Well it is finally over. After one very long and fantastic week, the 24 of us from Man Tri found ourselves crammed back on a flight home. It was a brilliant camp and thoroughly recommended. It was really nice to have people to train with, to be able to train on decent roads, to have some proper training weather!
My totals for the week were:
- Swim – 11.7k
- Bike – 386.57l
- Run – 57.1k
- Total Time – 27 hours 28 minutes
As you can see, there were some good miles put in, and there was also a lot of intensity that the totals don’t show. A well as the tough rides on the bike thanks to the hills and wind, there were the races, which despite all good intentions all turned out to be full on. It was only the half marathon that I managed to hold back a bit, but even then I was pushing hard.
Obviously the number of hours that I put in was the biggest thing that I was pleased with. I lasted the whole week, only have to cut short one ride due to a niggle. Starting the camp the way I did, (i.e. with very little decent fitness) I was pleased that my body came through the way I expected. I really came into form throughout the week and just got fitter and fitter. I really felt like I could have continued longer than the week, though there were signs of exhaustion rearing their heads.
My swimming came on well, and I really found my feel back in the water, something that I have been lacking for a long time. It was also nice to get some time in wearing my wetsuit, and getting used to it again. Though I do fear that I may need to trade mine in as I have bulked up a bit and it is getting a bit tight around the shoulders, causing premature exhaustion. I also managed to get some good tips, so I have some nice pointers as to where to take my swimming. The main thing is to make sure I extend straight with my arms before the catch, and to keep a high elbow so I don’t slap my forearms on the water, which I have been doing apparently. The facilities there are incredible. As well as the lagoon where you can just jump in a nice large body of water to get some open water swimming in, there is a 50m olympic pool:
The bike was good. I clocked up more volume in a week than I usually do in a month, and with around 25,000 feet of climbing, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Lanzarote is incredible for cycling, with some incredible places to ride. We did most of the IM Bike route with all the major climbs, and it was amazing. One major difference I noticed was the reception from other roads users. Whereas over here, you generally tend to get a honk, two fingers and some abuse, over there you get a honk, cheer and some encouragement! Training with a group again really made a difference, and a lot easier to get out and beast myself with some good attacks and competition. My cycling really on, to the point where on the last day I managed to put in a good tt effort to pull away from the pack on the last ride, after the mini-tri and still felt that I could have done a lot longer.
My running was looking a bit sparse when I put the training pan together, but I still managed a good block of running, and I am feeling a lot more fluid in my running again, much like my swimming. Being able to run every day really allowed it to come on as I ran myself back into fitness. The track session and races allowed some good speed work that with more, will help improve my speed.
Another big bonus was managing to swim, bike and run all the main days, although the totals were slightly lower than I had hoped. Being able to do this every day gave me the biggest improvements.
Without name dropping, the number of top pros we saw there was really inspiring, and really helped motivate the training.
Ok, maybe disappointments is a little strong, but there were a couple of things that if I did the camp again I would change.
The first of these is the swim. I didn’t manage to get a long swim done, and I probably should have done one day. The last day was also a bit of a let down. Although it was great to get out on the last night, it did mean that I didn’t do any training on the last day.
My diet went to pot. Admittedly, with all the training I was doing, I needed my carbs. But 3 lots of ice cream a day towards the end was a bit excessive. I also noticed that I really wasn’t getting enough protein in, with was hampering my recovery, so will need to look at this for the future. Nutrients were lacking a lot as well. Although this doesn’t matter for a week, if I was to keep this up, I would need to get them in for it to be sustainable.
With my current fitness levels, there was no way for me to get the gym and yoga in and still train. If I went again, it would hopefully be with a higher level of fitness that would allow me to sustain this. Missing out on the gym, not just over camp has meant that my knee has weakened, so after the half marathon, the old hamstring/back of the knee injury flared up again. I managed to keep it under control, but if I kept up my exercises and stretches, I think this would have been stopped.
Overall though, it was fantastic. It’s just a shame I am in Russia for the Malaga camp, otherwise I would be straight on that! For now, I am back to potholes, training alone, and bad weather. Boo.
PS You should be able to view all my photos from camp on my Facebook page (even if you don’t have it)