I am off to lead our first camp in Mallorca, Spain and for those of you who are not familiar with Mallorca, it is an island off the coast of Spain. It is known as a training mecca for cyclists and triathletes and is the most popular training location for Pro and Amateur athletes from Europe. I was a little concerned putting on a camp in Mallorca s I never met any of the five athletes who signed up, I don’t know the are and don’t speak a lot of Spanish. Other then that I should be fine. Our campers consist of Jared, a 38 year old triathlete/cyclist from Louisiana who works for Intel. In my phone conversations with him he seemed very laid back and ready for anything. Kate is a 19 year old tri newbie from Chicago coming by herself on Spring Break. She is very new and I got the feeling she has some reservations her about coming so far and for so long but is excited at the same time. Pete is a 20 year old Senior from University of Maryland and reminds me of my old fraternity brothers. He has some good tri experience and is gung ho to get training. There is another couple named Stacy and Joel from California who are set to arrive on Sunday. Don’t know much about them but we’ll find out!
I left Miami on a easy flight to Madrid. I finally watch casino Royale on the plane and was very impressed with the movie characters and acting. After a short uneventful second flight from Madrid to Mallorca I met Jared at the airport and we got in the transfer bus organized by my German touring company, Balear Reisen. Jared was excited and giddy as he got the trip as a birthday gift from his wife and we hit it off pretty well. The Mallorca airport was filled with and I mean filled with cyclists and athletes. So much so they have an entire carousel and area dedicated to bikes. On the transfer to the hotel we must have seen 200 cyclists. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and about 65 degrees. It was truly sweet. About 45:00 later we showed up at the Blue Bay resort. The resort is almost brand new and looks great. Each room has a living room, kitchenette with stove, fridge, microwave and sink and also a bedroom. Very nice. I immediately scoped out the 25 meter pool and it was perfect. THE RESORT HAS ITS OWN BIKE SHOP AND MECHANIC SERVICE. Unbelievable! It also has a masseur on staff that will do E stim and Ultrasound. Jared and I talked and put together our bikes and were greeted by Pete who had arrived the previous day. His bags had not arrived and he said he had his bike and gear so he had just got back from riding with some German athletes. He was surprised as he rode with them and ended up with a five hour ride. Pete seemed tired to say the least. Jared and I were very excited and went out on an afternoon ride. In a nutshell, THIS IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO TRAIN. The roads are in perfect condition with the smoothest black asphalt you have ever seen. There are very few cars and we did a 1:45 ride with some hills thrown in. There are sheep and olive tree farms all along the roads and the riding seems easy because of the condition of the roads and weather. After we showered and stretched we met Kate and all went to dinner. Our breakfasts and dinners are included in the camp fee and are buffet style much like Club Med. The food is very good with pasta, potatoes, fish, chicken, salads and much more to choose from. We met some very nice Germans which is a treat as they all seem so serious all the time. Benno is a German doctor leading a big group here and he was very funny. After dinner we made some small talk and went to get ready for the big first day of camp.
TOTAL TRAINING TIME: 1:40
I woke up and made some Nescafe with Soy milk and honey. Not bad at all actually and I downed some Muesli and went to the pool. It was about 45 degrees outside but the pool was 80 degrees so no lollygagging as I jumped right in and went for an easy 2300 meter workout. Yes, the pool is 25 meters across so my stroke count was off what I am used to. After a quick change Kate, Pete and Jared showed up and I coached them for over an hour. We covered individual weakness’ and I prescribed some drill and gave them sets to start working on there strokes. I also tested Pete and Jared on a 500 meter all out piece so we can see how they do the first day and how much they will improve over the course of the 7 day camp. They really enjoyed the camp and we showered up for breakfast. We had eggs, coffee, potatoes, coffee, fruit, coffee, and then more coffee. There were a lot of good cereals and other stuff to eat as well. After we got loaded up we got kitted up for the bikes and headed out. With Jared and Pete leading Kate and I sat back and were taken aback by the scenery. There was the ocean and vast green mountains to one side and the lush countryside with tons of sheep to the other. All I kept hearing was, ‘this is incredible’ from the others and it truly was. Mind you we passed and were passed by about 100 cyclists in the first hour. We rode to a small town about 30K away and then turned around and rode back with some serious cross and head winds. We dropped off Kate at the resort and the Pete, Jared and myself began riding to another resort about 17K away. This resort has some bigger Ironman camps going on there so we had to check out the competition. I initiated some intervals and we were son doing 45 KPH weaving around small roads that were reminiscent of what we see in the Tour of Spain. We met some cool British cyclists who dogged on the tri heads but they showed us the resort we were looking for and sure enough there were 20 or so athletes just milling about. We shot some pictures and trekked back thru the head wind and some detours due to my losing the way. When we got back it was stretch session and then a great nap. I awoke groggy and tired and stumbled to the bar and got an Espresso. We all then met for a short and easy 30:00 run. THIS PLACE IS SO PERFECT AS THERE ARE MILES AND NILES OF RUNNING TRAILS RIGHT OUT THE FRONT DOOR. We ran down to the ocean. BURRRRR and talked about doing an ocean swim later in the week. It was beautiful though. We stopped half way thru and stretched and then got back to the resort for a more serious 20:00 Yoga class out in the sun by the pool. Dinner was fun and we all got to know each other better. There was a big meeting with the groups after to coordinate pool times and such and now we are off to bed. TOTAL TRAINING TIME: 4:30
Woke up and made my new fave drink, Nescafe, Soy milk and honey. I quickly downed some Muesli and met the group for a run. The run was great and we all got in our won pace and met on some rocks by a scenic overlook of the Bay and ocean. JUST EPIC. I went thru some running drills and a proper form demo with them and then we headed back to the Blue Bay for a big breakfast and signed up for some massages with Gert, the German masseur here.
I just got back from a easy ride with the group. Turns out that the other couple from the US can not make it due to passport issues. This is a bummer as they were very excited to train for some upcoming races and are a very nice couple. Jared and Pete went out and did 80K and suffered every inch of it. Kate and I rode to a couple of small towns and checked them out. These are your quintessential small Spanish towns but I found a bank to exchange some money and also a store to buy videotapes for the swim tonight. I don’t think Erinne would like it if I taped over the first 6 months of baby Blu’s life. After the ride Kate and I grabbed a lunch and let me tell you that what they call grilled is actually fried so I never had Sole before and I never had fried Sole but as Kate pointed out, I now have got Sole!!! I went to an internet café after and checked email. UGH. Too much but good to hear from many of you. Bjorn had a DNF at IMSA and I swear I will work this guy for however long it takes before he gets it right. How many times did Mark Allen fail before he won Kona. This kid has got it all but just needs to put it together. On the flip side my Czech dude Petr got 4th so it was a bitter sweet day. Now I am all showered and drinking my new coffee concoction. What should we call it? here are some choices: Honey Nesco, Soy Nescabee or how about just a Nescabee. I like it and so it shall stick. Now it is off to Gert for a massage then a swim, dinner and more computer time. Gert was a German man in his mid to late sixties who reminds me very much of the Pro cycling soigneurs you see in the videos. His office here at the resort had older model ultrasound, electro stim and cupping machines and that combined with his think German accent was really trip you have to take. The afternoon swim went well and I videotaped everyone and then gave them a good technique workout. It is very windy here and getting older so the water in the pool was rough, literally. We had a bid dinner and then went over each athletes swim video and did an analysis and I prescribed some drills to improve their stroke. Then it was off to bed.
Total Training- 4 hours
We woke up and it was super windy here and we all went to the pool where I gave everyone individual swim workouts to help them. With the wind and the cold combined you did not want to take too much rest at the wall but it was a good swim. We then hit a big breakfast where Pete showed off his eating ability. He is a very lean six foot tall Southern boy who can eat more then anyone I have ever seen. Oh to have a fast metabolism. After breakfast it was nap time and then we did a multi sport specific strength routine in the gym. The campers are really terrific and laid back. Kate has been very kind and eager to learn. She has great balance in the gym which is juxtaposed to the raw strength of the boys. I was feeling a little worn out so the campers went off for a 2 hour bike and then a 25 minute run while I rested up and planned the rest of the camp. When they got back we all napped and got some dinner and then went over I presented some information on Periodization and Power Training. We watched a movie and then all went to bed. Total Training Time: 4:45
I am sick as a dog. I was sick last week and then rested and after 3 days of training I am back sick and cold down to the bones. It snowed a bit last night and is always cool and windy out so I am staying in today. I did lead the crew thru a 30:00 sports stretch session and then we had a good breakfast. The athletes went out on a ride and I stayed in and watched DVD’s and slept. Jared and Pete ended up with four hours of riding and Kate went for over three. She is doing great. We all went to the pool and I coached them again and their strokes are really coming along and changing. I am still feeling pretty drained so probably will take it easy some more but it is killing me as it is just the greatest place to train. Total Training Time:3-5 hours