Do you want to come to Lanzarote on a training camp?

This is the question posed to Simon Cole ahead of our annual spring warm weather training camp in Lanzarote in March. Read about his reaction and his experience of what turned out to be a highly unusual camp this year due to restrictions brought about by the Covid 19 outbreak.


“Do you want to come to Lanzarote on a training camp in March?” asked my coach Tim.  “Yes” was my immediate reply.  The other details about cost and ensuring it didn’t clash with my girlfriend’s 40th birthday celebrations seemed secondary at that point!  The deposit and passport details were sent and there was no backing out now – not that I would have – although I will admit to questioning my judgement as the date drew nearer.


Having been a member of Total Transition Triathlon Club for a short period of time and trained with Tim since May 2019, I believe (and he will be the first one to tell me!) that I’ve come on leaps and bounds in terms of fitness, strength and conditioning since first walking in the door at the gym for my consultation session.  Incidentally, that was the first time I had actually walked into a gym.  Right from day 1 however, I can honestly say that I have loved every drop of sweat falling from my brow either in the gym or from working through the structured Training Plan developed for me each week.


It was when I looked back at the Training Plan that I realised how far I had come in a short space of time.  Going to Club La Santa in Lanzarote seemed a bit of a leap for me but I knew that if I wanted to keep developing, I should just give it 100% and see what happens.


I awoke in an airport hotel room in the wee small hours and made my way to the terminal building.  For some reason, only then did I realise that I didn’t really know anyone apart from the coaches.  All fears and concerns were completely blown away at the outset by meeting what I can honestly say is the friendliest bunch of people that are collectively known as Total Transition Triathlon Club.


As the world was descending into Coronavirus chaos, we touched down in Lanzarote and a short transfer later we were at the camp, checking in and picking up our hire bikes.  The facility there is first rate with so much to do and that’s before you start to look at the extensive list of extra classes you can sign up for.  Lead coaches Tim and Jon sorted all logistics for us so all we needed to do was focus on the activities ahead of us.


Three of us in the group managed a quick ride to shake down the hire bikes and make sure everything was working as expected.  Every turn of those pedals had me smiling even more on the Lanzarote roads.  Yes I was going uphill for 10 miles but the condition of the roads and the patience of the drivers was nothing like I have experienced before.  We were all in for a good week.


For the first full day we had planned a medium ride out of the complex and a short track session.  Tim and Jon’s plans were thwarted right at the start as the Spanish authorities started to implement lockdown procedures – we couldn’t leave the complex and it was highly likely we would be home sooner than planned.  No matter, we got changed and headed straight for the running track for a lively session followed by a pool session.  I’m a duathlete at heart and I’ll be honest, swimming is not for me but I gave it a go in the 50m pool and enjoyed it.  The encouragement from the rest of the team as well as the coaches (all competent swimmers) was nothing short of amazing and really helped a newbie swimmer not feel out of their depth (pun intended!).


As the days went on, the lockdown procedures were getting more stringent in the camp; I can’t recall seeing gloomier looking faces on resort staff when I’ve been on holiday and I’ve certainly never seen as much clingfilm in one room than I did in the buffet restaurant – which was still serving up good quality food, from freshly cooked meat to pasta.  Even the bread rolls had a certain quality to them (you had to be there to get this in-joke).


As a team however, we made the most of the situation we were in and with some quick thinking by coaches Tim and Jon, they managed to maximise our time on the track and in the pool until we couldn’t use them at all.  Thanks to the camaraderie of the rest of the team, the apres-events were just as enjoyable as the on-track or in-pool events with everyone getting involved in “prinks” (in-joke) and telling jokes to keep our spirits up.  Some of the time, the jokes were even funny. Some of the time, it was just the way they were told – or not!


Like all good things, they must come to an end and even though our time was cut short in Lanzarote and before getting on the coach back to the airport, my mind was made up: I will be back in Lanzarote with the Total Transition Triathlon Team in 2021.  Question is – will you be there as well?


We’re really hopeful that our 2021 camp will go ahead and planning has already started with provisonal dates being considered. If you want to join us next year then get in touch for more details by emailing:

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