Its that time of year when things start to slow down, we start to fatten up and wobble and the thought of anymore than 6 hours of training a week sounds impossible. We start to question why we’ve chosen such a demanding, all consuming sport. Why are we doing this to ourselves? The novelty of the turbo or rollers has WELL and truly worn off (Mine is barely out of its box) does his sound familiar?
Well this is where my head was at until my recent girls weekend away in Lanza where I fell madly and deeply back in love with my sport once more.
It was the Lanzarote Marathon weekend, which had half marathon & 10km options making it accessible to all abilities. I was invited out by the team at Sands Beach Active to start work on a new Race Tour we’re developing with them for Long course Weekend Lanzarote, launching with its first event in December 2016. Its going to be incredible so watch this space for that!!!!
I went with JT (Jennifer T) who I first met in Austria a few years back when she & her family joined us on tour. Since then we have shared an incredible journey cumulating in an IM Austria finish and a trip to Kona for JT this year, its fair to say we’re now great friends! We we’re both in need of some motivation. JT was in the Kona lull and I was in desperate need of something to kick start my 2016 season after dawdling around my training for the last 18 months since being on crutches. With it being the end of year we want to do a bit of reflection and goal setting for 2016 so we set ourselves some objectives we wanted to achieve for the weekend:
Set our season goals & short term training goals and sign off the first phase of our training plans
Analyse our historic training data, give a summary of what we’ve learnt about ourselves & how we can apply it to our training
Agree how we’re going to measure & analyse our performance this season.
Swim, bike, run, crossfit & S&C every day
Sleep lots, drink none & Get a tan
Finish the 10km together, strong & smiling!
Find Kate a rich husband so she can move out there and JT can come visit lots!
We felt all but point 7 were achievable! :)
We arrived Thursday after a very early but cheap flight from Luton and after just a 10 minute transfer for €20 we were at the lovely Sands Beach. As soon as we arrived we stopped by the pool where Bella Bayliss was coaching a session including Lucy Gossage, Ollie Simon, Heather Webster (220 Tri) & Matty Evans (LCW) we we’re in EXCELLENT company!
Sands Beach does provide home to many organised training camps but you can however just turn up and do your own thing for your stay. Rooms ave approx. £25 pppn ISH! (Don’t quote me on that) Self catering making it a lot cheaper than some of the other Lanza establishments and you can fill your kitchen with as much protein powder as you like. #winning!
The apartments are great. Bright, airy, clean and lots of space for two female triathletes with too much kit & too many clothes! It has a great 25 metre pool that was never too busy when we were there. You can run & bike door-to-door and Bella & Stephen Bayliss lead out sessions almost every day if you did want to get involved and other potential training partners also surround you if you did want people to play with. The gym is awesome! Just about every type of free weight, kettle bell, machine, gadgets you can dream up and again not too busy (although I hear the peak period is more Jan/Feb)
We proceeded to fulfil our objectives each day, enjoying every minute. The cycling out there is incredible! A real good mix of long fast flats and some real tough climbs with stunning views as a reward. The wind wasn’t too bad during our stay although I’ve heard that can be a lot of fun!
Race day was a great experience for us both (Kind of). For me it was the longest I had run since I’d pretty badly fractured by hip 18 months previously. I’d been building up my running from scratch for the last 3 months, painfully slowly and complimenting it with just about every crazy hip strengthening & glute activation exercise you can imagine. (FYI - Most are not for public consumption and should only be done in the safety of your own home). JT hadn’t run since Kona so we decided to not break any records, run strong, take in the atmosphere and cross the line smiling. Objective achieved!!!! Although JT did pick an achilles strain which almost broke her smile for a minute….Almost!!!
The race was incredibly well done! Great organisation, and awesome finish line, very well fed & watered afterwards and just a really good vide. Excited to see how this team operated and get a glimpse of what LCW Lanza will be like.
Monday we flew home feeling incredibly rested and with a new burst of enthusiasm for our winter training goals. We also felt quite smug coming into the festive period knowing that we had already banked some decent training hours and started our 2016 seasons.
Warm weather training and training camps are a great way to not only bolster your training but to re-collaborate your goals a just take a little step back from the day-to-day, assess where you’ve been and where you’re going and come back into your season with a new found lease of life.
So whether you take yourself away to a sports hotel for a long weekend or whether you’re looking to sign up to an early season training camp here are some pointers to think about:
Erm….WEATHER! - Its generally warm enough to be sleeveless and pick up a few tan lines. The warmth of the sun on your skin knowing that its blowing a gale back home is naughty but nice
4,6,8 hour training days – When all you need to think about is train, eat, sleep repeat then its amazing what you fit in
Sports hotels have finally got it right – The venues have become so much better in the last 5 years with most having fully equipped gyms at least 25 metre laned pools, open water markers, mapped runs & rides door to door…easy peasy
New friends, new inspirations– Sports people gravitate towards these venues & camps so you would be hard pushed to leave without a new training buddy or twitter profile to follow and its not often you meet an UNinspirational triathlete is it?
How to choose?
I guess the key things are cost, dates & availability and you know yourself whether you’d prefer to get your head down and blast out some sunny training hours or whether you’d like to be a bit more social and join a camp but here are some things I consider when choosing where to spend my warm weather training:
The look & feel of the camp - All camps pretty much swim, bike & run every day. Some are more self lead and others more hands on. The best way to know and understand what you think you would like is to speak to the team running it. Who are they? What qualifications & experience do they have in their team? What athletes are they hoping to attract? How will they cater for all abilities? What will a typical day look like. In one phone call you will get a good feeling for the approach of that company and can make a call on whether you think their week would be enjoyable for you
Location & Flight options - The length and availability of the flights count. Pretty much all camps do not include the cost of flight so you don’t want to get caught out. You want to be able to fly from your local airport and at flight times that fit around your schedule.
The resort & the terrain - Get to know the resort, check out trip advisor, check out bike routes in the area does it excite you, worry you, again speak to the organisers or even the hotel to answer any questions you have.
My next warm weather training holiday......
This season I will be taking my warm weather training with the guys from Total Tri Training and Oxygen Addict at the Playitas Resort in Fuerteventura. This is a unique and innovative approach that gives an opportunity to gain experience from two great coaching companies for the price of one. You can swap groups and sessions and the groups get together to share logistics and socialise. This is a pretty early camp so works perfect for me before the season starts to ramp up and after hearing so much good stuff about the Playitas resort I cant wait to check it out myself. There may possibly be one or two places left if you wanted a last minute? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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