I have just returned home after a great week of training in the sun in Lanzarote. My health has been a bit up and down over the last month but a week in the sun was just what I needed to kick start my training! Having been quite busy since the Olympics this was my first chance where I had a week with no events so I could get away and just focus on bike riding. The night before I left I went to the Action Medical Research Champions of Cyclesport dinner at the Hurlingham Club in Putney. I am a cycling ambassador for Action Medical Research and it was a lovely evening with lots of cycling stars in attendance and an auction of cycling memorabilia, which raised over £180,000 for the charity!
I flew to Lanzarote the following afternoon and stayed in Club la Santa which is a resort built for sporty people who want to train in the warm weather. I had not stayed here before but really liked the resort and how it was set up for athletes, although it did leave me a little tempted to try a triathlon after watching the participants in the Wednesday morning mini triathlon! It is in a great location to be based for cycle training on the North West coast of the island, so I could head out North or South to go out training on a variety of different routes. There is also a gym, group exercise classes and a Wellness centre where it was possible to book massages which came in very useful.
I travelled out with my brother Erick, with Sarah and Barney Storey arriving the next day, so I had some good company on the long training rides. It was a challenge to make sure I didn’t get the usual cycling tan lines on my arms and legs as I headed out in shorts and short sleeved jersey every day, although this was a nice problem to have in November! The roads in Lanzarote are quite rolling, with a few longer climbs. The wind also provided another challenge which meant all my training rides had some good quality blocks of effort whilst riding into the headwind. It was also fun descending back to Club la Santa when the wind was behind me, trying to see how fast I could go with the tailwind!
Whilst staying at the resort I also had a go at some of the exercise classes which focussed on core work which is an important area to work on as a bike rider. I have definitely got more work to do in this area though as my abs were in pieces after one session of ‘AB-Attack’!!
I flew back to the UK in the evening on Friday 30th November so there was time for a final ride before heading to the airport. On Saturday 1st December I drove up to Manchester to race in the elite women’s races at Revolution. There hasn’t been elite women’s racing at Revolution for the last few rounds so it was good to support the racing and I enjoyed riding in front of the crowd, even if I did have road legs. There was a strong Dutch team riding, including Olympic and World Road Race Champion Marianne Vos, so it was awesome to race against them and the racing was all fast and aggressive. I was pleased to get a win in the team pursuit against the Dutch team with Lizzie Armitstead and Elinor Barker. We kept the crowd on the edges of their seats though and sneaked the win by just 1 tenth of a second!
I am back in the UK for just 1 week before going away for another training camp next week. But before that on Friday 7th I will be turning on the Christmas lights in Cheam Village at about 6pm, so if you are local come along and say hi!