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Blog: Final Training Camp Before Racing Begins

By Joanna Rowsell

Continuing my winter of road training I escaped the cold weather in the UK to stay in Club la Santa in Lanzarote for a 10 day camp in mid February. My first visit to Club la Santa was in November last year and I loved both the roads and resort so was keen to come back for another training camp when I was a bit fitter. In November I was just getting steady miles in but with the first race of the season coming up, this camp had a lot more specific training efforts, as well as still getting in a high volume of riding.

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After an early morning flight I arrived at lunchtime to a beautifully refurbished apartment with views out towards Caleta de Famara and the dramatic cliffs. There were clear blue skies and low winds for my first ride of the camp which was a 2 hour spin to make my legs feel better ready for training hard the next day. I love the roads in Lanzarote which are mainly rolling but also some longer climbs and that combined with the wind makes for good hard training.

Keen to make use of the fantastic facilities available at Club la Santa I ventured into the Wellness Centre for the first time to try out their hot and cold hydrotherapy pools for recovery. I had never tried this before but the process seemed to be surprisingly popular! There was a large hot pool at about 38 degrees and a small cold plunge pool at about 10 degrees. The recommended length of time was 3 mins in the hot pool and 30-60 sec in the cold pool. It’s hard to tell what sort of effect this recovery technique had but overall throughout my camp I felt I was recovering well and able to train hard right up until the last day.

Another aspect of Club la Santa I like is the variety of group exercise classes available. On my last trip in November I tried “Ab-Attack”, a short but grueling core workout. This time I tried the Fitball class which challenged my balance as well as my core stability. Core work is an important part of my training and it’s fun to try a class like this and try exercises I wouldn’t usually do. It also highlights my weak and strong areas. Worryingly the balance aspect of the Fitball class was definitely my weakest area!

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The classes were fun but most days were spent doing 4-5 hrs on the bike choosing different routes to allow me to complete my training efforts either on flatter roads or on the climbs. The main long climb on the island is Tabayesco and there are three different ways up this climb – from Haria, Tabeyesco or Los Valles. Here are some pictures of me on various stages of the climb completing some threshold efforts.

I got in over 36 hours and over 1000 km of riding during my stay, but today it was time to fly back to the UK for one night only. Tomorrow I fly to Brussels to meet up with my new team and collect my new racing bike ready for the first race of the season on Saturday – Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. At 123 km, weather forecast of -2 degrees, and with plenty of cobbled roads and steep climbs it’s going to be a tough race to start in but I am keen to get stuck in, get some experience and test my fitness.


Views out towards Famara

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