Experiencing the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs

A pretty cool thing happened to me this week. I was invited to attend an archery camp hosted at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado (CSOTC). I’m kind of an archery geek, been involved in it all my life. I’ve been involved in it for years and in the last few years I’ve transitioned from an archer into a coach. Last year I got certified as a Level 4 National Training System Coach and was invited to attend what’s called a Junior Dream Team (JDT) camp as a coach-observer. JDT camp is made up of some of the best archers in the nation who are prospects for the US national and olympic team. It’s a very prestigious program and I was honored to attend. What also got me jazzed up was the prospect of using the facilities at the Olympic Training Center.

What’s the big deal?

Well first of all it’s a first class facility. As far as sports is concerned you can’t get better than the CSOTC to give you everything you could possibly need.

Second: IT’S WHERE OLYMPIANS TRAIN! Not just US Olympians but athletes from all over the world come to these training centers to have training camps of their own. Just in my week stay I saw China, Venezuela, India and Canada written on many team uniforms. Also, the cafeteria is pretty good. A good variety and they offer everything for a well balanced meal depending on your needs. I have to be carfeul though, because every center has a desert section and I had to avoid that with all my might. I did manage to avoid the deserts but it’s hard to do. I managed to stick to my guns to there’s some nice progress.

What did I do?

I dont have a lot of experience working out on my own. I like the structure of a class setting in boot camps, kickboxing and Zumba. But smart for me I keep a fitness journal (outside of this blog) where I write mundane things like my caloric burn during workouts, weight log, event information, random thoughts about my progres, or lack thereof, and notes on exercised I’ve done in my past classes. During my time at this gym I wrote out a training circuit that involved free weights and body weight somewhat like what I experience during classes. There wasn’t much to it. The workouts went something like this:

Workout 1 Workout 2
5 min warmup 5 min warmup
10 min cardio on spin bike 10 min Spin Bike
20 ea Bench Press 20 ea Mountain Climbers
20 ea Squats 20 ea Squats
20 ea Bench Rows 20 Leg Climb Situps
20 ea Sit Ups with Weights 20 ea Bicycles
20 ea Sie Lunge Kettlbell High-Pull 20 ea Squats
20 ea Slam Bals 20 ea Shoulder Taps
20 ea Leg Lifts 20 ea Squats
10 ea Push Ups 1 min Plank
REPEAT 2 times REPEAT 2 times
5 min cool down 20 min Eliptical
5 min cool down

Blame it on the altitude.

It took me some time to feel like I should even use the facilities. Mostly because I felt pretty bad the first few days I was there. I’d have headaches, shortness of breath just walking up a hill and general soreness. Turns out I was dealing with a small bout of altitude sickness. Colorado Springs is 6,000+ feet above sea level and I live in a town that’s actually 62 feet below sea level so it took me two days before I felt normal. On top of that I’m dealing with a aching achilles heel. It’s hard for me to run or jump and when I arrived in Colorado my calves were tight and it made it difficult to stand for long periods of time, even though I powered through them. The pain got so annoying I reached out to my friends on facebook who came to my aid with suggestions. I also consulted with a physician at the camp. After some medication, rest and lots of icing I felt much better by the second day.

All in all I got some great workouts, three actually. I did observe a few things from my say at the CSOTC. Once: even when you’re working long 14 hour days, starting with a good workout and a healthy breakfast makes a difference to your body. It wakes you up and gets you ready for those long days.

This also brings home a point about the importance of sport in my life. In the past I didn’t really give archery it’s due credit for keeping me active when I was younger. It’s possible that it was what kept me from getting sick even sooner than I did before. Now that I’m older and wiser I cans see how this sport affects people in a healthy positive way and that makes me love it even more. It’s also given me ALL my travel experiences, including my visits to two of the three US training centers so I’m very thankful to this sport.

SO! here are currently three OTC’s in the US: Chula Vista, Colorado Springs and Lake Placid.

New bucket list item: Workout at ALL the Olympic Training Center.

Chula Vista OTC- CHECK

Colorado Springs OTC- CHECK

Lak Placid OCT- I’ve got my eye on you!

Until next time.

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