Taken at face value a resort holiday in the Canary Islands is potentially my worst nightmare come true. My encompassing conscious belief and associated image of this holiday destination was initially generated and regularly reinforced from an early age. The word "Lanzarote" immediately conjures up visions of lobster red badly behaved Brits on tour with endless banging tunes on a beer fuelled 18-30 package holiday staying in a non descript concrete jungle.
Personal impressions aside...in a final ditch attempt to improve my pretty dire swim efforts that consistently cause my triathlon times to slide backwards down I was coerced into joining a swim training camp at Club La Santa by Mr P. Club La Santa is heralded as the #1 sports and active holiday resort in the world and has welcomed thousands of active families and people of all ages, amateur sports people, elite professionals, clubs and teams for over thirty years since 22nd June 1983. The resort is nestled on the breathtaking north west coast of Lanzarote and features over 30 different sports with free group instruction.
Our coaches Rose Jones (ASA Swim Coach, ASA Swim Teacher, ASA Aquafit Teacher, BTF Coach, Athletes Coach, Sports Therapist, Nutrition, Exercise and Wellbeing Advisor) and Ben Price (former British national junior triathlon champion and IRONMAN pro) guided us gently through our paces during two daily swim sessions. Video analysis, endless drills, speed sets, more drills, 50s, 100s, 200s sets, diving, tumble turns, the list continued as my arms became more and more fatigued over 7 days. Grumpy Anna made a couple of appearances though the toys never quite made it well and truly out of the pram.
Performance whether it's in swimming, at work or in life needs a qualified and experienced coach you can trust who creates a safe environment with a bit of structure, provides a level of accountability and together you reassess current techniques, set and achieve goals. Simply ploughing up and down the swimming pool lane on your own won't improve efficiency, style, technique and speed. Simply going through the same automatic motions of work and life every day, week, month and year on your own won't change anything. Performance coaching enables us to reach inside and challenge ourselves mentally and/or physically to accomplish amazing feats beyond our comprehension. After 7 days my weaker crooked left arm straightened, my leg position shifted slightly lower into a stealth bomber silent kick and bi-lateral breathing didn't completely result in swallowing half the pool. Hopefully these improved techniques will combine to shave valuable seconds from my swim time in future triathlons.
Swim camp complete the lure of two wheels called with delightful smooth tarmac and considerate drivers set against the stark desolate beauty of the volcanic landscape. The constant northerly wind, creates a opportunity to increase the watts on the bikes and totally finished off my poor quads. Training aside the pleasant promenade along the sea front into La Santa village to dine on freshly caught fish, washed down with local Bodega los Bermejo white wine and sunken sticky dark chocolate cake provided an ideal excuse to replenish any additional calories needed for training.
I can't believe it's taken so many years to discover the delights of Club La Santa and Lanzarote. I suspect Mr P and I will be back to improve our triathlon performance and soak up the relaxed environment. Childhood misconception about Lanzarote well and truly shattered.
How many more beliefs are there to change?