However, I recently went to Majorca for a training week, so the reporting thereon can be filed here....
I helped myself to a extraordinarily large breakfast in prep' for what was proposed to be my longest bike ride in many a year. Handily, there always seems to be a selection of cakes and doughnuts available at Spanish breakfast times and several of these were stashed into napkins for taking with me on the ride. I really was concerned I would blow to pieces after 30 miles. The roads in Majorca are superbly smooth and gently rolling, allowing for easy passage of the miles.
Going up the 5km climb to San Salvador I took it very easy indeed as it was still early doors. I was nowhere near the last up but do now I wish I tried harder - I'd forgotten how much I love the competitive side of group riding - battering each other to be first up a climb.
After a lunch stop at marina Cala Dor it was a speedy ride home taking turns on the front to keep the pace high. I was very much in the pacesetting group rather than the holding on at the back group and had no problems at all completing the 55 or so miles for the day.
We rode 11 miles from the resort and organised ourselves into suitable groups for a Team Time Trial back along the same route we had ridden out. I felt superb in the time trial and had to be continually asked to ease up a fraction as the other lads were struggling to hold my wheel. Appleby Stu will tell the story differently and insist he was calling me to ease up for Craig, but, as we discovered a couple of days later in the holiday, sorry, the training camp, I was in some seriously top form on the bike. Notwithstanding the waiting time, we crossed the line with a new course record, smashing the old figures by a good minute. Later in the day I ran about 5 miles along the sea-front path and boardwalk. At good pace too - about 6:35/mile. Happy days.
Stu took us out for an easy 20k spin the bikes to show us hte exact course we were to use on the Mini Triathlon later in the week. Right away after this I ran 5 miles in the local trail area - a kind of farm I suppose with tracks leading off in every direction. I ran this hard and got 6:50/mile. Very soon after this we had a min Triathlon including sea swim. It was really an exercise in transition practice as the distances were only about 50m swim, 1k bike and 400m run. Luckily for me the sea swim was shallow enough to wade waist high but I did actually do 3 or maybe even 4 strokes of actual swimming before getting a mouthful of salty water and resuming wading. This raised a huge cheer from the gathered crowd ashore as I was the only 'non swimmer' on what was after all a Triathlon warm weather training camp.
Another long day on the bikes was planned and I would have liked to have done it but it was also essential I did a long run whilst I was away. It was never going to be possible to do any proper Bob Graham worthy climbing so I decided that 20 miles would be a suitable alternative. First I ran 5 miles on the same sea path route (at 7:15 pace) then 15 more on the trails. Although it was only mid teens temperature, the sun was fully out and thus I was probably running in well over 20 degrees C - much too hot for me to operate at my best. I was determined to run a negative split if possible (I always try to and nearly always do in long runs for marathon training) and at 13 miles the average pace had improved to about 7:13 pace. I ran really hard for the next 4 mile loop of the trail and then added a short loop, still fast, to get the average down to 7:09 for the 20 miles. Great running.
The culmination of the weeks training and instruction. A timed mini Triathlon of 750m pool swim, 20km bike and 3km run to end. I did a Duathlon- when the rest of them began swimming I ran 10 mins alone then waited at transition. I was at transition just as Stu came out of the water and it was frustrating to stand idly by and watch him bomb off on his bike. ButI had said I would begin cycling at the same time as the slowest swimmer. After what seemed an age I was off on my bike, keen to catch as many as possible. The course was super fast initially - I was doing 25mph uphill!! Back at transition again and onto the final run. Another couple passed and I finished in 3rd place. Later in the day the results were calculated, ratified, and rechecked by a team of experts. I was well chuffed to be the fastest cyclist by over one minute.....
But well peeved that Appleby Stu beat me in the run by the same margin (and it was only 2 miles!!) I can only put this down to my having ran 20 miles the previous day. Later on in the afternnon I ran the trails as hard as I could and was stunned to not only feel great but also make 6:35 pace for 5 miles including crossing the sandy beach twice.
An easy 50 odd miles on the bike. One small climb (1.8km) saw me and Appleby Stu battle it out for the honours. Obviously I triumphed. (If not then I would have omitted it altogether from this report)
An early outing onto the trails before breakfast. Two big laps were planned but after the first I felt I'd done enough. My legs were trashed after a week of tough training.
This had been a great week. Trained hard. Got back into cycling. Got a decent suntan. And met 12 new folk, all top lads and lasses.