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The penultimate day of our training camp was a cracker and one that many of the camp attendees have called a highlight.
Our first run was between 8-10 miles and included a climb, traverse and descent of the Montana Soo. It’s a great route and one that pushes many out of their comfort zone as the terrain is often steep, technical and challenging with loose stones.
At the summit it provides a great photo opportunity with Club La Santa off to the right in the distance.
For the more experienced runners, they move fast over the terrain embracing the challenge that it brings. Others move slower, more deliberate and thoughtful. We include it in the camp as it closely replicates the feeling and exposure that one can get at the large Djebel at Marathon des Sables.
After the mountain loop, we all returned back to CLS for a 3 hour break before a self-sufficient run. This is our mini multi-day experience that allows all our clients to run to a bivouac location in ability based groups with packs carrying sleeping bag, essential, dehydrated food for dinner and breakfast and a minimum of 1.5ltr of water. Most packs weigh around the 5kg mark.
We transport tents to the bivouac, rationed water and two gas burners to provide hot water for cooking. Once the runners leave CLS, they are self sufficient.
At the bivouac, they put up tents.
As the sun disappears they test out dehydrated food and simulate a bivouac experience. They understand the weather, the need for warmth and then they sleep under the stars.
Our night started perfectly with beautiful clear skies. Amazing star views and warm temperatures. As the night progressed, the wind increased and very much simulated a stormy night in the Sahara. For many, it was a sleepless night with shaking tents and sand being blown everywhere.
An early breakfast call, self-sufficient breakfast, water rations given and they were then off for another 13-miles of soft-sand and dune training before returning back to CLS.
Our final day has one final talk by Elisabet Barnes and Sondre Amdahl and then a group dinner to say farewell…
The next time we will all meet will be in Morocco for the 35th Marathon des Sables.
Our 2021 Training Camp will be announced soon HERE
It was a cloudy day but the anticipated rain never came, thank goodness! In some respect, today was an easier day with just two run sessions and no talks.
But… the day did include the in-famous Volcano Hill Reps.
This kicks off with an easy 5km along the coast and then ideally, 6 repetitions of a loop up and down a volcano. It’s a perfect session that requires strength, running skill, an ability to handle technical terrain, good lungs and at time, nerves of steel.
The climb is approximately 100m up a narrow path of stoney sand. It requires commitment and depending on ability, some strong will and nerve.
The descent is very stoney with lots of loose rock, sand and gravel. As Elisabet Barnes said post the session:
“🌋 Volcano hill reps in a moody landscape was on the menu today. I’ve been nursing a cold so if I’m honest this shot was more a case of posing for the camera 😂🙈, but the others did work hard! 💪💪 I love this session. Some people just fearlessly bang out the reps and thrive on the technical terrain, but for others it’s a huge challenge and they may need to overcome fear of heights, fear of slipping or falling on the technical trail, step outside their comfort zone, and hopefully they leave a little more confident as a result.”
Elisabet nailed it in her words. It was great to see confidence increase along with speed on loops, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Several even did a 7th and even an 8th loop.
Back at Club La Santa, Shane Benzie was doing some one-to-one coaching sessions using his skills to improve running technique.
An extended break for lunch was followed with an ‘easy’ run for all groups to shake out the legs after what has been an intensive block of running.
2021 Training Camp dates and information will be available HERE soon.
The sun quite literally has been shining on the camp providing us with perfect training days to replicate scenarios that one would find in the Sahara at MDS or technical situations that one would find in races like The Coastal Challenge or Everest Trail Race.
We did a long Coastal Run of 24km on Thursday morning in a self-sufficient manner, the camp attendees broken down in to 4-groups, Gemma Game, Sondre Amdahl, Elisabet Barnes and Ian Corless each leading 4-8 participants at a pace relevant to the group ability.
The coastline here is stunning offering a wonderful views with the smell of the sea in the nose and a wind blowing in from Africa.
There was plenty of climbing too and tough, technical and hard terrain. Of course what goes up, must come down.
In the afternoon, after a relaxing lunch, Jodie Moss who placed 8th at the 2019 MDS did a talk on heat acclimation and how one should prepare for specifically MDS and the differences one needs to consider if going to a humid race like TCC.
The day concluded with a night-skills session with Sondre and Elisabet leading. All about the skills needed and required to run at night and they then did a short 5km run.
Friday was all about the ‘Long Day!’ For the first time on our camp, we did a point-to-point route of almost marathon distance that crossed the island from Uga and back to Club La Santa.
Ironically, the day started with a little light rain as we were transferred to Uga. It soon left us though leaving us with a perfect, if not windy day.
The terrain is constantly mixed in Lanzarote and the volcanic landscape at all times exciting. We managed 1800m vertical in constantly challenging terrain that replicated a day at MDS perfectly.
Many got an opportunity to use poles and test them, vital if they plan to use them in a race. There is a real technique and once mastered, a real benefit can be gained especially if walking will make a up a bulk of your multi-day pace.
We had just one aid station at 22km (Thanks John and Carmen), so, for much of the day, everyone was carrying a pack of 4-5kg, ideal preparation for self-sufficient multi-day.
The ‘Long Day’ proved to be stunning with the fastest group completing in around 4h 15m and the walkers in 6h 40m. They all now have a real confidence boost knowing that a day at MDS, TCC or ETR is completely doable.
The day concluded with Elisabet Barnes leading a talk and practical session on foot care.
It has been a great couple of days!
Info the 2021 Training Camp will be updated soon HERE
It was a double run day today in Lanzarote starting at 0800 with a really great 9-miles with sunrise with trails along the coast leading to the volcanoes around the village of Soo and then a re-route back down to Club La Santa.
We then had a very quick turnaround to a 2-hour presentation by Running Reborn coach, Shanne Benzie. Shane is a the forefront of discussing and analysing run technique to increase performance and reduce injury, as usual it was fascinating.
A break for lunch and then the afternoon was split in to two 2-hour sessions.
Groups 1 and 2 remained on the run track and had analysis with Shane Benzie while groups 2 and 4 ran along the coast to play on one of the volcanoes climbing to the summit and descending.
You can move around the video image by using the toggle button that appears on the left of the video screen.
And then coasteering one of the technical paths returning back to Club La Santa.
Back at Club La Santa, the groups swapped with 3/4 remaining on the track with Shane and 1/2 heading out on the trails.
The day concluded at 7pm with everyone exhausted and exhilarated after a very full day.
Dates for our 2021 Camp will be announced soon HERE
A year soon passes and once again I am in Lanzarote for our annual Lanzarote Training Camp which is geared towards providing 7-days intensive training for ultra-runners and multi-day runners.
I arrived 3-days a go so that I could check out routes and in particular test a ‘long day’ route which would be a new addition to the camp.
It was a real pleasure to travel from almost one side of Lanzarote to the other on foot. The new route is a point-to-point covering approximately marathon distance with 1800m of vertical gain.
Taking in the best of Lanzarote, the route is extremely varied with a mixture of terrain and gladly has very little road. Some sections cover little used paths and offer a real sense of adventure.
One again the base for the training camp is the sports complex of Club La Santa which is the perfect environment for an intensive week of training with a plethora of facilities on hand.
The camp takes place from Tuesday to Tuesday for 2020 and a full week of activity is planned with routes of varying distance and difficulty.
We have typically 4-5 groups guided and this allows for runners/ walkers to work at a pace that is comfortable for them. Our core team is myself, Elisabet Barnes who has won MDS twice and ranked highly in multi-day races all over the world. Sondre Amdahl who is an experienced single-stage and multi-day ultra-runner with an impressive list of results from all over the world.
Last year we had Running Reborn specialist, Shane Banzie join us and he is back in 2020.
Our additional guides for 2020 are Gemma Game (multiple times top-10 at MDS and 3rd in 2018 and 2019) and Jodie Moss who placed top-10 at the 2019 MDS and who has just completed a PHD and who will provide a talk on heat acclimation.
All the preparation is now done and we patiently await the clients arrival on January 7th. We ease them in to the camp with an easy 1-hour run, a welcome talk and then a group dinner.
Day 1 starts with an 0800 call and 9-mile volcano run. Note news to follow as the days progress.
You can view images from the 2019 Training Camp below and HERE
Dates will be announced soon for the 2021 camp HERE