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October, 2011:

Thredbo Swimming Camp 2011

The annual Thredbo Swimming Camp 2011 was held on the October long weekend, from 3 pm on Friday 30 September 2011 to 10 am on Monday 3 October 2011. The weekend combined a nice holiday in the Thredbo environment and challenging swimming sessions in the Thredbo AIS pool. For the second consecutive year, Ryde Masters invited  Tuggeranong Masters to this 4-day intensive training camp which provided an opportunity to meet Master’s swimmers beyond our usual circle and make some new friends.

The camp was attended by six Vikings: Annette Britten, Caroline Makin, Ian Hampton, Kristen Leydon, Pam Munday and Philippa Rickard, alongside seven swimmers from Ryde.

There were swimming sessions morning and evening, starting on Friday afternoon and these included an excellent opportunity to boost fitness before our October/November series of swim meets that included the NSW Short Course Championships, Warringah BPS Meet and the Tuggeranong Challenge. Priority was given to high quality aerobic and sprint work, however, there was also time to build in drill sessions and a Breaststroke technique session lead by Ian Hampton as well as an underwater camera Freestyle stroke technique session by Greg Lewin.  There was also the opportunity for those who wanted to have gentle swims, to do so.  Download the Thredbo Training Sessions 2011.

The Vikings attendees have all written a small piece about their experiences of the weekend, and so we thought we’d share these with everyone, as well as some photos that are mainly from outside of the swimming pool for a change! …

Our coach, Greg Lewin and his dad Jack who also swam with us at the training camp

A few thoughts from Ian Hampton …

Ian coaching the Breaststroke technique session

The Thredbo surroundings, Thredbo Leisure Centre and pool is a great environment to get away to for a training camp.  Greg’s training sessions were good and Greg asked for feedback before the camp, nevertheless I think there should be a very clear theme established before the weekend – for example, clearly targeted at the October major meets or a more general “fitness building” camp.  I found the sessions tougher this year than in 2010, I think because I was less pool fit before the camp, i.e. to get the most from the camp, it is a good idea to have a solid swimming fitness base beforehand.  Greg’s underwater camera set up had some limitations – however I think the potential of this type of equipment and setup as an aid to stroke correction was clearly demonstrated.  Being accommodated in the Thredbo Hotel was not as good or as enjoyable as the Boali Lodge in 2010 – it may cost more but I think Lodge accommodation is a better fit with what (I anyhow see as) the purpose and desired ambience of the weekend.  Susan Leech’s organisation is great – I think one of us should offer to share the load next year.”

A plethora of thoughts from Annette Britten …

Kriss & Annettte with their beloved skis!

“Thredbo …. where to start!  Due to sickness I took on the role of being the officialphotographer and what a hard job that was, trying to get action shots proved rather challenging and it was tiring watching everyone slaving away in the water doing drills, sprint,s etc.  I even managed to photograph some sharks in action all the way up in Thredbo. The sleep ins, whilst others were putting in the hard yards were fantastic … I felt refreshed at breakfast while others turned up looking totally beat!  Due to the lack of swimming – I only managed one session – I turned my hand to attempting to ski (my first ever attempt).  It is amazing how many contorted poses one can get them self into without doing serious damage. Untangling your legs with skis on proved rather difficult until someone gave me some really handy and useful advice …“Use your stocks to unclip your boots from the skis” – works a treat! Perseverance saw me make it part way down the mountain to the t-bar which I managed to ride back up without falling off.  Quite an achievement for someone who has never skied before in her life.  I had a fantastic time and was sore for the next week, but it was all worth it.

Annette, Kristen, Phil & Caz ... "The 40s Ladies"

"Pool Team"

Night time proved a time for all of us in the group to come together, get to know one another and bond as a group over dinner and a trivia quiz. Kristen, Philippa, Caroline and myself – who are all in the same age group in Masters – decided to embark on some team bonding and challenge one another out of the water with a few games of pool. I myself thoroughly enjoyed the weekend away and what can I say, all that high altitude training of sorts worked wonders for my times at the NSW  Short Course Championships!”

 A quick commentary from Philippa Rickard …

Stretching out on the last morning

“This was my first swim camp in over 20 years and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Greg’s coaching was great and the sessions had a good mix of technique and performance sets.  I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to Ian’s Breaststroke drill sessions as I’m definitely an “I’ll swim anything except Breaststroke” person, but I learnt a lot and realised how I could improve my stroke.  Overall I felt it was excellent preparation for the SC State Champs and would go again next year.  It was great to get to know the Ryde team and share the experience and pain!”

Minor musings from Caz Makin …

Caz relaxing after a hard training session - notice the essential training aid!

“This was my first ever swim camp and I was very excited about it this intensive weekend, albeit a little nervous about the volume of swimming that was on the cards.  My preparation for this intensive weekend of training was ten days of illness in the immediate run up to the weekend and not a stroke taken in the water during that time!  Anyway, my spirits were high and this was my first trip to Thredbo since moving to Australia.    The first session on the Friday evening involved lots of Freestyle drills, including lots of ‘chicken wings’ …. unfortunately my left shoulder did not thank me for trying to get my elbow so high, as it is a completely different technique to my regular more ‘thrashy’, lower elbow approach to Freestyle!  Greg’s sessions were tough at times, but rewarding, and his feedback on an individual basis was fantastic!  I enjoyed Ian’s breaststroke technique sessions thoroughly too, and took on board a huge amount from both coaches during the weekend.  I ended up doing the whole of the big aerobic set 3km set on the Sunday morning as Backstroke as my shoulder was hurting to much for Freestyle, and I have to say that I felt sea sick by the end of it!!  I had a great swim meet at Warringah  the following weekend, knocking over 1.5 seconds off my 100m Individual Medley PB, and putting in a very pleasing time in my 100m Breaststroke – all that hard work at Thredbo I reckon paid off!  The Ryde crew were great company and it was good to get away from Canberra and focus on all three elements of the Masters Swimming motto … “FUN, FITNESS and FRIENDSHIP!”

A little bit of reflection from Pam Munday …

“A great four days of friendship and hard training … solid workouts, stroke correction, dry land exercises, camaraderie, great venue, Breaststroke workshop, good food and champagne! Even though I could hardly put one foot in front of the other as I struggled to walk the hill to my accommodation after each session, I am so pleased that I participated. I’ll be back next year.”

Vikings and family in the pub

Rambling tales from Kristen Leydon …

Kriss at the end of a ski trip up the mountain

“I got so much out of the new drills and stroke correction provided by the coach Greg with benefit of the underwater video camera. Despite my recent shoulder operation, the stroke correction has enabled me to become more efficient in the water and take more load off my shoulder. I have the Thredbo swim camp to thank for my two medals at the NSW SC Champs! A big thank you to our coach Greg – we had a rehab/slow lane and Greg modified and tweaked or shortened the drills to suit our varying fitness levels or injuries. I still had heaps of energy for snow skiing during the middle of the day and had coffee with lovely new friends from Ryde up at the highest café in Australia surrounded by snow. The weekend was the best sport and social weekend I have had since my Batemans Bay ocean swim weekend (sun, sand, swim Sav, Shiraz and bronze in the team triathlon versus snow, ski, swim Sav and Shiraz at Thredbo). I will be booking in early for next year. I hope we can scam Greg to come back again as our coach!!”