Here is my diary from days 3 and 4 of the White Rock Multi Sport training camp in Mallorca.
Day 3 – Tuesday
Day 3 started off with a breakfast club run again, which I quickly came to almost looking forward to. Almost. I guess it was a love/hate relationship – getting up in the morning when your legs still ache from the previous day’s workout was tough and then knowing that you had to head straight out for a run was even tougher. But once it was finished, it felt really good knowing that you were heading to breakfast having already done that workout. Even if you did still have another 2 or 3 left to do that day. I didn’t really push myself with the breakfast club runs the first few days, as I was still adjusting to working out more than I ever have done before and I didn’t want to use up all my energy that early in the day. But even running intervals for 20 minutes each morning was a great start to the day.
The main workout for the day was a trail run/walk up a huge hill and then down some steep winding roads to the bay of Cala San Vicente and then back up the steep winding roads and back down the hill. The run was optional and we could walk it instead, which I chose to do and I am so glad I did as that was challenging enough. The walk up the hill was not via a normal flat path, it was a scramble up loads of rocks. Even if my cardio was good enough to run up a hill like that, I am not a competent enough runner to be able to negotiate all those rocks and not fall flat on my face. I am in total awe of the people in the group that did run up it – they made it look so easy, even though I am sure it wasn’t. But even the expert was a beginner once, so my goal is to come back to the next training camp in March and be able to run at least part of the way up it.
If walking up the hill was not hard enough, we then had the walk back down the bay and I never realised how difficult it is to walk down a steep hill – it really puts a strain on your thighs.
The little resort of Cala San Vicente that we reached made it all worth it. It was much quieter than Puerto Pollensa, with a little beach and a couple of bars and restaurants and myself and my new fitness partner in crime Michelle, sat down on some rocks and just relaxed for a bit whilst some of the others did an optional 1 hour hike. There was also a Spanish fisherman that waved a fish at us, and we were not sure if it was his strange way of flirting.
It is amazing how quickly you forget how hard you found a workout, as whilst we were sitting on those rocks, I had forgotten how hard it was to get there and the thought of having to do it on the way back didn’t phase me. Until I hit the first steep road. It felt like I was climbing a ladder at some points, but each turn you made gave you an even better view of the little town below and the colour of the sea and the amazing houses all around us made it a little easier.
We finished the day with a RipChord session, which are resistance bands. It was nice to focus on arms a bit more, as it had been very leg heavy so far and I have been missing lifting weights, so this was a good alternative.
Our legs didn’t get total rest though, as we ended up having a game of netball, that was actually more like rugby the way some people were playing it. Not me of course. I followed the rules completely *ahem*. I love playing basketball at home, so I was in my element with this. You really don’t notice how much you are running around when you are playing a game.
Day 4 – Wednesday
Day 4 was challenge day and it was the chance for us to set our own challenge and work on something we felt needed improving. The previous few days had focused quite a lot on legs and my legs really needed a bit of a break. So, as I am not a very strong swimmer and I don’t like being in the water, I decided to set myself a swimming challenge. My aim was to swim constantly for an hour and a half without stopping and see how many lengths of the hotel pool I could do. My aim was to do 80 in that time and I am happy to say that I did 104 of a 30m pool, which means I swam about 3km. To be honest, I didn’t find my challenge very challenging, but that is my own fault as I set the challenge. That is not to say that it was easy, as I was still swimming for an hour and a half (with a quick toilet break) and that is not something a lot of people can do, but it was not very physically demanding for me, it was more mentally challenging as it was quite boring just going backwards and forwards.
What I really liked is that most of the rest of the group stayed round the pool in between their own challenges to watch/support me do it. Even though my challenge might have been easier compared to some of theirs, everyone is still really supportive and encouraging of what everyone else is doing. The rest of the group’s challenges included cycling Sa Calobra, the most well known cycle route on the island, running 3 5Ks in a day, doing a mini triathlon, stand up paddle boarding from pier to pier, learning to swim better, cycling for the first time in years and running up and down the trail run that we did a few days earlier several times.
Everyone’s challenges were really different, but that is one of the great things about the training camp, you can tailor it to what you want to work on.
If I could do that day differently, I probably would have wanted to set myself a running challenge instead, as that was one of the main reasons I was here, to challenge myself with running. Even if it was to “just” run for 5 minutes outside without stopping, that would have been a major accomplishment for me, as I have only previously managed to run for just over a minute outside. I can run for over 20 on a treadmill, as I find it so much easier, but outside running is my biggest challenge.
We had some free time in the afternoon, which was much needed. I think I needed a break from a structured workout, but I didn’t want to be inactive. So I guess you could say I had an active rest afternoon.
I headed to the town of Alcudia, which is just along the coast and I spent some time in the old town, which is like going back in time and far removed from the tourist resorts that surround it. The old town has a wall around part of it, which you can walk along and that is what I did. You get a great view over the top of the town and people’s houses and you get a little peek in to the way they live. Football games in the street, lunch on their roof terrace, having coffee in a little side street cafe. That is the real Spanish way of life, not the side that tourists see when they just stick to the main resorts.
I have been missing avocado all week and my mission was to find some on a menu to have for lunch. Luckily I didn’t have to look very hard as there was a prawn and avocado salad on almost every menu I passed, so that was decided. I guess when I think of a salad, I think of a plate full of lettuce and then the prawns and avocado would be on top of that. Well, not this salad. What I got was a big plate with just prawns and avocado. I can’t say I was disappointed, as avocado was all I was really wanting, but wow that was a lot of avocado. Even for me that has a reputation for loving avocados.
The evenings are pretty relaxed and involve sitting in the hotel bar, chatting, playing cards and generally passing the blame for the day’s netball injuries. It is nice to have those few hours at the end of the day to do nothing at all.
An update of the rest of the training camp will be up in a couple of days.
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