Sunday, 19 June 2011

RAF Triathlon Camp (March 2011)

My aim for our time in Lanzarote was basically to get some biking miles done. I think Eddie was a bit perturbed during the Ultra when I informed him I hadn't done any biking at all since the Double Ironman in August but I just don't seem to be able to find the time or motivation to manage all three of these sports and I figure the biking is the least important. I know that, come these warm weather camps in Lanzarote and Cyprus later in the year, I do need to knuckle down though and use them as a way to solidify the endurance base I will have built on the bike for the Double. I knew that I probably wasn't going to want to do much running because of the 45miler a few days previously so swimming and biking was in!
It was great to meet everyone coming off the plane and, as I am the Tour Manager, my first job had nothing to do with any actual training but everything to do with the admin faff that accompanies 22 people travelling internationally! Thankfully most people's bikes had arrived safely so that was one less worry to deal with. I collected all thekeys and got everyone checked in and we arrange to meet about 90minutes later for an acclimitisation run. We do this run every year just so people understand the lay of the land, have a little shake down after the long flight and start to find the people of the same ability to train with during the week. It does definitely help to have other people to train with and I was feeling very positive about the week. After the run we all met up again in the bar for me to chat through the plan for the week, introduce the coaches and get the Det Cdr to lay down the rules!! Normally I have no problem with taking triathletes abroad, I think we're generally quite a boring lot! Unlike the swim team when it is almost always absolute carnage!!
I settled into my room with my buddies Penny and Laura and we began to plan a timetable. Outside of the coached sessions, La Santa is a great place to be as it also runs a comprehensive fitness programme. I ran their half-marathon last year and the Stretch & Relax and Core Stability classes are always popular ways of supplementing training. The coaching programme was similar most days, usually a morning swim in the fabulous open-air 50m pool followed by breakfast (the food at La Santa is fab!) and then splitting into our bike groups for a long ride of 3-4hours. After a quick soak of our legs in the pool post-ride and maybe an hour or so relaxing in the sun if we're lucky it's back for more great food at dinner. The evening is usually a coached run drills sessions or another technical aspect including some lectures on nutrition and bike maintenance. It is a fabulous camp and a really good way to inject some professionalism into our Interservices team and get everyone bonding properly.
The camp passed quickly and covered all the aspects I had wanted. As I got stung by the jellyfish during the Ultra attempt and had such a bad allergic reaction, and because of the 45miler I stayed away for running but covered a good 250miles of hilly and windy biking in the Lanzarote sun which was ideal. It was great to hang out with old friends and make some new ones and I embraced the week with an enthusiasm for training that I have been missing somewhat over the last few months. I really think the sun makes everything so much easier and being able to dedicate your whole time to training, thinking about training, recovering from training without worrying about the stresses of everyday normal life, is paramount. I flew home at the end of the week feeling refreshed and invigorated and ready to start the final phase of training before the A2A.

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