Sunday, 16 March 2014

Training Camp Spain

After a great Christmas I was back in Spain for a training camp away from the horrible British weather with the London and West Midlands Academy. I was looking forward to a great week of training and the possibility of cycling in shorts.

 The West Midlands Academy travelled to Eguilas, about 2 hours from Alicante on Saturday 15th February. We were meeting half of the London Academy at Alicante airport and travelling on to our hotel all together. When we met up with them, they were having the disappointment of still waiting for their bikes at the baggage hall. The airline informed them after a good hour wait that they would not be getting their bikes today and they would deliver them to the hotel the next day…….Good start.

When we arrived at the hotel the first activity is to open our bikes boxes and get building. This is always a nervous moment for me as I don’t know whether the airport has looked our bikes or just chucked them onto the plane like they do with the luggage. But everything was fine and George the giant bike was ready to ride, thanks to The Bike Yard for supplying me with my bike and the services that Graham always does before my training camps and races.

The running on the camp was made interesting with lots of different sets using the beach, track and road. Our first run was a steady run on the beach which was really nice as you get the sea breeze and it is something I do not do much of in the UK. Sand running is not easy I have to say, each stride was slower because of sinking into the sand, then when we ran on pavement it was like running on air. The run set on sand was 400, 800 and 200 reps it did feel double the distance. Luckily for me we did do other sets on the track and a 4k mountain set including lovely scenery.

Cycling is always amazing in Spain, this was my fifth visit to this area so I known the routes quite well now. We did lots of steady riding in the sun which meant only one thing cycle tan lines, something to show off when home. During the rides we would put in some five minute efforts at 60 cadences which meant we are pushing a hard gear and building strength on the bike, this is one of my favourite sessions. I managed seven reps and found it really hard as the efforts were against the wind but then there is the reward of freewheeling the whole way back.

Usually for me it is the cycling I enjoy the most out of the three disciplines but my most favourite session of the camp goes to a particular sea session. Firstly I got to try out my new Huub wetsuit, it was brilliantly buoyant, comfortable, warm, flexible, smart, fast and so much more, just try one that’s the best option.  The session was learning to catch waves and the best way to take advantage of them, it could gain you around 10 seconds or even more, also you are carried further with less effort. Also in this session we did long reps practising entering the water and existing the water with Dolphin dives making it quicker and easier to get out faster in race conditions. During the camp we also had a few pool sessions but must say not as exciting as the sea.
Big Thank you to Huub for the sponsorship!

Training is always the main part of this camp but on this camp we also had the opportunity to meet new friends, the London lot were definitely an entertaining bunch. I am very fortunate not to have to wait long for my next training camp; British Triathlon has arranged something special for a few Junior Girls a training weekend with the one and only Helen Jenkins.

Big Thank-You to Steve Lloyd and James Beckinsale for organising the camp.

 Thanks for reading :D

Megan McDonald

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