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)
Well let’s just say day 1 was interesting. After flapping all night about my bike, I woke up at 5, knackered but couldnt get to sleep again. Rushed to the airport, getting stuck in traffic and then got to the airport with my carefully worked out luggage. When I went to hand my bike in, I casually asked the guy what the bike weight limit was and he said “Oh we don’t really worry about it’!! A lot of effor for nothing. The flight was a long one, a group of about 30 triathletes and 70 SAGA holiday people! A lot of grey hair on the plane! We arrived there and it was straight in the pool for what was supposed to be a 5k set! I managed 2.1k before I kept cramping and was unable to swim, but given the journey and how little I had had to drink that day, I can’t really complain. The pool is amazing, being able to train in an outdoor olympic pool in January is incredible. It was just nice to be training properly. I could really get used to this! I put the bike together to get it ready for the mechanic the next day, and then promptly slept for 10 hours! Felt amazing after!
Well the bike is fixed!!! Took it to Pro Bike in the village and after getting the nut off, and hammering away at the crank to try and get it off (I was wincing with every hit!), he put the self-extracting bolt back on, tightened it properly and it came off. Words cannot describe the relief!
A quick rush back to La Santa for the group ride and we headed out for a 3 hour ride. Did about 73k of fairly hard riding, with some good climbing. It was nice to be pulling up some of the hills, felt good, but went off to hard. The egos then came out and an easy ride turned into quite a speedy one, with some big efforts! But it was good fun. The scenery is pretty amazing in parts, and I got some good pics.
After the bike, I had a quick bite to eat, and then it was into the pool to do 1.5k. Felt pretty knackered to begin with, but got into it. My times were down, but I am gettting my feel back. Legs were cramping a lot towards the end though! More food, and a nap later, and it was down to track for an hour session. Did 10k, with the main set being reps of 2k at 10k pace, with a 30 second rest before a 400m sprint. Hard work, but loosened up nicely! Gonna sleep well tonight! Legs are pretty tired now!
Just to gloat a bit, the tan is coming along nicely already! Its lovely out here, gonna miss it when I go back!
Well if there is one thing I have learnt during my prep for this camp, is don’t leave everything til the last minute, especially ordering any kit I need! Being winter, and the start of the new year, there is no summer kit in stock as all the lines are refreshed, and all the good training aids are all sold out as people make good on their New Year’s Resolutions! So I have spent a good amount of the last weekend scouring the internet looking for kit! Just hope it arrives in time!
Anyway, 3 days out from camp with Man Tri, were a group of 24 of us are all heading to Club La Santa in Lanzarote for a week’s training. We have a huge range of things to do, with sessions offered by La Santa, and our own MTC organised sessions. We were sent a list of all the sessions happening and a recommended plan, from which I took what I think would suit me the best. I have selected a huge load of training to do, fitting in with my minimum aims as stated earlier:
- Bike 30k a day
- Swim 1.5k a day
- Run 5k a day
Given my current training load, I could expect to achieve about 20 hours of training in a dedicated week, however I have scheduled about 35! It will be interesting to see how I hold up. I know I adapt quickly and can swim/bike/run myself into fitness over the first few days, but overuse and general exhaustion could play a big part in how much I can do. The facilities at La Santa do seem to be really good, so I can have massages and do lots of yoga and gym sessions to keep myself in a good state. Whatever happens, I am going to be sleeping lots!
I am expecting big things from the week, especially in my swimming. The opportunity to be swimming regularly, with a squad, with a coach, with training aids (finally brought myself some!) and structured sessions should improve it dramatically. I know what I can do 10x100m on at the moment, so will see how it goes when I get back! With regular running, I should get my form back again, which will be nice, and my cycling endurance should improve a lot over the week from all the miles. It will set me up for a very good season hopefully!
You will also notice a Massage Class thrown in there, which I have managed to squeeze into a gap in the training, which should give me a lot of help with self massage/helping others, and also let my girlfriend know how to massage legs properly! Anyway, enough talk, here’s the plan for the week:
As part of camp, I have splashed out on some nice Assos shorts in the hope that they will save the nether regions from pain in long consistent rides, especially in the Fred Whitton Challenge, which I have been accepted onto with a team from work! That is going to be one tough day. Luckily I can preview most of the course as it is fairly local, so can check gear ratios, but I think it is going to have to be a compact chainset! But will be awesome preparation for Ironman training. I have also splashed out on a Bike Box Alan to transport my faithful steed around the world with me. It has cool stickers, with my name on it, with more to come; almost makes me look like an athlete…