Friday, 6 January 2017

Training in Lanzarote

First training camp of the winter was in Lanzarote just before Christmas. It was a typical last-minute thing for us but it was a great week all in all. It was my first visit to the island and I had no expectations. All I wanted was to get to sun and away from the darkness, ice and slush. We surely got that and a lot more!
Puerto del Carmen

Puerto del Carmen was clean and pretty and there were plenty of nice boutiques and restaurants for regular tourists. But what I cared more about were the conditions to train. And they were excellent. To east from the village there was a paved road just for pedestrians (and cyclists) that followed the coastline and stretched all the way from Puerto del Carmen to Arrecife (about 10km or so). It was mostly flat and perfect for some faster pace tempo runs. Although I must admit that on a windy day the wind can have considerable impact on your pace (as mush as 20s per km). 

Easy miles to east

On contrast, if you go west from Puerto del Carmen there are beautiful never-ending undulating trails leading to the mountains of the southwest corner of the island all the way to Playa Blanca and Costa de Papagayo. It was a perfect playground for longer off-road runs and hill runs. I just loved sprinting up and down those hills with views over the ocean and a touch of sea breeze on your face!

Trails to west

Top views

To spare myself from injuries I combined running with crosstraining and trained a few times at Fariones Sport Centre, a well-equipped sport centre that offered everything from gym and swim to padel, tennis, yoga and group classes. They also had a sauna, jacuzzi, and massage for after-training treatment and relaxation. It was great and I can warmly recommend the place. Although a serious swimmer might wonder why their professional swimming pool has a shape of an amoeba… Trifle but if you want to do your flipturn there you should probably choose the middle lane (the only lane with a straight end).

Companion of the day

I also rented a bike for one day. There are several bike hires in the village but if you go there on holiday time and want to have a nice bike you should probably book your bike in advance because it may get busy. I trusted on my good fortune but got to wait a few days before I managed to get a road bike for myself. My companions had rented bikes for the whole week and it was more than enough for them to explore pretty much the whole island. On the day when I had a bike we did a nice long mountain ride first along the coast to Costa Teguise and then further towards Arrieta before taking a left turn and a climb up to the mountains through Tabayesco valley. It was a 10k climb with 600m elevation. A fairly long climb but very nice to ride as the climb comes gradually and with a growing gradient towards the end. We stopped for a coffee and views on the top of it before heading back to south through Teguise and San Bartolome. Apart from a few minor climbs it was mostly downward all the way home. We had a few unfortunate punctures on the way but otherwise it was a lovely ride with very little traffic. And I was only a little annoyed to be 4km short off December Grand Fondo ;)

Tabayesco village 

Coffee stop with a view

All in all it was a successful week in great conditions and I was incredibly happy to get a good week of training without setbacks after all injuries and compromises during the preceding months. Now I feel stronger and better prepared to continue with my winter training back in snow and cold. It's a challenge but I will try my best.