• Train in Spain

    December in London: The rain came down and carried on coming down; the days got darker and shorter. With Christmas over and a few days spent gorging myself, it was time to head to Spain.

    So off we went, the day after boxing day, for 10 days of training camp fun in the Spanish sun. The camp was organised by Optima Racing Team and it was lovely having a very diverse but strong bunch of 9 out with us from up and coming 15 yr old juniors to those more senior folk chasing that elusive Kona slot in early season races. We went to an area in southern Spain known for its gorgeous winter micro climate where the maximum temperature seldom drops below 16 degrees in winter. It did not disappoint – we had gorgeous weather, most often around 20 deg which allowed us to go riding in shortleeves (yes, we managed to get tanlines even in the depths of winter!) and get in some great open water swims in the Mediterranean.

    The focus of the camp was to get some winter miles in which was not difficult given our surroundings, I can see why some pro cycling teams also choose this area for their winter training – the riding was simply magnificent. The running was equally as good – we scaled mountains where we did not see another soul and it felt like you were the only one out there – I love mountains, they have a weird way of making me feel serene and quiet in an otherwise manic world. We ran through orange groves and lemon groves to the sweet smell of citrus as well as wild lavender, moments like those just make me so grateful to be doing what I do and what I love.

    We were based at the Kinetic PB lodge and had a lovely Spanish family cooking us traditional dinner most nights which was delicious after a long days training. We also had exclusive use of the Kinetic pool which was great – no more fighting with the ‘sharks’ in the fast lane down at the public pool back home. We popped in a few sea swims too. The junior boys were terrified of there being proper sharks in the water and in my African ways, I told them to stop being silly, there were no sharks in the Med, they were all in Aus and South Africa and to get on with it. I made the stupid mistake of googling ‘sharks in the Mediterranean’ that night to prove my point and to my horror yes, there are sharks in the Med, even Great Whites.I freaked out a bit too after that when James told us to swim 12 mins out to sea and back.

    We managed to fit in some beach runs too which was lovely. This is great training as it really tests your technique and whether you are landing nice and lightly on your feet with quick steps. In our concentration we found ourselves straying onto a nudist beach. You really don’t know where to look in a situation like that – we had a really good giggle about it.

    So after 10 days of sun, sand, blue sky, mountains, sea and 1Euro coffees and 45plus hours training later, we sadly said goodbye to Spain and a wonderful New Years camp. We will look to do the same camp next year so if you are a loser and don’t have any New Years party plans, it’s a great way to see in a fresh, new year….keep eyes and ears posted later on this year for more details if you’d like to join in on our fun.

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