FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The NAU swimming & diving team departed this morning for a week of training and a multi dual meet at Florida Atlantic. The Lumberjacks will do pool and dry land training for about five hours each day before facing Florida Atlantic and Northwestern in a meet that was originally scheduled for next Friday but may be moved to an earlier date.
"Sea level training is the main reason for going on this trip," said NAU head coach Andy Johns. "We are able to take the training to a whole new level where the girls can swim faster and raise their level of fitness and speed."
The team is making a trip to Florida for the first time since 2002 when it followed a similar training schedule before facing Florida Atlantic and dropping a 182.5-116.5 decision. Johns' program conducts similar training camps in Tucson every year and will do so again before facing the Arizona Wildcats on Jan. 3.
"Recovery time is less and there are limited distractions, without the demands of schoolwork, so the training environment is optimal," said Johns. "They will be in the pool 4 hours a day and also completing dry-land activities for about an hour every day, so it's not exactly vacation, but the warm weather makes it easier to handle the training volume and intensity."
The Lumberjacks have been very successful so far in 2012 while competing at elevation, sweeping three home duals and picking up a win at New Mexico, but the sea level training will bring their quality of fitness to a new level. It will also help better acclimate the team to competing at sea level in preparation for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championships at the end of February in San Antonio, Texas, which sits at an elevation of just 650 feet.
"Training hard before the meet will afford us an opportunity to race tired and see how the combination of a difficult week of training combines with being at sea level, as far as the performance times go," said Johns. "Most of the girls will then be home for a week where they will maintain what we've worked hard to achieve before another week in Tucson, doing more of the same type of training as we will do in Florida."