Open water training at Bermejales, July 2020

Open water training at Bermejales, July 2020

A day of open water training at Bermejales, 15 July 2020

Spent a lovely afternoon with our Training Tri Granada group at Bermejales lake, located near Alhama de Granada, which is one of our favourite spots to take people for open water swim training.   The water temperature at this time of the year is perfect without a wetsuit as can be seen by the photos this is a glorious spot for training and a picnic afterwards.

Rehearsal for Alcala la Real Triathlon 113

Rehearsal for Alcala la Real Triathlon 113

Team Training Day with Training Tri – Rehearsal for the Al Cala La Real Half Distance Triathlon – Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July 2020

It is the start of July and the weather is hot, but members of our triathlon team, Training Tri, decided to join Julio and I for a practice run of the proposed Alcala La Real half distance triathlon.   As the weather is hot at this time of the year (the actual race being proposed for end of May or latest first week in June) we decided to do the swim and cycle on Saturday and the run on Sunday and we also shorted the distances a bit to accommodate the weather.

Julio and I woke around 5.30am and had a quick coffee and toast before heading into town to meet Custodio (our friend and support driver for the day) and Nono (owner of our local bike shop, Voy en Bike and the future race director).   We drove to the swim start which was at the Embalse de Cubillas, Granada, where the other team members (Mayca, Paqui, Javier, Oscar, Thomas) and the Training Tri bosses, (Pako and Carlitos) arriving around 8am.  We were also joined by friends from Alcala La Real Mechy and Javi, whose young son Alejandro was joining for the swim.  We also had another friend (Luis) who kindly agreed to support us cyclist by riding behind on his motor bike with some provisions of water and gels in case of need.   Finally, Tonie (who is also a member of Training Tri) with her son Oliver joined to support the swim on a canoe to provide help if needed and as the buoys were a little hard to spot a much-needed focal point to follow.  We started the swim about 8.30am, covering approximately 1,200m.   We then set off for the 70km bike (cutting the route by 20km), first climbing up to the town of Colomera and then after a short downhill up again to follow the road along the lake of Colomera and down into the town of Benalua de la Villas.  We turned right out of town and followed the road for the slightly shorter distance than would be for the race, turning at 10km to then go back down the same road and heading to Alcala La Real.   We had two stops at what would be the proposed drink stations for the race where we enjoyed some much-needed shade, oranges, melon slices, bananas and gels, together with the chance to refill water bottles.   As it was not a race, we all stayed pretty much together, re-grouping at the drink stations and tops of the climbs, etc, and arrived together into Alcala La Real around 1.30pm, tired, h0t, but having enjoyed a nice day of training together.

We went directly to lunch at the Shell Garage (where they have a large restaurant which for the group offered a Menu del Día – a three course lunch for 10 Euros – not usually available on the weekends).

Following a good lunch, we all went up to the house (Cortijo Los Olivos) for a much-needed shower, and siesta.    Tonie and Oliver arrived around 5pm at the house to join us for dinner and to run with us the next day.

Around 6.30pm we all met up in the kitchen for coffee and banana bread and relaxed at the house for a bit longer before heading into town for dinner at around 8pm.   Pako and Carlitos went to the local supermarket before dinner to buy some drinks and snacks to enjoy on the pool terrace back at the cortijo later.   So, after dinner it was back home and we ended up having a lovely, if rather late (and I mean late 1.30-2am), night having a few drinks and sitting out under what was almost a full moon looking out over the mountains.   It was a lovely end to a lovely day.

Unfortunately, we had to get up early the next morning as we had people waiting in town for us at 8am to do the proposed 10-13 km run.   I set our alarm for 6.30am and put on a pot of strong coffee and then woke everyone else around 7am to have a caffeine boost before heading to town around 7.30am.    Waiting for us was Mayca from our Training Tri group, and some friends from Alcala La Real who wanted to join for the run, Jorge, Oscar and Chele and Alejandro (the young boy who swam yesterday and who was very keen to participate – I think Pako will have to recruit him as our youngest member after this weekend).  Mechy and Javi were on hand to help and set up the drinks station and Pako and Carlitos went to a couple of points on the course to direct people the right way.   We set off running around 8.30am and after running out of town we then had to climb to the base of La Mota (the castle) and down back into town where we had a drinks station at the 5km mark just before the Carril de bici (cycle track) where there was a further down and back route of 4km each way to make it a 13km run.  However, for those who wanted you could turn at any point to shorten the distance and of course for the actual half distance race there would be a marker to turn for an 11km first loop to be followed by a second loop of the same distance for the full 21km.

Everyone had a good run, even those of us on only 4-5hours sleep, and we all went for a well-earned breakfast and coffee again at the Shell Garage restaurant.    After breakfast we all returned to the cortijo where some of us (Javier, Tonie, Oscar, Alejandro and little Oliver) had a go at swimming using our Endless Pool machine.   Everyone agreed that it although it was quite hard to swim against (as it is a constant speed meaning you always have to make an effort) but a great swimming training aid.

It was then time to say goodbye to everyone until the next time when we look forward to holding a training camp for Training Tri hopefully later this year.

 Write up by Janice & photos by Julio

 

 

 

 

Back on Our Road Bikes

Back on Our Road Bikes

Great to be back on our road bikes again

Amaizing but you never miss itunless it is taken from you. The Covid 19 pandemic lockdown here in Spain has been pretty strict and restrictions on people movement started in early March. We of course have been confined to our home (luckily we live in the countryside) and riding bikecycles has been forbidden until just recently when Andalucia, as an authoomous communitry went into phase 2 as per Government latest orders. Phase 2 enabled us to get back on our bikes and last week we had our ‘Back on our road bikes’ day.

We had a fantastic time, started early morning Janice and I, and rode for 3 hours in manificent weather. Although this week is forcasted rain and more rain, we knnow that in three to four days we’ll be out there on our bikes again, so a time for indoor activities, reading and relaxing won’t be so bad.

Training Day

Training Day

International Training Day

A very special training day will be held on 7 June 2020. We will be using a half distance triathlon as our model (1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21 km run) starting at the Cubillas Reservoir in Granada and fininshing in Alcala la Real in Jaen. This can be a great opportunity for those triathletes who want to train for long distances in conditions that will improve their performance.

Los Olivos CTTC is offering  participates a special price of 52 Euros per day including breakfast, transportation and bike mechanic.

Write to train@losolivoscttc.info for more deails.

Trying a Route for a New Triathlon

Trying a Route for a New Triathlon

Trial cycle ride (90 kms) for potential middle-distance triathlon Alcala La real – 24 November 2019

I don’t know how Julio did it, but he managed to convince me I was fit enough to complete a 90km bike ride with nearly 2,000 metres climbing the day after I competed in the Andalusian Duathlon cross competition the day before.  Before I was dragged kicking and screaming to Punta Umbria for the competition, Julio and I had planned this long bike ride for Sunday 24 November (which was potentially the only sunny and clear day we were going to have for another week) and we were being joined by our friend Steve. 

We woke around 7am and had a quick breakfast and coffee before heading into town to meet Steve at 8.30am to put his bike on the car for transfer to the starting point which was a lake about 45 kms away (where potentially the swim for a triathlon would take place), Embalse del Viboras.   A friend, Luis, kindly drove us there and then took our car back to the finishing point in Alcala La Real. 

We set off around 10.15am and after a short time I signalled to Luis I was feeling okay and he left us to take the car home.    The first 27 kms was nice and we stopped for a quick coffee in Fuensanta de Martos.    We then went through a lovely road to Castillo De Locubin.  Fabulous route, no traffic and gorgeous scenery.  At Castillo De Locubin we had another coffee, which is close to Alcala La Real but in effect only halfway through the whole route.    The next part of the ride was heading towards Alcala but just before entering into the town we turned right to Prado Llano and San Jose de la Rabita before following for La Hortichuela (a 8 km climb) to go past our house and then turning left on the Montefrio road and into Alcala.  After a short loop down to the Poligono we completed the 90km with an eventual 1,960 metres of climbing. 

Although this was always about a day out and definitely not racing I was surprised I had it in my legs to finish and in good shape with no cramping and feeling like I could have continued longer/further should it have been needed.

We all agreed that although it was a lovely ride and we enjoyed the route it would be too challenging for a middle distance triathlon, especially the last 8-9km climbing and we would need to give time for the biking element which would mean the whole event would just be too long.   The 21km run at the end is hilly and challenging and will also need a decent time to complete so we need to make changes to the bike route and probably cut the distance and metres of climbing down.    Julio needs to revert back to his ‘Plot a Route’ software.

Andalucian Duathlon Cross Championship 2019

Andalucian Duathlon Cross Championship 2019

Andalusian Championship for Duathlon Cross/Campeonato De Andalucia Duatlón Cross – Laguna De El Portil (Punta Umbria) – 23 November 2019

I don’t know how she did it but my friend and fellow teammate, Tonie, managed to convince me to not only accompany her but also to enter in the Andalusian Championship for Duathlon Cross in Punta Umbria (about 350kms and 3.5/4 hours driving from our location).  We set off in pouring rain and windstorms in the dark at 6pm for a long drive to the apartment that the team had rented.  I felt sorry for Tonie who was driving but we eventually arrived safe n sound and after a very quick and basic supper went to bed around 10.30/11pm.

Woke before the alarm at 8am and had a basic breakfast as I had not taken anything with me due to the short notice so one cup of coffee and a piece of bread and butter (donated by Tonie) and a handful of fruit and nuts (donated by Mayca), we set off from the apartment around 9.30am.   The location of the event was close, so we had time although I was getting a bit anxious before we left.  After collecting our numbers/dorsales we set up and racked the bikes and then hung out until the start at 11am.  Luckily after all the rain the weather was being kind to us and although chilly it was a bright and sunny day.

On the first 6km run (2 loops of a trail run track through the woods) I managed to keep a reasonable pace for me given the lack of training.   I came in second last from the run but in touch with Mayca and one other lady.   On the mountain bike I was happy and felt quite strong but stayed with Mayca who is experienced and case in point when I went ahead for a bit, I went the wrong way…. whoops.    Some of the up hills were very steep and technical but I manged to make it up all of them but the last one just before transition which was not disappointing because practically everyone (men and ladies) walked this one.   It was a muddy course but somehow I enjoyed ploughing through the puddles although I nearly freaked out having to go through an enormous puddle at the same time going through a tunnel that had really low roof and you could only do it by crouching low over the bike….yikes.  After the two 10 km loops I came into transition with Mayca and we ran together for much of the last 3km trail run and at the end I just pulled away to come in at 2 hours 17 minutes and 55 seconds.   Tonie was still at the finish line and was delighted with my finish time as apparently, I was not too far behind her and the other ladies (except the elite of course).    I was very pleased to have even completed as I am seriously not a mountain biker.  I enjoyed the event and the team picked up a number of podium places.

Team (TT. Horticola Iliturgitana-Training Tri) 2nd place

Ana 1st place (25-29 age group)

Tonie 2nd place (45-49 age group)

Mayca 3rd place (45-49 age group)

Janice 2nd place (55-59 age group)

 The team were going for a late lunch after the presentations, but I agreed with Tonie to leave immediately and grab a sandwich on the road home as it is a long drive and she did not want to drive in the dark.   Also, Julio and I had planned a long bike ride the next day and I wanted to at least get a decent sleep to see if I was feeling fit and okay to do the ride with him and our friend Steve.  We arrived back at Tonie’s house around 6.35pm and Julio was there waiting to transfer the bike and my bags and drive to our house, another 45 mins.