Quite a few people have asked me about what exactly happens on a training week like this. So here goes. My abiding memories of Lanzarote will be of extremes of weather. Never before have I cycled in such constantly strong winds. At times I was cycling at 11mph and working flat out to maintain that speed. It meant that there was no such thing as a recovery ride . I quickly decided to measure my week’s cycle training in terms of hours , rather than miles. Average speed was way slower than at home. In any case , whichever direction you leave the village of La Santa, you will soon be going uphill. The wind was usually accompanied by a strong sun and we have the silly cyclist’s sunburn patterns to prove it . We also had a tropical storm one night with 60mph winds and the roads were transformed into rivers, almost causing the cancellation of the following day’s race.
I decided to start things off with a bike ride . I arrived keenly at the bike shed to be told that they had no bikes available !! What ??? The famed triathlon training base with no bikes ! I was able to return at 11am when I was told that bikes would have been returned. I duly set off over the firemountains , out to the coast and back the same way , a 2 hour 30 minute ride. I was to find out later that this was a gentle introduction, as it was the least windy day of the week. After a short rest it was time for a one hour swim in the 50metre open air pool.
A 3 hour 40 minute bike over the mountains and into a brutal headwind for the first half. On return it was time for the first race of the week, a 10km running race, which I was pleased to complete in 38mins 45 secs.
A 1 hour 45 minute ride to start the day, over some different hills , averaging less than 14mph. Straight out for a steady one hour run ( 7.5 miles) , followed by a 30 minute swim session and another hour on the bike. This was when the storm rolled in during the evening. Driving was down to 10mph as the rain was so hard that visibility was similar to a thick fog on a chilly Cheshire morning.
The day started with a short duathlon through the debris of the storm. A 2.5km run, 14.8km bike, 2.5km run. I lost a lot of ground on the bike descent in wet conditions and had my worst race position of the week . This race was followed in the afternoon by an aquathon, a crazy sprint, consisting of a mass start in the pool for a 200m swim , followed by a 3km run.
An early for a 3 lap out and back half marathon, completed in 1 hour 26 secs . A 1 hour swim in the afternoon , followed by an hour of 4 hill reps on the bike up to the village of Soo.
Another early start for a triathlon, starting again with a mass start for the 400m pool swim. I had forgotten to check the bike they gave me and on starting the bike I could only just about reach the pedals from the seat. Funnily, I had my fastest bike ride of the week, leading the field up to the top of the climb of the 10mile bike section. The run was 4.4km… Total time 57minutes for the race. In the afternoon it was time for a 1hour swim, followed by a further brutal 2 hours on the bike.
Started the day with a 3500m swim before heading out for a final battle with the wind on the bike for just over 3 hours. I then went for a run with Trish , who had been doing the long distance training camp, to bring up a total of 25 hours training for the week.
That’s it . Club La Santa. Some people’s worst nightmare, but I loved it.