if not going to use them for a couple of days. Continue reading “What’s an athlete blog without a cookie post?”

Athlete Timmy J on getting high

Canadian Timmy J has set a high goal for 2018, that’s 19,341ft high and in the name of Kilimanjaro. Timmy, a 8 X Solvang Camp athlete and 15 X Ironman finisher, is no stranger to big mountains and digging deep when it matters. We were lucky enough to catch up with Timmy J, as he and his wife Dawn prepare to embark on another mountain adventure, this time on the African continent.

Thanks to Timmy J for sharing below… he had us laughing and inspired all at the same time with this write up. See you at the Spring Fling Camp in March Timmy, look forward to hearing if Dawn complies with your Kilimanjaro plan!

1. Kilmanjaro. A 19,341ft mountain. Has this been on your bucket list for some time?
So the “bucket list goal”, was to complete all 7 summits. We have summited 3 so far. South America’s Aconcagua, Australia’s Kosciusko and North America’s Denali. Kilimanjaro, continent of Africa, requires no real mountaineering skills, it’s a trek to the top but also has a very high failure rate. Many people grossly underestimate the endurance required to climb above 19,000 feet.

Timmy J on ‘The Fig’ (Figueroa Mountain climb in Solvang) at his 9th Solvang camp.

2. What’s your training like right now to prepare for this adventure?
Since discovering Ironman 15 years ago, I have completed at least one a year. I love the tri community, being really fit and the lifestyle that affords me… so the aerobic base is there. There is also the learned capacities of nutrition, hydration and how to suffer and keep moving forward.

3. You’ve raced many Ironman’s including the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, but what’s the highest summit you have already experienced?
Well here’s the thing about Kona. I got the crap kicked out of me by the men on the swim and just when I thought all was going to be ok, the women (15 minutes later) started swimming over top of me.

In his favorite role of grandfather :). Timmy J shown here with one of his 4 grandkids.

The bike was into the wind for 7 hours, not sure how that worked on an out and back course. While in T2 could not figure out where I was and why ‘ Gumby’ had mysteriously taken over my body. With my hat in my hand I staggered out onto the run course and though, “I’m totally whipped, how can I finish this thing…”?

Maybe a thousand vertical feet from the summit of Aconcagua a giant rock overhangs the path. It’s a place of shelter to eat, drink and rest a bit before moving on. Our guide probably let us stay there too long and once he gave us the go ahead, only half of our team pushed on, the rest threw in the towel and turned back. Without supplementary oxygen it’s three steps forward, stoop over my climbing poles and breath as deeply as I could for five breaths – repeat.

Then I remember having this sort of fluffy dream and then being rudely kicked… I had passed out and Dawn was encouraging me with her boots to wake up.

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