Daniel & Jean-Claude Besse

Natation Vélo Course

Training Camp Lanzarote

February 2020, barely a month ago (though now it feels like we have changed planet). No lock-down in Europe, the flights operating just as usual. Ready to board one of them are 6 triathletes on their way to Lanzarote. The team is made up of 3 fast (Silvan, Daniel and myself), 2 furious (Jamie and Nicole) and RW (Hervé). All preparing a season of triathlon, but at various stages of training. Once rookie-pro (Silvan) has accredited is CO2-inflator as safe-for-flight, all board the Edelweiss plane to Arrecife for 10 days of sun, fun, and sweat.

Once arrived, coach Jamie has organized five stars’ transport and villa, and planned a jog along the coast. Just to show that while Dani knows the main streets, she knows half of the people on the island. Connections are always good to have. After a first trip to the local SPAR (which seemed like buying for a month but lasted only two days in our fridge), we were ready for going to business: eating right is the only way to train right.


Bike group.

The week had a heavy focus on the bike, especially for me, having still tight hamstrings on the right leg since last summer. I decided to avoid running on two consecutive days, and only one harder session in two weeks. We start our first ride with a broken bottle-holder for Jamie and later Nicole, my front bottle has a hole that I did not notice, since it felt in Switzerland before packing. A bit of last-minute fixes with tape and glue required. We figure out our options for pool swimming: 50m outdoors at about 3km from our place. The real training can begin.

The weather is quite optimal, with comfortable temperatures for wearing short sleeves and a gilet (and if you’re Silvan, a third layer, and in the pockets the complete package of IVP and rain jacket). Wind is relatively weak at the beginning, and while it did pick up in intensity in the second half of the camp, it remained not too bad. I get to train staying on the bars in faster descents or cross-winds, where I am definitely not pro-level.

Soon intensities begin, with 4x20min on the bike, where the 2 furious can show their level of readiness for IM South Africa (which got cancelled since). Daniel is pushing the pace in front, and myself somewhere in-between, but I can almost hear Nicole breathing on my back! Pretty sure it’s mainly the new iron supplement she’s taking… RW is doing his best to keep up, but without a TT bike, and, with the most time to his big goal race of Thun, the going gets tough sometimes.


Mirador del Rio.

On the running side, Silvan is also coming back from an injury and Daniel feeling his Achilles tendon. They are then both up for a slow trail run while the girls go faster, longer, harder. In the pool, I have good water-feeling, as has been the case quite often in trainings lately. The little amount of salt present in the water makes up for very fast times, always positive to see the times from Oerlikon improve.


Running selfie.

As the camp progress, various people get a bit more tired, or motivated at various moments. All look forward to the Tour de Lanzarote: a one-stage, 180km, nearly-all-road-covered, day out there. I also have my difficulties towards the end with fog covering the lenses of my glasses plus insets. I prefer to stay in the bars a bit further back and not follow directly the wheels in front of me. But otherwise I quite like the island. A few more options than in Gran Canaria or Tenerife, a bit flatter though still hilly, cars quite nice with cyclists as often in Spain.

At home, in our free time, the tasks are split between cooking, shopping, cleaning, trying out massage/compex/therapic gun/blackroll, and playing a few rounds of a game called f* the neighbor. Some play a bit on their bike position: I for example move my saddle up by 2mm, which leads to more tension in my hamstring, and thus decide to bring it back down by 3mm. I feel like I can put out a bit less of power, but if it saves my muscle that’s all good. Nicole realizes that she mounted her saddle a good 2cm too low! Jamie tries a few positions of the pads to soften the load on the shoulders.

And, because the house is so big, planning a movie mannequin-challenge style. Goal: place everyone in weird positions as many times as possible, immobile, in one smooth movie through the house. The film director spends a while writing the storyline with the full crew. Result here ( https://www.instagram.com/p/B8uLYRMhqbu/). The recovery day towards the middle of the camp also included a touristic route through Arrecife passing along the airport.


Open water swim.

There’s still swimming in the ocean, with increasing amount of waves in the second week. The water is quite fresh for those without suits, but it is a good training to be in open water. A few more intervals on the bike. By now we know most of the roads, but still figure out some combinations that feel like a new route. The girls have a long run planned, I opt for another bike tour with the pros. Towards the end, the legs start to get heavy. The sky gets full with a sand storm from the Sahara Desert. We get a last easy ride in, with a lot of photo stops. And get ready to go home (without the extra jamón for Silvan and RW sadly).

In total, I get about 1’000km of biking, lots of fun, and a good base to prepare the season to come.


Beach picture.



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