Following the success of last year’s Blackwater Triathlon Club spring training camp in Lanzarote, 8 of the club’s finest athletes once again braved the balmy temperatures and spectacular scenery of the Canaries in an effort to get a head start on the triathlon season. This year the winter camp moved from Lanzarote to the neighbouring island, the majestic and scenic Gran Canaria. The crew were based in the south of the island in the town of Puerto Rico. The Blackwater contingent was made up of Vinny McCarthy, Sean Lomasney, Peter O’Brien, Jim Crowley, Jeff Roberts, Conor Bartley, Mike Beston and Dave Bartley. The week was coached by two experienced triathlon coaches, Liam O’Reilly, who worked on the bike side of things, and swim coach Warren Terry. Liam also brought over 4 other non-BTC triathletes who were training for IronMan Youghal. The 8 BTC athletes had been in training for about 8 weeks before the training camp so that they would be fit enough for the gruelling 6 days training ahead of them. Those hours on the bikes and in the pool certainly paid off before the week was done! Liam had a specific training schedule for each day’s cycle, which was a mix of hill work, speed work and endurance. Warren also had a particular training session for each morning swim, focusing on endurance and speed work. The days started early with the crew gathering on the beautiful beaches by Puerto Rico for an 8a.m. swim. Usually this was about 1.5km and Warren put everyone through their paces with a variety of drills and tips. On one of the mornings Warren decided to up the ante a little and the swimmers found themselves swimming from Amadores beach to Puerto Rico beach and back, a total of 3km. This swim was particularly challenging as there were high swells and a current to deal with. As if this wasn’t bad enough they were swimming approximately 150m from the rugged coastline so extreme care had to be taken. The daily swim was followed by a much needed breakfast to refuel and prepare for the second part of the day’s routine. Most mornings everyone was on their bike and ready for road by 11a.m. The cycles varied during the week; from long gruelling cycles up into the mountains of Gran Canaria to speed work down in the valleys. The Saturday morning cycles since January really paid off here, but it was still very hard work. Over the course of the week they completed in excess of 500km cycling which included 7,500 meters of climbing. They also swam in excess of 10km. Following the cycle it was back to the pool in the apartments to cool down and chill out for an hour or two before
heading out for refreshments. M&M soon became the local watering hole for the boys (you will have to attend next year’s training camp to see why). They were spoilt for choice of restaurants each evening as Puerto Rico has something to suit all palates. After a few refreshments and a meal it was off to bed to rest for another tough day of training ahead. The training camp was a huge success. The guys enjoyed themselves tremendously and came back a lot fitter that they were going over. All felt that they are now much better prepared for the challenges of the triathlon Season ahead. This was an especially useful exercise for Vinny McCarthy and Conor Bartley, both of whom have signed up to do the Ironman in Youghal on 23 June. Well done to all of them. The rest of us aren’t jealous at all….