Another year has past and so that only means one thing…its time to go to Club La Santa, Lanzarote again. One of my favourite places to train. Having 3 Olympic pools, a run track, gym, spa, amazing bike routes with panoramic views and runs that go around volcanoes, past lagoons and via the sea along with all the other sports facilities, classes and races on offer makes Club La Santa a truly amazing place. Not to forget the family, friends and athletes you meet and train with out there.
This year I was fortunate enough to meet and ride 1-1 with Sarah Springman, an incredible athlete that has won 20 elite ETU championship medals in triathlon and duathlon along with competing in numerous Commonwealth Games and now she’s Vice President of ITU Triathlon, along with being able to sit and talk to Dame Sarah Storey, who has a major list of achievements including being a 21-time World Champion, 21-time European Champion and she holds a total of 72 World records, she has a total of 11 gold medals putting her as one of the most successful British Paralympians. I also spoke to Joanne Rowsell, an English cyclist who competes for GBR on both the track and road, she’s a numerous time World Champion and gained a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
This time I was going out there for 4 weeks and due to a slight injury/bite I was out of it for the first 5 days and I wasn’t able to do any sport which although very frustrating, allowed me to enjoy the sun and relax on the sunbeds, a very rare sight for people to see.
Feeling fit again I had 3 weeks to go… perfect for my new coach, Mark Pearce, to set some tough sessions after all the resting I had had. The sessions I got were amazing. They were planned and detailed and covered the whole week for all disciplines. I had some great TT efforts on the bike, long rides taking me up Tabayesco, Mirador del Rio and the fire mountains, some steady runs taking me round volcanoes, hill reps and tougher track sessions along with swim sets in the amazing outdoor pools. I was having a truly amazing time, enjoying the sun, weather and everything else on offer along with feeling fitter and stronger.
Week 3 had arrived and so did 6 current and recently graduated Warwick Triathlon friends. We had a good balance of triathletes and cyclists which meant that those who wanted to do a hard session on the bike could and those that wanted to stay on site to swim, run, relax and possibly go on a smaller bike loop or enjoy the other facilities on offer, like Stand Up Paddle could.
I think that we all set into our own routines quite well yet were able to enjoy each other’s company, having someone else there to train or relax with. Also splitting the cooking and cleaning duties between us seemed to work out most of the time J However when we all decided to go out on a ride together, whilst wearing the club kit, I think that everyone would agree that we seriously looked pro and it was great to ride together especially as we didn’t have the stress of uni exams. Thank you all for such a great week.
I found that although the training got quite tough and tiring at times, I really enjoyed the sessions and after eventually managing to get to the spa to do hot and cold treatment in the plunge pool and Jacuzzi I felt a lot more recovered and was able to carry on training.
Over the years I’ve been able to see my personal development, improvement and specialisation of triathlon, focussing more and more on specific triathlon training which wouldn’t have been possible without a few people helping me along the way. Obviously my family have been a big part of that but I’d like to say a massive thank you to Dave, Alison, Tim, Steve, Ogy and Donna, Carsten and Lena. Thank you all for your knowledge, support and inspiration over the years, whether it was taking me out on the bike, running alongside me or helping me finish my first triathlon, you’ve always been there to help and support.
I always see the biggest improvement when I race in the duathlon or triathlon when all those years ago when I first started I’d struggle up that hill and eventually come back but I’d be last and the first person would’ve come down the hill before I even started it. I always looked up to them and was amazed by their speed, position and of course their gear. I was so inspired by them and wanted to be just like them when I grew up and over the years I’ve made my way round the field and now am where those that I looked up to were, which makes it even more special. It’s been a great progression and it really does feel like my second home, my training home ground and where it all started for me in triathlon.
After saying goodbye to 5 of my Warwick friends, one more arrived and we were down to 3. It was a slightly different week to the week previous, it was a lot more triathlon orientated and we seemed to go to the spa a lot more which I appreciated and needed after 3 tough weeks. We had some great runs, rides around the island and a lot of games including chess, sorry Alfred J Hope you didn’t mind too much.
During the week we all did either the duathlon or triathlon and Alfred and I were both really impressed with Elliott who after a swim and I’m sorry but I think you’d agree a very, very slow transition, managed to get back up to second or third place just past the half way point on the bike before getting a puncture, but that didn’t stop him, after team support cycled up the hill to change bikes he carried on to finish the bike section on a different bike with my trainers and then did the 5km run, amazing effort and great to watch.
Although it seemed to go really fast this year, I once again really enjoyed CLS and I managed to fit in so much and had my first taste of being coached properly along with having some friends out with me to enjoy the place to. Thank you so much to all of you that came out and to my mum and CLS.
Until next year,