The fourth running of our Lanzarote Endurance camp has just come to an end; with the day spent dropping our weary (and hungover!) campers at the airport for their flights home. It’s been a blast as always and we were privileged to witness many people’s redefining of what they felt was possible to do in a week of focussed training. With about half of this year’s camp made up of ‘repeat offenders, and many of our new camp-friends already talking of a return for next year, we are encouraged that we have a great formula for a challenging camp for endurance triathletes, and will certainly be running it again next year. We tried a few new things this year, and were pleased with those additions and some of those will stay in the schedule – as well as possible additions that we’ve already started thinking about!
Yet again every athlete managed over 30 hours of training in the week with the majority completing the camp. This “30 hours” is not a strict completion criteria – however it is round about the volume that anyone completing the camp will achieve. Only once have we had someone complete the camp’s schedule in under 30 hours – and that was through doing only the minimums and hitting everything at a pace that most of us would not manage!
We had an unplanned change of hotel this year which meant that one of the new elements of this year’s camp was increased logistics of getting to and from the sea swims and some of our races. Luckily for us, as is typical of the sort of athlete that comes on our camps, no-one batted an eyelid at the mile jog to the beach morning or running back afterwards, despite the hill! Similarly having to run 4.5km to the start of a 10k handicapped running race at the end of the 5th day didn’t raise a single word of complaint 0 in fact some of us were rather pleased of the opportunity to turn the session into a decent length run on a training camp that is generally very bike dominant.
The fact of the short journey to and from the beach meant we had rented a vehicle for the week to transport wetsuits, shoes and non-running athletes each morning. having this, and sarah willing to drive it for us, enabled us to offer a 30 minute brick run from the top of Haria. It was an awesome addition, providing some stunning views and a beautiful running trail, and is a definitely a ‘keeper” – in future we’ll possibly even allow time for a longer run for those not overly obsessed with drinking coffee and eating ice creams in the cafe there ;o) It certainly got us thinking when we climbed Femes that the mountains around there also look like good running terrain. Although Steven and I have spent many, many weeks training in Lanzarote, we are still discovering new parts and potential routes on the island- what a wonderful place.
We’ve had a few new course records broken this year too. Good conditions on El Golfo certainly helped three people better the mark set by Brett in our first camp, all by over a minute. Steven was rightly worried about finally being beaten on Tabeyesco when Matt, a modest and lightweight athlete smoked the sporting 10 mile loop of El Golfo TT, giving us an indication of what his clear “climbers” form might do up on the hill climb competition. He didn’t fail to deliver wither a sub 29 ride up Tabeyesco smashing over a minute off the previous mark. He didn’t finish there and demonstrated how good an athlete he is by taking the 10k handicap race running through everyone in the field other than Jo and setting a new course record of 38:33 securing a camp win. Matt proved to be an athlete that didn’t feel the need to prove himself letting the races demonstrate his strength which made him a pleasure to ride with always looking out for other campers and helping keep groups together. If he returns next year I hope he now has the confidence to test the faster riders once in a while.
The “guess your time” 10k is always a bit of a highlight as most are a little surprised how fast they can run. It’s also quite impressive how close some get. With a group of nearly 20 athletes you’d expect just through randomness to get some pretty close but this camp the third best, Roz, guessed within 33s and then we had a tie with both Brian and Heather guessing within 5s.
By the final day of the camp everyone is feeling pretty tired and have at least the Ironman route to get around. This year was not particularly kind with a strong wind from the north making the middle part of the ride hard. Everyone got round with the groups working together to get everyone home. At last, after 3 failed attempts in previous years, we had a group managed the 200k Ironman+ route. We’ve never had a group manage it before, for various reasons, and this year it was looking like the same with a double puncture 8 miles due to a bottle in the road which resulted in a return to the hotel for a new tyre. With these early mishaps the group pulled together to make sure they got round riding as a compact six person group throughout the ride other than the descents. Everyone in the group willing to make those small little compromises to how they might have ridden if alone, or in a group of similarly paced cyclists, in order to keep the group together. Somehow, they even found time for a sit-down of lunch in Haria.
Compared to our other camps we’ve actually recorded the lowest average hours of training per person at 30:16. The main reason for this is that we include the training undertaken by our masseuse and physio support in the statistics, who were able to train less than in previous years due to the higher workload we put on them by inviting more athletes along! We also had two early exits and one very injured participant who was unfortunately unable to take part in much of the schedule. It was brave of Ellen to still come along despite this, and she did what she was able to do, mostly by herself, and also supported her other half Matt, through his week. Of course – we don’t want to give the impression that we’re too focused on the stats and records…but it does provide Steven with something to do once all the campers have departed!
It feels very lonely without the vibrant group around, so we are of course busy planning and plotting the next camp, which will be in the Pyrenees for a more cycling oriented week and some proper big hills to race up :o)
In the mean time, Jo will be heading back to Lanzarote to host a week of triathlon skills training for beginners- or those wishing to sharpen up on the basic skills of triathlon – in conjunction with TriSports Lanzarote. More details of this upcoming camp here.
Finally -many, many thanks to our wonderful sponsors for generously supporting our camps. It’s really a lovely bonus that we can offer products, samples, gifts and valuable prizes to our participants, and goes to making EverydayTraining camps just a little more special.