Last week I spent a week living the #prolife on camp with Challenge TriCamp. After attending my first ever triathlon training camp last year with bestie Vicki I knew I had to go back! A lot has changed in a year. This time last year I’d never swum in openwater, and only completed one triathlon!
Unfortunately Vicki wasn’t able to wingman me this time so I travelled solo to Mallorca. However such is the way on Tricamp with 30 plus other budding triathletes also on camp I knew it would still be a lot of fun! Here’s my account of the training/holiday week:
After a super speedy check in at Gatwick (wish I could say the same about the return journey!) I was soon on my flight to the sunny island of Mallorca. Home of pot-hole free roads, clear blue seas and sandy beaches. It was going to be a great week with lots of bike miles on the TT bike!
Arriving in Mallorca I was greeted by my own taxi driver ( I had lucked out with Hoppa!) who sped away to the hotel meaning I would make the 5pm ‘meet and greet’ run! Within 5 minutes of arriving at the hotel Viva Blue I spotted ‘Tricamp Mum’ Helen in reception, no hiding for me! It felt like returning home after 1 year.
I was sharing a room with Barbara Holmes, fellow age grouper and World champion in Mexico last year!! I knew I was going to be in good company for the week, and motivation wouldn’t be lacking. The meet and greet run was chance to meet all the other happy campers whilst getting to know the area around the hotel.
Dinner each evening is a full triathletes dream buffet with all the food you could ever wish for. All Challenge Tricamp-ers sit on tables together allowing you to become great friends over the week and share the trials and tribulations of the days training.
After this we had a team meeting where we were given the all important schedule (all 26hrs of it) and our #trainhardraceeasy training tops 🙂 I quickly built my TT bike, set the ’emergency alarm’ (which would become more like the actual alarm) before getting an early night!
A pre-breakfast swim was first up. With half the group heading to the sea and the other half being filmed for full swim analysis in the 25m outdoor heated pool on site! I learned my stroke is much improved from last year but still a couple of thumbs to sort out and a bit more reach to achieve….(1 week post camp and I’m already feeling the benefits)
After the obligatory eat as much as you can breakfast buffet (pancakes ftw!) the first group ride was soon under way taking on the Iluc climb (70.3 route in reverse). Three differing speed groups allowed everyone to train a speed appropriate to them and with 2 coaches per group there was plenty of coaching and safety never a concern. The switch backs were easily tackled on my TT bike but little did I know my brakes would fail on the decent! It was a scary moment but my fellow camper Kevin saved the day fixing the brake so I could get down safely. This was overshadowed by a super fast TT moment going at at 42kph into a headwind with coach Michael enjoying (cheering) the draft behind 😉
Brick runs are a staple after every ride on Challenge Tricamp. Theres a handy 800m loop around the hotel giving us the option on how far and fast to go. Generally I tend to do increasing pace runs or intervals after bike rides.
The usual dinner chat of what race? how far? And what do you do when your not ‘tri-ing’. The vast majority were entering one of their first 70.3 races, I was in good company. Most interestingly Steve who works on a oil rig in the north sea…..I think he got a bit fed up of all the questions. What can I say #engineeratheart!
Monday morning saw my turn to drag out the wetsuit for the first openwater swim of 2017. Despite my wetsuit being a little on the big side now it was still fun to get out there and try and chase down Arran!
Later in the day we headed out for a flatter ride with some great straight TT sections where I could really open up the tanks. Almond cake was the fuel of the day! Another brick run before some sunbathing/ice cream eating time pre-dinner!
The Mallorca Ironman 70.3 bike course was the order of the day. Fuelled by a trusty gel from FuelIt I managed the climb a whole 20 minutes faster than a year ago!! Mighty pleased with that one. We wont mention the descent….but there was a guy riding a penny farthing up the hill. Impressive stuff!
Massive shoutout to those on camp who tackled the climb without cleats! It was seriously inspiring watching newbies smashing it out there in the sun.
Then straight back into the pool (my legs still thought they were on the bike) for a recovery swim.
Wednesday is the ‘official’ rest day on camp. With some setting off for Sa Calobra (madness) instead there was a reduced number to tackle the 10k TT and 10k brick run followed by an afternoon of sunbathing.
It was nice to test out the legs on the TT, winning best female TT at the end of the week I must have been doing something right. Even if I was ‘mechanically doping’ being the sole rider on a TT bike.
Wednesday afternoon was plain and simple. Remaining horizontal as much as possible. Traditional holiday activities.
Evening gym session – Still keeping up my glute exercises on camp was tough but I managed it…..the physio will be proud!
Run. Sea swim. Run. Hill intervals
The hardest day. But worth it.
A jog to the location of the Mallorca Ironman 70.3 swim location greeted us with calm blue waters. 2500m of open water swimming with some australian exits.
Hill intervals on the famous La Victoria hill with spectacular views over to Formentor. I set myself the challenge of 6 reps this year. 5 last year means 1 extra required this time. This time I had to get confident with descending to be in with any chance of doing it. Thanks to Brent and Nick for helping me out!! Exclaims of ‘Do you even have enough gears on that bike’ from other campers only made me more determined to complete the 6 reps on the TT bike!
100km ride day. We all smashed it. Ahead of schedule for the ‘faster’ group meant we had time for two stops. Although the amount of ice cream eaten at the second was in direct correlation to the amount of run loops completed on return to the hotel!
Big kudos to the many who completed their first 100km ride today! Challenge Tricamp really is for everyone.
The final evening saw cleaning and packing of bikes before the final dinner and awards presentation. Its always nice to spend time with the whole group and sink a few g&t’s (master of useless knowledge Michael…providing the Gin advice) before heading home. The coaches make a huge effort to acknowledge everyone’s efforts throughout the week.
Its always hard to say goodbye to Mallorca but a final run with spectacular views was the perfect end to the trip.
Huge thank you to all the coaches Brent, Nick, Helen, Simon, Michael, Jacqui, and Jordan for making the week such a success. I learnt so much, achieved some big training miles and cant wait for next year! I highly highly recommend Challenge TriCamp if you want a great holiday and an even better training experience! Although I did all the sessions there is no obligation to do everything. It is your (training) holiday afterall.
I also met so many inspiring people and I cant wait to hear about how everyone’s races go in the coming year. Thanks to Barbara for putting up with me 😉 Active Root, FuelIt and Department of Endurance for sorting me out!