Endurance coach Joe Company (www.endurancecompany.com) has held a training camp in conjunction with the open water Swimming in Moonshine race at Table Rock Lake the last several years. This year the race was cancelled but he decided to hold the camp anyway and so I headed down to Branson with my good friend and fellow triathlete, Bob Sanderson, for the two day event.
It is about a 5 hr drive for us from Newton but the drive isn't bad and the 7 workouts in two days that we did in such a gorgeous location made it well worth it. We based ourselves out of a friendly little hotel called the Branson Motor Court, which is just a few blocks from The Landing.
Saturday Day 1
The first Swim workout was scheduled for 9am for those still driving in on Saturday so Bob and I took the opportunity to get a short morning on the Branson 70.3 run course down by the lake. We then drove out to Table Rock Lake to the Dewey Short Visitors Center where we planned to swim. Although the water was down a little it didn't make a difference for our swim location which was the No Boating bouy line on top of the Dam. 10-12 others joined us and Joe hopped on his stand up paddle board to provide support. The water was warm and quite comfortable. I use a Garmin 910 and it measured right around 600yds across. We had about an hour so I used it all and got in 3 1/2 laps, about 4200yds.
We drove up to the High Road, the signature road of the 70.3 bike course, which is a four lane with full shoulder and pretty much a perfect biking road. It provides multiple challenging hills and we added the off-shoot to the 70.3 race turn around at the high school for our 18 mile training loop. We coupled it with a Brick run from the far South end of the dead end High Road. By basing our brick workout on the high road people were able to do as much or as little as they wanted on both and customize their total workout. I did three laps on the bike with some intervals and added a 6 mile run brick. We headed back to the hotel to relax in the pool and get some good food down at The Landing.
Sunday Day 2
We didn't have a open water swim scheduled for our 7am start so Bob and I took it upon ourselves to arrive out at the Dewey Short Visitors Center to get in a quick 30min swim prior to the bike ride. Our bike loop for the day started out on the 7 mile climb up hwy 265 from the Chateau on the Lake Hotel which is the 70.3 bike start. We then did another loop on the High Road exiting on Hwy 248 and descending to Shepherd of the Hills Parkway where we finally got off the 70.3 route. Then it was a whole lot more descending to the final great climb of the day which is a 19%, 1/2 mile climb back up to Hwy 265. Joe led the way up in just under 2min I believe. This is a climb you must test yourself on if you're in the area.
On our final descent back to the lake we had to make one final turn and ascend the entrance to the Chateau which is a short, really steep climb to the host hotel for the Branson 70.3 race. With Quads now completely shot we finished up our ride back to the Dewey center for our brick run down the lakeshore trail path. This is a beautiful out and back path and everyone was able to do however much they wanted. I tacked on 8 miles to finish off our amazing training weekend and we headed down to cool off in the lake before heading home.
Hope to see you there next year!