This year we tweaked the experimental format we had last year based on the feedback we got from last years campers. This resulted in the following changes / additions to the format:
- We introduced the Training Points system to reward training that had previously been left as optional (and hence, rarely undertaken!)
- Completion was now purely based on attaining 30 Training Points (TPs) in the week. It did not actually require doing any of the races.
- Bonus points were awarded for participation in the aquathlon race to encourage participation
- We removed the KOV time trial final from the last day so that people could enjoy the long ride!
- We re-instated the El Golfo time trial on the first day of camp.
- We re-instated the handicap, no watch, guess your time run race on the 5th day, although we shortened it to 5k. This proved to be less painful/more fun and almost everyone opted to take part.
Overall these changes acheived what we had intended, which was to encourage a lot more running and swimming during the week, whilst still enabling camp completion without having to run/swim daily. It made us smile seeing people out doing an extra few minutes run or swim just to gain an additional point – even if the person was already certain of completing the camp. We had full turnout of the aquathlon this year an all but a couple of the 5k. In both cases, an informal survey of the campers, showed that though enthusiasm to race wasn’t always high ahead of time, everyone had a great time proving to themselves how well they can race, even when tired. This is the kind of thing that you really can only learn in this environment – you just wouldn’t even go there normally!
Analysis – Training Hours Required to Complete Camp
It might of course have been a more motivated group of athletes that attended this year, but certainly the data seemed to show that this format was more motivational than the more free form approach of last year. Camp completion rate, and hours of training undertaken by “completers” was some three hours more than last year and back in to the typical amount of training we’ve seen on our original format Endurance camps. It was also great to have campers really throwing themselves in to it, with Kevin on his first camp with us and being only the second person to manage more than 40 hours at a Lanzarote camp (well done Kevin!)
Analysis – Swim Training
The swimming this camp was excellent. It was helped by near perfect sea conditions every day. It meant several pretty long morning swims and even a 1:10 (3 point) swim on one of the days. The average is nearly double last year and around what we saw in the latter years of our endurance camp. It should be noted though that in those years people had to swim 30 minutes a day to complete. This camp did not, and we had two campers who did pretty much zero swimming. So, of those that did swim the average was closer to 11km. It was great to see the swim distance records finally go with Russell getting both the daily record (now 5.2k) and the camp record (now 20.3k). It was certainly helped by the fact that Russell, who carries a run injury, was not running and therefore doing afternoon swims after his ride on several days – something which the more flexible format is intended to allow.
Analysis – Bike Training
The conditions for biking this year were excellent. The winds were light all week and from an ‘unusual’ direction. The distance ridden by those who completed camp was at the lower end of the normal range for our camps… this might be simply because we were a smaller group with fewer “hardcore” cyclists, and also the more social format with the group assembling for the KOV climbs and a cafe stop afterwards on each ride.
Analysis – Run Training
We were very pleased to perceive an increase in interest in running on this camp. The training analysis shows that it was certainly a big improvement on last year, and it’s actually better than it looks since we had one camper that could not run and without the need to do all races to complete our ride leader, Emma, completed camp but did not run. Thus the average distance run by those who were running was closer to 35km. Given that most people don’t run after the long ride on the final day, it averages out at 7km per day per camper. Of course, this is just an across camp average. Most people are aware that it is running, especially on the concrete pavements in Puerto de Carmen, that will tire their legs most on a camp so settle for just a 30 min run off the bike on most days. That said, we do get people keen to run more during the week, especially with new, higher, Eddington numbers within reach. Of note was Kevin who managed to run 72.5km through the week and now places 4th in our ‘Hall Of Fame’ of those who have run a lot on camp.
Analysis – Points System
We tweaked the system this year so that Training Points were included in addition to KOV points for the handicapped hill climbs. Ultimately, the KOV points far out weigh the Training Points, so someone really could not earn enough points by training alone to afford not to take part in the hill climbs at all, but training hard can obviously move you some points up the leader board.
The system still works to give all campers a chance to win and should reward campers that don’t fade too much through camp. The only real way to “game the system” still remains going easy in the first few races and then racing harder later in the camp. We hope that that’s not the sort of thing people who are attracted to our camps would do and that there’s a certain amount of self policing via the banter. By switching the climbs around and tweaking the points each year we hope to avoid giving an advantage to people who have been on lots of previous camps.
At the end of the day, our intention is that the competition rewards people who balance out their efforts through the week, fade least, and are able to find another gear that they didn’t think they had when sufficiently motivated, even when tired! It still provided a lot of fun, some focus for the day and shows people just what they can achieve in the right environment. Quite a few campers were surprised how hard they raced up the zig zags on the 5th day once the ‘gun’ went, despite being convinced that they just didn’t have it in them!
Can I please mention Eddington Numbers again??
We had the pleasure of getting the camp bike ascent in feet over 1,000 feet this camp. It was a bit of a given. Next camp with a bit of a push the 1,000m mark is perhaps possible. The main focus this camp however was the run KM. We had 4 campers go over 22km to get us with 1 of the 22km mark. This will fall next year but then it gets tricky as we only have 13 runs over 23km so we’ll then need 10 23+ km runs to move on.
The bike distance numbers are also starting to reach their terminal values. Miles is on 111 miles and unless we move back to doing the full distance on the final day (ie include the faff in town) this will take a while to get. KM is at 158km and has a few years left of advancement
To keep it interesting the plan is to provide camp Eddington Numbers next year.
Hall Of Famers
Here are the campers that made it in to our hall of fame with top 10 rankings compared to all campers on the previous 9 Lanzarote Camps :
- Kevin Linehan 4th Total Hours with 40:23:50
- Julia Bourne 7th lady Total Hours with 35:14:35
- Frankie White 7th lady Total KM with 691km
- Frankie White 7th lady Total Ascent with 9,651m
- Mel Dowell 8th overall (2nd lady) Daily KPH with 27.6km/h
- Russell Brown 2nd overall Daily Swim Duration with 1:41:00
- Kevin Linehan 8th overall (6th bloke) Daily Swim Duration with 1:10:01
- Steve Wynne 9th overall (7th bloke) Daily Swim Duration with 1:10:00
- Julia Bourne 8th lady Daily Swim Duration with 0:57:00
- Russell Brown 2nd overall Camp Swim Duration with 5:55:14
- Rachel Hales 8th lady Camp Swim Duration with 2:43:00
- Russell Brown 1st Daily Swim KM with 5.2k
- Frankie White 9th Lady Daily Swim KM with 2.7k
- Rachel Hales 9th Lady Daily Swim KM with 2.7k
- Matthew Winn-Smith 10th overall (9th bloke) Daily Swim KM with 3.4km
- Russell Brown 1st Total Swim KM with 20.3k
- Frankie White 10th Overall (3rd lady) Camp Bike Duration with 32:01:00
- Julia Bourne 3rd Lady Camp Bike Duration with 31:30:00
- Frankie White 6th Lady Camp KM with 666km
- Julia Bourne 8th Lady Camp KM with 634km
- Karen McRitchie 2nd overall (1st lady) Daily Run Duration with 2:52:40
- Kevin Linehan 5th overall (4th bloke) Camp Run Duration with 5:59:51
- Karen McRitchie 8th overall (3rd lady) Camp Run Duration with 5:21:28
- Rachel Hales 8th lady Camp Run Duration 3:44:24
- Steve Wynne 3rd overall Daily Run KM with 25k
- Karen McRitchie 6th overall (2nd lady) Daily Run KM with 23km
- Kevin Linehan 7th overall (5th bloke) Daily Run KM with 22.8km
- Kevin Linehan 4th overall Camp Run KM with 72.5km
- Karen McRitchie 4th lady Camp Run KM with 45.9km
- Matthew Winn-Smith 4th Aquathlon time with 29:26
- Frankie White 9th lady Aquathlon time with 37:43
- Julia Bourne 7th lady Teguise Castle climb with 7:44
- Frankie White 10th lady Teguise Castle climb with 8:10
- Frankie White 10th lady Degoilada Climb with 15:56
- Steven Lord 4th overall (2nd bloke) Mirador Del Rio climb with 32:03
- Matthew Winn-Smith 7th Overall (4th bloke) Mirador Del Rio climb with 33:24
- Frankie White 7th lady Mirador Del Rio climb with 43:50
- Julia Bourne 8th lady Mirador Del Rio climb with 44:44
- Karen McRitchie 9th lady Mirador Del Rio climb with 50:37
The Haria Zig Zags and 5k race were new races so this camp holds all the places in the Hall Of Fame.