Not many 17 year old girls are happy to go to a different country by themselves - and only spend 30 euros while over there - but then not many 17 year olds are crazy enough to do triathlons either!
Somehow, I survived a week by myself without losing or breaking anything, so already I'm winning! (Although I did have a bit of help from everyone else on the camp with me !).
The ETE (Elite Training Experience) Camp was definitely one that I will always remember, and can highly recommend if youre thinking about winter training. The crowd of triathletes that I trained with made the whole experience so much better and also made it easier to just shut up and train.
We had our fun breaks in between the gruelling swim, bike and run sessions that Perry set us (unfortunately it was homework time for me so no sunbathing or hitting the beach unlike the others), but we knew when the fun ended and when training started. Being around a group of people who understand the pain and difficulty of triathlon training definitely lifts your moral and self-confidence.
Training itself was far from easy, but - as crazy as It sounds - I really enjoyed it! For instance, completing a VERY hard brick session in Gran Canaria is so much better than doing one in Essex! Although the weather was just a tad too hot sometimes (it got up to 35 degrees Celsius on a couple of our sessions!), it's surprising how quickly you get used to it. However, now I am back home in the chilly 13 degrees Celsius weather, I just cannot get warm. Obviously I'm just going to have to go back to Gran Canaria for a little while - oh, what a shame!
I think the hardest session I did was a run session in the local park. There were 3 different possible loops: the outer loop (about 1km), the middle loop (I don't know how far as we didn't use that loop!), and the inside loop (including a slight incline that progressively got harder the further we ran!!). We had to run one loop on the outside loop for 2 min hard, 1 min easy, then swap into the inside loop and sprint up the hill, easy across the top and then sprint down the hill. It may not sound hard reading it on here, but after 45 mins in sweltering hot weather, I was shattered! Thank you so much for that Perry!
Even though I'm not often fond of the over-gearing (putting your bike into the hardest gear you can manage) uphill I actually really enjoyed this one. It was an 8km constant hill through the middle of a valley, so we had huge mountain faces on either side of us. We had to do that hill 4 times over-gearing and then cycle as fast as you can back down it (which was fun!). It was hard, but surprisingly exciting, especially when Mark Fountain (the brilliant photographer/filmmaker who was out there with us) was leaning out the back of a moving van trying to get some nice photos of us - this was quite hard as I think every one of us were pulling the ugliest face from trying so hard!
On one of the last rides of the week, we cycled to the very top of this hill (10km) and came to a quiet and secluded little village deep in the valley. The incline got a lot steeper here until the road eventually stopped, overlooking a reservoir and the road we just cycled up. It was a moment of peace before we got chased back down the hill by some random dogs!
The past week has been absolutely amazing, and I wish that I could do it all over again! Thankfully, ETE are planning the next camp right now! Have a look at the website or contact ETE to find out more, as I will definitely be going to the next one!!