Santa Monica Triathlon Training at Vertical Camp 2020

Sheena Harris Riding her bicyle in the Santa Monica Mountains at Vertical Camp 200

Another Vertical Camp has come and gone. This year was one of the biggest and best camps to date. The sun came out on day 1 and a great mix of 23 Human Powered Racing and B78 athletes were ready to tackle 4 big days of training.

9 cyclists stand with their bikes on the Pacific Coast Highway during break at Vertical Camp
Cylist riding along Mullholland Drive during 2020 Vertical Camp
Hills, lots of hills..

Day 1 – Vertical Camp

Day 1 started off with a trip along the Pacific Coast Highway and up the newly paved Yerba Buena climb before descending down into Westlake and along our usual route back to Thousand Oaks through Hidden Valley and up the dreaded “Tom Selleck” hill. The afternoon of Day 1 was a 48 minute (a certain someone’s birthday) run through the rolling Santa Monica Hills.

Cyclists Standing around on Yerba Buena during break in Vertical Camp
Runners in Santa Monica Mountains with Sun Setting during Vertical Camp

Day 2 – Vertical Camp

Day 2 was a shorter ride day, but featured one of the steepest and hardest climbs of the camp. This route took us up Westlake (steep and short), along Mullholland and down Encinal Canyon Road before climbing the very steep early slopes of the Decker Road climb. This one finished with our usual return route through the horse farms. After a short rest it was off to the community pool at CLU for a 60 minute recovery swim under sunny skies.

Coach Mike Neill standing next to Pacific Coast Highway sign at Vertical Camp
Athletes at Vertical Camp after swim at CLU Community Pool

Vertical Camp – Day 3

Day 3 was the “Big Ride” day featuring two great climbs. The ride starts out nice and flat through the town of Thousand Oaks, but before long riders are at the base of Piuma road and the climb from the valley side up to the summit and it’s sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Malibu below. After a hair raising descent on Las Flores it was time for a relaxed coffee stop in Malibu. The next climb of the day is the longest and many would argue their favourite of the camp; Latigo Road. This climb, with it’s gentler slopes and sweeping views all the way up is one of the best and most ridden in the Santa Monica Mountains. After the 100km of riding it was time to put on the shoes and go for a short 15 minute transition run to remember that feeling of running on dead legs.

Gerald Kersten riding his bike up Piuma on big day of riding at Vertical Camp 2020
Cyclists getting ready to head out on Day 1 of Vertical Camp

Vertical Camp – Day 4

Day 4 is when the fatigue has really kicked in for most riders, but much to their surprise, legs and pedal strokes actually start to feel better and better. This ride starts out with another climb up the short steep Westlake Road and then people get a chance to see just how steep Decker was as they descend back down to the PCH and where they began the major climb on Saturday. After a good long flat stretch along the ocean it was the final climb of the day and a chance for everyone to see what they had left in their legs on the extremely short steep (15%) Potrero Road Climb. Once back to our hotel, that was it for the bikes, but there was still one workout left; a 60 minute run that in keeping with the theme of the camp was vertical. 35 minutes up and about 20 minutes back down. The views and knowing it was the last workout of the camp made it all worth it.

Catherine Holder riding bicycle along the Pacific Coast Highway at Human Powered Racing Vertical Camp 2020
Laura Hooper Riding her bicycle up Piuma

Upcoming Camps – Tucson and Penticton

If you would like to join us in 2021 or are interested in one of our other upcoming 2020 camps in Tucson or Penticton please feel free to drop us a line and we can give you more information.

Mike Neill taking a selfie of the Vertical Camp runners at the top of Thousand Oaks Trails