Hard to believe I was in Lanzarote for just one full day last month but it felt like a week in the best possible way. Although the weather wasn’t perfect (read not tropical climates, bath water sea and blue blue skies) it was the perfect mid January pick me up anyone could ever want.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to Lanzarote to meet Red Bull (Tri)Athlete Lucy Charles, hang out with her during some of her training and get to know more about life as a professional athlete.
Club La Santa, Our Base For The Trip
Firstly, I’ve just got to say a little bit about Club La Santa (CLS). It’s been in my awareness for a few years now as some of my Instagram friends often head out there for training camps. I don’t think you can imagine what it’s like until you get there.
A whole little world of it’s own in the north of the island. An entire ecosystem filled with runners, cyclists, swimmers, crossfitters and every sport possible up to and including sunseekers. I was previously a professional sun seeking athlete lol.
I shared a beautiful apartment with Hannah (of Hannah and Fitness) which we actually didn’t get to spend much time in due to our jam packed schedule. It was the perfect base though… big rooms, comfy beds, great showers (like, one each) and facilities to keep ourselves fed and watered should we have needed to.
Morning Swim With Lucy Charles (and Rainbows)
After some paddle boarding fun on our first evening in town and a good nights sleep we had a 7am alarm for swimming with Lucy and Coach Bella Bayliss. I woke up, put on the gorgeous swimsuit gifted by Lucy’s sponsors, ROKA, and made my way down to the pool… where I dipped a toe in the water and decided it was not for me.
If you been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I learnt to swim a few years back so I could complete my first ever triathlon. Since then though, time has been limited so I haven’t been in the pool much which has resulted in me losing so much confidence. In fact, maybe all my confidence otherwise I would have gotten in.
I always feared sharing a pool with people who could swim well and it seems that fear has not gone away. Anyway, in hindsight, I’m gutted I didn’t get in and give it a go but it has meant I’m keen to get back into the water at home as soon as I can.
I did stay for the whole session though and listened to everything Bella shared and recognised many of the drills she used with the girls who weren’t as strong swimmers.
Swimming or not, I was ready for some breakfast and soooo excited to go on our planned ride…
Our Lanzarote Lunchtime Ride
Without a doubt, this was my favourite activity of the trip (not even eating beat this!). I had been well briefed about the weather (lots of wind) and the terrain (lots of hills). We picked up our hire bikes from the CLS on-site bike shop and did a little test loop around the complex and lagoon to get used to the bikes.
The weather was just right for a ride; not too hot, not too sunny and the wind was (I’m told) calmer than usual. Having not been on a road bike for a while it was great to be riding at a more chilled out pace than in cyclocross.
Just a shame that I wore a base layer and a long sleeved thermal jersey (lol, for fear of being cold) and packed winter gloves as I had literally forgotten what it feels like to cycle in 18 degrees!
The hills killed me (they always do), the views kept me going and copious amounts of Red Bull (diluted with water) got me to the end with a huge smile on my face. You can check out our route on Strava here.
Fuelling Training with Red Bull
After lunch and our ride, we had the chance to sit down with Lucy and speak to her about her training and nutrition. Of course there was lots of talk about Red Bull and to be honest, I came away feeling a-lot more in the know about caffeine and fitness.
I did a DNA test a while back and part of it was a report on caffeine and how I metabolise it. Ever since then, I’ve lived by the results; so no coffee after around 4pm (unless I’m in dire need!) and I don’t drink more than one coffee a day typically.
Having spoken to some other caffeine product manufacturers, I was well aware of the inconsistency with caffeine content when it comes to coffee. When it comes to using caffeine for fuelling training, I’m a fan of using it pre-workout to give me a little extra energy!
With Red Bull, the amount of caffeine (85mg, less than a typical coffee / espresso) is the same in every can so you can keep accurate track of your intake.
An Evening Run Around The Lagoon
Our final activity of the day was a late afternoon run around the lagoon where CLS is located. I was so busy sorting out the GPS on my watch that when I looked up, the group were off and away! I decided to do the run anyway and actually enjoyed a little bit of me time after travelling and a jam packed day.
By this point, the heavens had opened but the views were still spectacular with the sea on one side, the lagoon on the other and CLS in the distance. The group did loop of the lagoon then I caught up with them for some hill sprints.
By this point, I was feeling like I had speed in my legs so I did a couple of the shorter reps then took a slow jog back to CLS to have some time to chill before dinner.
My Kit For The Trip
Awwww, so if you haven’t read my post / review about the Osprey Rolling Osprey Transporter 40, then get over there! It was the most perfect upgrade on the duffel version I’ve been using for the past year. I stuffed it full of kit ready for my few days away including my Liv Race Day kit and my never been worn outside, Macha Comp Road Shoes.
We were kindly gifted with some really nice kit from ROKA (swimming costume, goggles, towel, rucksack), sunglasses from Oakley, a Wahoo TICKR Fit Heart Rate Monitor, and of course enough Red Bull to float a cruise ship on!
What Can Amateurs Take Away From A Pro Athlete?
Although I’m nowhere near being a pro athlete, I still took away a-lot from speaking to Lucy. Most of all I left feeling inspired to continue doing the things I love to and it was great to learn that Lucy shared the point of view in that, if it’s not fun for you, what is the point?!
Lucy also shared her story about starting off as a talented swimmer before gravitating to triathlon and IronMan events. I think the lesson there is to never stop exploring, try all the things until you find the one that sparks joy (thanks Marie Kondo!)
So, who’s up for a Triathlon?!