Tri50’s November Swim Camp by Liz Begley

6.15 am – the alarm goes, and the kettle’s on for pre-swim tea and toast. We meet at 7.30 and walk to the beach, with wetsuits, tow floats, swim-hats and goggles. Before yesterday I had never put my face in the sea, and today I managed 750m, in something resembling front crawl. It’s good to still be learning at 63 ! Then a short run, a shower and a massive breakfast – definitely felt I’d earned it.

Sandra’s talk today was about training, using heart rate zones, and how to allocate training sessions to get the right balance of longer easier sessions and shorter harder sessions. Both are essential to build fitness and endurance, so that gives food for thought, and hopefully will help in planning training sessions.

Then we were straight into the pool, for drills and swimming. I was glad of the wetsuit today, as the water was slightly chilly. I definitely need to practice the drills!

Then another shower, more tea and a snack, ready for upper body and core exercises, and stretches.

Dinner will be very welcome. The food is good, and it’s great to chat about the day, about our sport, and our lives in general. I feel I’ve made some real friends.

It’s a busy day, but I feel I’ve learned so much, and hopefully my swimming will start to improve. Our coaches, Jo, Sandra and Toni are so knowledgeable and exceptionally patient and encouraging, especially for those of us who are less confident swimmers.

Day 2 at Tri50’s November Swim Camp by Sarah Macdonald

Day two of the camp and more hard work – but good fun learning with Jo, Sandra and Toni. So many incredibly important teaching points – from which I’m sure we’ll remember a few each when tested (aagghh) that make such a difference when swimming in the warm but (today) choppy water off the coast of Teguise.

Good food again – pardon the pun – for thought re aspects of nutrition at today’s workshop. Pleasing to discuss this moving and thought provoking subject in such an informal way. Also lovely swapping recipes in the hours that followed.

Looking forward to tomorrow and learning so much more.

Tri50 Swim Camp 2018


Day’s 1 & 2 at Tri50’s November Swim Camp by Chris Marchand

Here I am back at at the Tri50 swim camp for the 2nd year running and today was Day 1.

Last year I was the sole man but this year it’s a mixed group of like minded people who all want to improve their swimming skills, so where better than a Tri50 swim camp in Lanzarote in a lovely warm climate.

Today we swam around 3000m over a few hours which included a filming session which is a brilliant way to see where you are going wrong!! and lots of swim coaching from the 3 fantastic coaches Jo, Sandra and Toni ..So much technique to learn in swimming but there is bucket loads of help from the team that is really helpful and immediately helps to get you swimming so much better, and a feeling that progress is being made, and that was after day 1 .

Day 2 at 7.30am and some sea swimming skills that started poolside and then we all walked down to the sea to have 500m sea swim that for some of the group was their first time swimming in the sea. As usual our coaches were on hand with great advice and reassurance, then early pm more pool swimming.

What a great way to spend 5 days with Tri50 at a great location refining our swimming skills and being coached by a fantastic coaching team.Day 3 beckons with more sea swimming at 7.30am !!

Can’t recommend it enough !

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