Day 7 of my first tri camp

The first day with options! 1. Sea swim or 2. Lie in, I took option 2.

Legs a bit tired after aquathlon yesterday so made sure I had a good breakfast ready for today’s cycle.
3 groups set out for Teguise (31 Kilometres) at different times with the aim of arriving together for 12.30. It was a good steady climb with Jo, Ted and Sandra encouraging and coaching us along the way. The promise of cake and coffee did not disappoint, amazing selection of cakes. Coffee delicious and a bargain at €1.50.

Great quick ride back as nearly all downhill again with tips from Sandra about cross winds and cycling down hill. Couldn’t catch Toni and Helene the speedy downhillers.
Afternoon session in the pool for 90 minutes yes I repeat 90 minutes for a session of pool drills. Don’t think I have ever spent that long in a pool without a cocktail in hand and a float to lie on! However the session flew by with lots of coaching from Sandra and Jo, their patience unwavering with my limited swimming experience. I definitely feel a bit quicker than when I started the camp.

Quick change and cup of tea ready for a Ted talk, didn’t realise we would get a Ted talk on a triathlon camp!! I could have listened all evening to learn about how to maintain fitness after 55 and Ted is a fine example to us all. Supper then sleep ready for our mini tri tomorrow.


Day 6 – Tri50 Lanzarote triathlon camp

The legs woke up a little less springy than normal after a joyful and expertly tutored hill climb cycle across the island yesterday.

Never mind I thought as I cast my mind to the imminent aquathlon that was due to start in a few hours time. Surely we would all be feeling a little jaded after yesterday’s adventures and five days of intensive yet triumphant training.

As I peeped out of the apartment the organisers were setting up for our honorary event of the day. Banners, flags, an inflatable start line…blue carpet and a fluffy yellow woof woof mascot. Wow this was no ordinary race! This was a race of testament to oneself! Our bodies had been pushed hard with the many hours of intensive daily coaching. We were learning how to adapt to the uplift in exercise and enjoy the physical strength and conditioning that came with it. But how would we all react under the psychology of race conditions?

Training is one thing, racing is another. Myself and my fellow fierce competitors were about to be put to the test.

A light bite of breakfast, just enough to line the tummy and a large guzzle of water to help hydrate seemed to settle my competitive nerves!!

My new friends, and some old too, started to gather for the warm-up near the start line. Off I went with a beaming smile in anticipation of a 2.5km run, 500m swim and 2.5km run to finish.

9am prompt, the horn sounded and the battle began. The boys took the frontline and the girls were running light-footed at their feet. Beautiful rolling waves crashing to the right, rugged volcanic hills were the scene to the left and the morning sun poured its euphoric energetic rays on all competitors. The notorious wind was out to play too. A familiar bite that had been with us all week. We were all fighting through it, trying not to let it impede our progress.

A flash of red swept passed me… my eyes focused on GBR Smith… my competition! As I lifted my cadence to match hers I was confronted with our first hill. The boys in their fluorescent tri50club vest tops were little dots in the distance. Keep on pushing, relax and breathe is all I had to do. Smith was widening the gap between us, I couldn’t catch her… yet!

Like a magnet to the pool I dived eagerly into the cool clear water. My favourite stage, an opportunity to stretch out, regulate my breathing and try and catch up with my fellow swimmers. Fi
Back out to the run and Smith was professional in transition. I struggled with my trainers and let out a sigh as the gap I had closed was gently slipping away. Arghhhhhhhh!!

‘Remember tall, lifted, light, headlight hip bones forward’, these words replaying as I picked up the pace. Sandra and Stefan’s superb running coaching tips were a welcome distraction as I pushed through the wind.

Smith had wings… she was flying. I simply couldn’t close the gap. A little glance behind me to check if anyone was on my tail, a sigh of relief as I relaxed into my own race. Still trying to broaden my wings, pushing hard and challenging myself.

The home straight was in sight, as I sprinted to my full capacity I was greeted by the inflatable finish line and huge cheers and claps of joy from coach Miss Jo. Her smile spoke a million words of pride and congratulation. Thank you Jo for your endearing support, enthusiasm and positivity that inspires us all to reach the highest of highs no matter what our ability.

What a week… what a race.

A huge thank you to tri50club for putting on one of the most enjoyable training weeks of my life! I have learnt so much and achieved more than I thought possible in such a short space of time.

I am eternally grateful and appreciative to both Jo and Sandra and their momentous backup, Ted and Stefan. Your commitment and love for ‘being a better you’ is infectious. I feel stronger physically and psychologically and will transfer all the confidence, resilience and strength that I have felt into my future training and daily life.

Nichola Shuttle

An early end

We were greeted by blue skies and little breeze on this, my last day with Tri50.

Due to work commitments, I started mid-way through the Swim Camp and I’ll leave 3 days into the Triathlon Camp. We were buddied-up for the pre-breakfast sea swim which could either be a 20 or 30 mins endurance swim. Most Triathletes chose the shorter option, as we knew we had a tough training day ahead. As someone who has yet to undertake a triathlon, I wanted to learn more about the Transitions. T1- the transition from swim to bike and T2 – the transition from bike to run. Our coaches, Sandra and Jo, covered the most efficient way of negotiating these changes. We then put everything into action with multi- brick workouts designed to increase neuromuscular adaptation, forcing the body to shift blood from the cycling muscles to the running muscles, and back, many times over.

Exhausted, the day ended with core strength and stretch sessions. I’ll sleep well this evening knowing that I now feel ready for my first triathlon………………. In July!

Stephen Hopson

RB RA Road bike V2 (1 May)

A day of firsts

Here I am, day two of my very first triathlon camp, and also the day of my very first try at many, many things.

Today was the very first time I…

Put on a wetsuit at 7:30 while having breakfast.
Swam in the sea while drinking it.
Took off my wetsuit spreading sand absolutely everywhere in my gear.
Went for a run in my bare swimming costume (but sand in my shoes).
Sunbathed *under* a towel waiting for the sun to come out.
Mounted a road racing bike.
Fell off a road racing bike (while barely moving, cleats…).
Listened to people discussing what car up/down meant (I am still not sure!).
Watched a photoshoot session of GB Paralympic gold medallist Andy Lewis while being totally inspired.
And many, many other things I’m still processing.

Yesterday was very similar, as will tomorrow. Being here is an adventure every day, and the great thing is that you get to share it with a group of inspiring and incredibly kind people. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the very first time I put my trisuit on.


Back again…

Having attended the Tri50 swim camp in November, here I am again – but now for the full “Tri “ experience!

Day one: introductions were made – a happy mix of men and women of varying age and experience

First everyone’s swim ability was assessed: fast and furious or slow and sedate – all need adjustments to establish the Swim Smooth technique. Plenty to work on!

This afternoon our running was reviewed with a set along the seafront! Lots to adjust here too! Already thinking about a better posture and cadence!

The programme is packed full and possibly daunting for some – but from my experience I know that Sandra and Jo ( and Ted and Stefan in strong support) will keep the pace efficient and FUN!

Time flies while times and techniques improve! So I’m looking forward to the days ahead!

Day of Rest

Saturday was due to be a busy training morning. But sometimes, all an athlete really needs is some R&R! After a full-on three days of Swim camp and a further seven days of Tri camp to come, I listened to my body and took the day off.

The others did a pool session, which was half endurance and half drills, whilst I slept. Then after a late breakfast, we all made our way down to the beach where a sea swim session beckoned. Complete with brightly coloured hats and bright orange tow floats, eleven intrepid swimmers entered the water, while I was given the task of “spotting”, aka ticking each person in and out of the water.

The session involved swimming out to a buoy, turning around it using the “buoy turns” we had learned previously, and then swimming back to shore while practising sighting, particularly as we could potentially meet a swimmer coming in the opposite direction after making the turn!

Finally,there was a race in teams with the faster swimmers paired with the slower ones. The faster swimmers swam out to the buoy and then back to collect their slower partner before making a second loop to the buoy as a pair. Everyone enjoyed the competition and we all clapped the winners, Stephen and Patrick.

We bid farewell to several of our group who were heading home later this afternoon, and got ready to welcome more new arrivals for the Tri camp starting tomorrow!

Helene Hill

Aquathlon (Swim Run) Race Day – Day 5

Woken to high wind and cloudy skies, and to the sound of resort personnel erecting gazebos, finishing arches and podiums on the astro turf outside my room. After a light breakfast I wandered out to view the course: On the service road behind our apartment square another arch, carpet, and a row of plastic boxes designated for transition, in the pool the lane ropes had been replaced by four buoys – one in each corner. Gradually the other Tri50 folk assembled and formed themselves into teams to divide up the swim and run legs. As Sandra led runners in a series of warm up exercises, it became apparent that no other guests were taking part- the professional set up was just for us Tri50 athletes! Definitely deserved!

Just after 9.00 am, following a race briefing from Javier, and with a lad on a bike to show us the route, we were off. As rehabilitation since breaking my leg in December, I had been gradually introducing some running. This 2.5 km run was my first race. Although slow I managed continuous running and returned to the pool to shouts of encouragement. Five laps of swimming clockwise around the pool seemed tough, some of us forgot to practise the buoy turning that Sandra and Jo had taught us, once out of the pool, Stefan was there to run the last leg. I pulled on a fleece and joined Jo in cheering in the runners. Stefan and I crossed the line hand in hand, that’a a team effort for you!
Sands Beach privided enormous medals and caps as prizes; presented by a giant yellow dog, after which we wandered off to breakfast.

Swim training was not over by any means! A useful session on the theory of training was followed by an hour and a half in the pool, consolidating all the drills and skills we had learned during the week. By now we had beautiful sunshine, and enough warmth to tempt some participants into ice cream as recovery nutrition………..

I headed to reception for a blissful massage to deal with much used shoulders and back.

Early evening celebration drinks on Jo’s terrace and a group visit to a tapas restaurant completed an excellent (almost) last day. Collapsed into bed at 10.30, am weary but fulfilled after an amazingly full and fun week with some lovely people.

On to Triathlon specific Camp next week!”
Dee P

Feeling the load….

First thing this morning Ted, Stephen and I headed off for a mini training Aquathlon (Swim followed by run) session. Short sea swim followed by a speedy transition from the beach, to a one mile out-and-back run along the promenade. We had been warned of high seas but, other than an increased swell, the swim was lovely, 17 degrees is Northern European competition temperature if you are lucky. The beach transition left us with sand in our shoes, trisuits and wetsuits but nonetheless the run was cool and the strong wind was on our backs on the way home which is always nice.

A really lovely way to start the day, but I did pay for it at the later full-on pool side coaching from Sandra and Jo – see the pictures… some 3 hours in total!

Add in a full hour of ‘strength and conditioning’ in the afternoon and Thursday 24 April 2018 proved to be particularly demanding on body and mind.”



We’re all here now – Day 3

A grey windy day with unseasonal temperatures didn’t dent the group’s enthusiasm for this mornings open water swim. A few of us had never used the Swim Secure tow float/dry bag and Jo and Sandra patiently took us through their use. The group was in fine fettle as we buddied-up and swam between the buoys, both to build endurance and improve our skills in turning around the marks. A hearty breakfast was followed by a further pool technique session embracing the drills we have started to integrate into our weekly pool sessions to change our stroke for the better!
The team at Tri50 always come up with new and interesting ways of improving our technique.

Jo presented a session on sports nutrition in the afternoon and in the early evening there was an unexpected and delightful yoga session given by Philippa, one of the course participants. In the evening the bonding continued over dinner before we all retired for an early night and a well deserved rest.

Stephen Hopson
April 2018

Day 2

Somehow on Tuesday morning I managed to get my wetsuit on by myself!! I’ve never swum in a wetsuit before and I was keen to see what it felt like. The buoyancy it gives you is amazing which makes swimming really easy… much less hard work although I found the tightness restricts the arms quite a lot, but I guess I need to try a few suits to work out one that fits me well. There were only four of us swimming and it really was a lovely way to start the day. A quick breakfast and it wasn’t long before we were back in the pool doing drills.

We’ve all got our own things to work on to perfect our stroke and improve our times and endurance. I’m keen to clock up more miles in the pool here then I do at home – just a personal mission – so I stayed in the water a little longer after the session which gave me a really short break before the next pool session which again worked on specifics and we started using our CSS timings. some of my fellow swimmers have really sensible anti- sunsuits; sensible things to have as the sun is strong here (when it comes out!!!) and sunscreen just comes off in the water. I didn’t expect to be the youngest person here, but wow, am I just inspired by my fellow campers – I’ll go home and make some plans.

Tripadvisor reviews of Sands Beach aren’t great… ignore them; Jo and Sandra have chosen well, the hotel has a gym if you find any spare time, a stretching room and it’s a nice walk to the village. The rooms are comfortable and very clean. The WiFi works and the food is great. I have hired a car for the week which is only €52 total with Autoreisen so after the swim I went off exploring again. I have always known Lanzarote as Lanzagrotty which it really isn’t – not that I have seen yet anyway. There are lots of people here enjoying the great climate to cycle, run and swim. Villages are rustic and small, the scenery moonlike – quite surreal; I’ll definitely be back! Thanks so much Jo and Sandra – great camp 😁