Tag Archives: Club La Santa

We managed a little swimming too

100s challengeLanzarote wasn’t all about biking ! Or watching an Ironman ! Or sitting in the sunshine ! Or enjoying happy hour ! We did a little swimming too……….

There was a swimming session planned into our schedule each day: pool, lagoon or sea !

The pools above are brand new, open for about a month and they are lovely. Club La Santa has 3 olympic sized pools in total and while they look daunting and LONG, after a few days the length doesn’t seem strange from what you do everyday. A little bit of a challenge is the wind that blows hard at times and it feels more like 75m on the way back, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right ?

The focus of these sessions was technique, and drills (boo hiss). We were across about 5 lanes based on ability and worked through some tried and tested drills, with a few new ones thrown in just to keep us on our toes.

This pool is also the venue for the Up & Active training camp’s ‘Mine’s a pint’ challenge Aquathon (or Aquathlon or that race where we swim first and then run!)……. oh its a long story, but basically it brings out the competitive streak amongst selected members of the group ! Fun times 🙂

They seem to go forever !
They seem to go forever !

 

Club La Santa's sea water, enclosed lagoon
Club La Santa’s sea water, enclosed lagoon

The lagoon remains a little gem in the resort. It is used for water sports during the day so at 5pm you’ll find many triathletes and open water swimmers diving in to cool off at the end of the day and preparing themselves for the 6pm happy hour. At this point there will be some people getting a little hot under the collar around the ‘Triathlete vs Open Water swimmer’ debate – really ? They would claim that the triathletes will be those in wetsuits while the open water ‘real’ swimmers would be the hardcore ones without ! Personally it really doesn’t interest me…….. as long as those in the water are wearing SOMETHING, I’m fine (some of you will know exactly the time, place and person I’m referring to – I am still scarred by the image !) – we wouldn’t want to scare the legendary monster Tuna fish would we ??

The Up & Active training camp mini-triathlon takes place here on the last day of the schedule ! A quick 400m loop, up the stairs and off on the bike (yes UP a hill AGAIN !)

The sea, IM course
The sea, IM course

My personal favourite remains the sea ! During the training camp, we rode over to Puerto Del Carmen and took a dip around the IM Lanzarote course. As with my previous comments, lots of ‘triathletes’ out there but not many ‘open water swimmers’ to be seen. From the photo above you can see the calmness……… remember my photos from the IM ? Definitely the calm before the storm ! We also took a couple of dips during the IM weekend. A wetsuit ? No !

It’s well documented that swimming remains my biggest mental block but the week re-engaged me. My biggest challenge remains keeping a focus on my drills in the pool when the open water beckons during the summer but I have learnt my lesson from last year and am going to keep the balance this year.

And just in case you want to check out what you are, here’s a quick test ! What type of swimmer are you ? https://catherinedanndann.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/check-out-your-swim-personality/

Life live loud

Catherine

Age Group girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lanzarote : just a few rolling hills in the sunshine

Anyone who knows Lanzarote should be shaking their head right now saying NO IT ISN’T, ITS HILLY & WINDY ! And honestly, it has more ups than downs, is more windy than it is calm !! Not for the faint hearted….. but I love it 🙂

Ride hard & earn the downhill
Ride hard & earn the downhill

Although I guess it’s what you want to do. Hire a couple of bikes to cruise along the promenades in the towns, no problem that’s flat(ish)…… but if you want to get some serious bike miles in, its off up the hills.

My first experience was May 2013. Here’s me thinking, yeah I’m fairly fit, a new cyclist but doing ok ! Yep, what did I know…..

Club La Santa, while it’s an oasis, it’s also at the bottom of a ridge, and that means ? The only way out is up !!!!

Route 1, Off to Soo

Route 2, Off to Tinajo and beyond (this time longer but less steep).

“Is there another route out ?” I ask naively. “Nope it’s either one of these !”.

Once you’ve made it to the top of the ridge at Soo, it’s a wonderful sweeping downhill to the surfing town of Famara. Sounds great huh ? It is ! But the big challenge is the wind at this point. It tends to be coming across from about 10 or 11 o’clock… Love it !!

The first time I rode this area (May 2013) it was the first time I had really appreciated riding as a group, spreading the workload amongst us all. I’d been on group rides before but without this discipline and while I knew it made life easier, I’d been very nervous to ride so close to the bikes around me. It was more about my bike handling skills and confidence than anyone else – what if I wobbled and took someone down ?

What a difference to work with others, pull each other along, take your turn out the front, all needing high communication !

The most recent trip was my first time riding through Teguise, up to the café at the top of the climb, the descending and coming back up the switchbacks. The views are amazing, but honestly I was concentrating so much on the descent that I didn’t really see much – this photo gives you an idea of what I should have been seeing !

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Fire Mountain and the ride through to Yaiza remains a big favourite of mine, especially waving to the camels on the way.

Someone once said to me that I’d be cycling strong after a week in Lanzarote – well they were right ! You learn that there isn’t something you can’t climb, you just have to hunker down and keep on pedalling 🙂

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Every view is worth the climb……… remember ride hard and enjoy the downhill !

Live life loud

Catherine

Age Group girl

 

 

 

3 weeks a year in Lanzarote ? Really ?

If you had told me a year ago that I would have spent 3 weeks in 2013 on the island of Lanzarote I’d have laughed and told you no way ! But I did and given that I’ve just got back from my first trip there in 2014, it got my thinking why ? Firstly why would I have said no way in the first place ? Then why did I spend 3 weeks here last year and why am I doing more this year ?

The first why is easy – honestly because I can be a little bit of a travel snob ! There you go, I’ve said it, phew glad that’s off my chest ! And my evidence that it wasn’t a great place to visit ? The image of Brits on a drunken, partying holiday was on my mind – I’m sorry we’ve all been there, seen it and wish we hadn’t.

So I built a bridge, got over it and May 2013 was my first time visiting any of the Canary Islands.

The second question was why did I spend 3 weeks here last year ? That’s fairly straight forward too – I found that it’s a great place to do the things you love, if what you love is swimming, biking and running. I’m not saying that it is an easy place to do those things, but it is a great place – now that’s a another blog topic all to itself.

One of the places that help this is the Club La Santa resort (www.clublasanta.com), which is a small (or not so small) oasis on the north-west of the island that caters for many many forms of exercise and sport. I had seen resorts like this advertised before but had considered them out of my price range and only for elite athletes, not age group warriors like me and my buddies. Little did I know that this wasn’t the case ! A week there and you feel like you are in a bubble……. A bubble of swimming, biking, running and many other activities and equipment that are available for residents.

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Fancy trying SUP’ing ? You can, grab a board and head to the salt water lagoon

How about a little paddle tennis ? You’ve got it, lots of courts available

Scuba diving ? They have a scuba center that will get you sorted

Golf ? Yes indeed !

Etc, etc, etc

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I think you get the picture………

But there is more to the island that I have discovered, mostly from the seat of a bike and it certainly does have some charm ! I have always found volcanic islands fascinating and they remain high on my list of places to visit…… fantastic scenery. Rugged coastlines, long sandy beaches, interesting weather conditions, camels, whitewashed buildings, black land and Timafaya National Park.

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I guess I still haven’t actually answered the 2nd question, why 3 weeks last year ? First week was my very first Up and Active (www.upandactive.com) tri camp with Tanja Slater. The second week was the International Running Challenge (https://catherinedanndann.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/international-running-challenge-2013/ ) and the third week was swim camp (https://catherinedanndann.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/its-swim-camp-time-with-tanja-stephan/ ). All of theses were based out of Club La Santa, surprise surprise.

So now to 2014 – more than 3 weeks ? Well only  by a couple of days ! Tri camp is over for another year (more blogs to follow) and we stayed longer to support a friend and fellow tri-camper in his quest to be an Ironman (now that seriously is another blog – in short wow, what a day ! Then a return to the Running challenge (there are times to beat right ?) and then the swim camp (it will always be my personal battle !)

So I’m back, inspired and full of new blog material and ready to write ! Back soon

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Live life loud

Catherine

Age Group girl