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On the 5th January I flew out on a one-way ticket to Lanzarote, with the primary purpose of training in the warmer climate and tough terrain for the next few months. Ok, so I’m only 1.5 weeks in, but I think it could quite possibly be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

It’s not even about the amenable weather. Instantly, I was transported into a world which is the very nucleus of triathlon training; the heart, the soul, the breath of life that any triathlete needs to thrive and grow. It’s here; it’s all happening here.

I am spending my days at the fantastic Sands Beach Active, hijacking a bit of their office space, throwing weights around in the gym, and smashing up kilometre after kilometre in the pool. I am living the dream.

As soon as I arrived I discovered that the uplace-BMC pro triathlon team are here on a two week training camp, soon followed by a host of professional photographers, videographers, journalists, and sponsors. I had the chance to interview the Team Manager Bob, which you can read here.

Getting an insight into these guys is incredible. Seeing them swim in adjacent lanes to me in the pool, ride past them (on the other side of the road, not overtake them, obviously!) on the bike, see them out running, in the gym – it’s awe-inspiring. I was extremely lucky to be invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by one of their sponsors in this breath-taking location – a hidden lagoon amidst caves high up on the hill side, and to socialise, chat, and mingle with the people at the top is a wonderful opportunity.

But this is what the island is like. I haven’t stopped training and hanging out with people who are immersed in the sport. I am living and breathing triathlon, and I would never get this opportunity at home. Ever.

Training on this terrain is also going to do wonders for me. Every corner you turn there’s a big hill to climb, a headwind, a cross-wind; it just all comes at you here. There’s a reason the ironman here is billed as one of the toughest in the world, because Lanzarote, in all its majestic beauty, is brutal. Simply brutal. Speaking of brutal, I had the go ahead from my coach Martin Hill to train with Bella Bayliss, who lives at Sands Beach with the equally legendary Stephen Bayliss, frequently seen upon the podium! Having heard about Bella’s Brett-Sutton-esque coaching style I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I knew she would critique my swim for being ‘too pretty’, and she lived up to her reputation!

“Do you know what you’re swimming like? A fluffy little kitten.” Oh. Well that told me. Although I have refined my swim technique with the brilliant help of my coach Martin at Tri Train Spain, I need more power, and we both knew that. So Bella was just fast-tracking me – “Grrr, just smash into the water, more aggression!” Yep, that feels good, but DAMN does it hurt.

This kind of stuff will be instrumental to me getting faster, more powerful, and more successful this season, and Lanzarote, I have to say, is proving to be the absolutely perfect place for me. I am managing to balance a decent amount of work to keep my clients happy and my business thriving, while living the life many people dream of. The weather is amazing, the people are amazing, the landscape is amazing, the opportunities are amazing – did I mention that it’s amazing?!

Before I lose a lot of friends I will say that this isn’t going to be forever, but at the moment, for the next few months, I am going to take what I can from this island. My training is about to get even more serious and it is going to be the scene of a lot of pain, suffering, sweat and probably tears. But I’m going to make sure I don’t regret a single second of it.