Yesterday I submitted my deposit for Epic Camp France 2019: http://www.epiccamp.com/france-2019-the-pyrnes/
I could not be more excited about this! After Kona in 2016, I took some time off triathlon to enjoy other aspects of life a little more. Since then, I think I've swam maybe four times, run a bunch, and biked some. Suffice to say, I've got a lot of work to do before I'm ready for ECF2019.
My goals will be a little different this time. In previous years, I went deep trying to win the yellow jersey, and honestly, I think it made the camp less fun than it could have been. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic going deeper into the fitness well than I ever thought possible, but I was also pushing to get to Kona and EC was a means to an end.
This year, I have no ironman races planned. I will still go to the camp as fit as humanly possible, but I was it seems fun, take pictures of the beautiful views, and drink a touch more French wine. I want to get to know the campers a little bit more. I also want to "pass the torch" and cheer on the next yellow jersey winner.
I also want to post a list of things I've learned from previous camps that will help me prepare for next summer:
1.) Be a fit as humanly possible and taper like it's your A-race. Epic Camp is no joke. For the entire duration of the camp, you'll be expected to work out 8-10 hours a week including high intensity sessions. Few people have ever gone this big. Treat it with the respect it deserves.
2.) Don't blow your load on Day 1. ECF2019 will be 11 days long. You need to strategically exert your effort. Go easy when you have the opportunity to go easy. Go hard-ish in the few situations where it's appropriate to go hard.
3.) Bring a large duffle with wheels. The camp support crew will love you for this.
4.) Bring slippers that you can comfortably wear *with socks on* in your day pack. We will take several breaks during the bike rides, and it's nice to take your cycling shoes off for a few minutes. Bringing traditional flip flops doesn't work well. Something like Crocs would make the most sense.
5.) Arrive healthy to the camp. There's nothing worse than missing out on events because you're injured.
6.) Arrive EARLY! Last time my bike didn't arrive until day 10 of the camp. I had to rent a bike I wasn't used to for the first part of the camp, and I didn't have my wetsuit. This killed me. It also made earning yellow extremely difficult as it put me way behind.
7.) Bring the right phone charger!
8.) Bring any expected medications! Last time I got a pretty nasty fungal infection during the camp.
9.) Bring 2.5% Hydrocortisone cream. VERY IMPORTANT. Saddle sores will absolutely rip you apart. The stronger 2.5% Hydrocortisone cream makes this tolerable. But be careful: Using this cream too often is not good for your skin. It thins the skin and can do more harm in the long run with prolonged use.
10.) Train on hills as much as you can. Train on mountains. Be a GREAT climber on the bike. ECF2019 will have an enormous amount of climbing. I also want some challengers for the Polkadot Jersey. :-)
More tips to be added as I think about them...