When my family asked if I’d like to come with them to Mallorca for 2 weeks this summer, I hardly needed much persuading! Having been there once before, I knew how good the training is, especially the cycling. It’s perhaps one of the nicest places to ride a bike. The timing coincided with 2 big weeks of training planned in the lead up to Ironman Copenhagen, so I was excited about the prospect of getting some hard training done in the hills of West Mallorca.
Despite the short flight, the journey seemed to really wear me out and when we arrived at the house I spent the afternoon napping and relaxing, enjoying my first day off in 3 weeks. I woke up the next day feeling the same - tired and lethargic. Although I had training scheduled, I decided to take a second day off, which turned out to be one of the better decisions I’ve made. This enabled me to catch up on sleep throughout the day, refuel and rehydrate and ensure I was fully ready for the next 12 days.
The first 7 days was a solid block of training, with a little extra emphasis on running. I had one easier day with only 2.5 hours of training, but most days were between 4 and 6 hours, with a lot of quality work within the sessions. The riding was definitely the highlight of the week and almost every day I cycled a new route. Being in the hills, there were almost no flat roads - just up and down (although there seemed to be a lot more up than down)! Some of the highlights were the Coll de Soller, which is a lovely climb whichever way you ascend it, as well as the Coll de sa Batalla. Of course, the famous Sa Calobra was right up there too! The views as you descend are incredible and the photos can never do it justice. The swimming was great as we were close to the town of Soller, where there was a fantastic indoor 25m pool that was deserted all week! I also went to Deia beach for a couple of open water swims which is always good fun. Thing ticked over nicely on the running front too, achieving my highest weekly run mileage of 71 miles.
Throughout the week the training load seemed to get harder, but I was very lucky to have an understanding family looking out for me. On numerous occasions I’d get back from a long ride to an ice cold smoothie and jump in the pool! Other highlights include some of the best and biggest omelettes I’ve ever had, which always went down well post training. Monday was an easier day, which I felt I needed after really pushing the last 7 days. On Tuesday I was back at it with a long 5.4km swim, hard 3 hour bike ride and evening run, which pretty much seemed to be the foundation of each day. The only slight hiccup came on Wednesday morning at the start of a run session. From the get go I felt that something wasn’t quite right, so without hesitating I bailed on the session and went back home to rest up. Although initially worrying, I knew there was no point in stressing and guessing what the route of the pain could and couldn’t have been. After chatting with Brian, we decided to take a few days off running. After a great day on Thursday, which included one of the best swims I can remember, I celebrated my 25th birthday with a 4 hour ride taking in Sa Calobra for the final time. That rounded up 12 days of training nicely and I was really pleased with how it had gone.
I seem to get a bit reflective on my birthdays, so I couldn’t help but take myself back a year when I had the best summer ever in Boulder with Scott Pontague, and think of all the fantastic things I’ve had the opportunity to do since then. Racing World Championship events in Las Vegas and Hawaii, spending the new year in the Seychelles, racing in Abu Dhabi again, training and racing in South Africa (and making my pro debut!) with good friend Kyle Buckingham, spending another spring at Les Stables in France… its truly been another awesome year!