This the second report from my trip to León Mexico for our triathlon camp with Mark Allen. MarkAllenOnline is going live in Spanish so we took this opportunity to launch the web site at the camp. Mark Allen and I arrived at León and went to bed early so that we cold meet the campers with a lot of energy. We planed a long day of lectures and a run workout at the end of the day.
Rafael Flores the local camp organizer picked us up at the Hotel and we headed to the University called “La Tecnologica de Monterrey en León”. It is a very modern technical university campus. Our lectures were to be held at one of the auditoriums with stadium seating. I was very impressed once again. Our camps generally never have such nice facilities.
One of the things that I was never sure about even after arriving in Mexico was how many Mexican campers would be able to understand Mark’s presentations in English. Surely many do speak English but we also wanted those that did not to come to understand it all. Was I going to translate for Mark or was someone else? Well, once again Rafael went top notch. He hired a professional translator that translated live over a radio frequency that anyone with a special set of head phones could listen in. This is the way it is done at the United Nations. There you can put on a head set and turn the channel to any language you wish and listen to the speaker. I spoke with the translator lady prior to the first lecture and she wanted to talk to me about a few triathlon terms. I was given a headset and was told to interrupt in case I felt the translation needed further refinement. As soon that the first lecture started I listened on the headphones in Spanish . She did not need any help. Not only was she right on, she also had already translated what Mark said before my brain had time to think about what Mark said. It was just unbelievable. She was a professional for sure.
The lecture schedule that Rafael set up for us was really tight but in true Latin American fashion no one would expect us to be on time. So I did not worry about that. We were late to start as Rafael wanted us to wait for some important campers. Sure we’ll wait, we replied. Rafael also ask us to break promptly at 12 or so because a nation wide sports radio show wanted to interview Mark and they asked me if I could translate. Very cool!
The first lecture which took most of the morning was about Ironman training, the use of the heart rate monitor, training periodization with base, speed and taper. That went really well. Before the trip we prepared PowerPoint presentations in Spanish to make sure the campers could write notes. Just like in any class, people were writing and writing.
Promptly at noon we went to a radio room in the same building and started the live radio interview. That was fun. They interviewed me and introduced me as well as Mark. They wanted to know what we thought of the visit and wanted to know if Mark thought that being a triathlete was helpful for Lance Armstrong. Mark definitely thought so. He felt that many cyclists get too skinny but that lance having more of a triathlete musculature was able to maintain more strength once he lost much of his triathlete musculature.
The afternoon lecture was about bike fit and we had a Mexican triathlete on his bike on a trainer. Once Mark measured all his angles and assessed his position he felt the position was a good one. He was a happy camper. Right after that we headed to the track where we ran a couple of miles and Mark showed some drills to help with your stride frequency and form. One of the lady triathletes at the camp who we actually coach translated this time. That was good. I was getting tired of translating. Sometimes I could not translate properly since Mexican Spanish has its own words here and there. Once the session was over I convinced Mark to go for a run with me down by a lake that I could see in the distance. I needed to get a longer run in. We drove over to the lake with some of the campers and ran an extra 40 minutes.
In the evening we met some of the campers for a dinner at the hotel. Mark sat with one group and I did with another. Some good lasagna and a little wine helped wrap up the evening. If the second day is anything close to this I would say this will rival any camp I have ever been associated with. Tomorrow we will ride and I will do a swim lecture and guide the campers in a swim practice.