We caught up with Dan, Gee, Rach and their new coach Alan Milway at their intensive Training Camp at Fuerteventura.
Four different perspectives, three different training programmes, even 2 different disciplines. One goal.
So guys how’s it been?
DA – Heavy!
RA - Training has been going well so far. It’s rad to come from so much snow at home where everything is so hard to be in the hot sun here. Being able to road ride, gym and pool easy peasy no distractions is mint!
GA – And I’m picking up a tan…
We’re all pretty jealous, seeing the pictures of where you’re staying, what’s the place really like?
RA -This place is amazing…a dedicated sports training resort, right on the beach. Every person here is stacked with muscles, tanned, trains 12 hours a day and is fitter than any mortal human! It’s unreal being surrounded by so many athletes and really driving for me.
GA – Yeah, the whole place is full of athletes, roadies, triathletes, swimmers so whatever bit of training you’re doing you’re getting pulled along by fitter, stronger people.
Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing?
GA – Nope. All top secret.
AM – Well, for example, Saturday morning we took the XC bikes out for a bit of a scout around. Obviously, as this involved Dan, Gee and Ben it wasn’t straight forward and we aimed to go up and over a mountain ridge. We took a hard climb/ hike a bike route on to a peak over-looking the sea. Lovely. The downhill was very technical single track trails with lots of loose rock thrown in. Mere mortals (like me) needed to walk some parts but those guys thought nothing of just jumping anything in their way….Each corner gave out a puff of dust as they hit it. Another hard, technical climb brought us to a more mellow, fast and flowing descent leading down the other side of the mountains.
Our afternoon session was a good change with a hard cross-fit circuit involving Olympic lifts and upper body strength endurance. Loads of people stopped to watch was seemed quite motivating..
GA – Ha ha, yeah.
We heard that a bit of a road ride went down with Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez?
DA. A bit of a ride – yeah, about 100km! One of the hardest rides I’ve ever been on. We were going out anyway and we saw Javier and some of his mates getting to go out too – we weren’t sure how much of a family ride it was going to be or how serious.
AM – Sunday was a hell of a day! Javier did warn us it was to be a 4hr ‘hard and hilly’ ride, so to tie in with the other sessions I had planned me we agreed that me and Gee would do a 2-2.5hr ride, Dan was enrolled for the full 4 hours!
The pace was ridiculous from the word go. In a peleton with an Olympian, his training partners and some very serious triathletes, we were holding conversations whilst licking along at 25-30mph for much of the first hour. Me and Gee were glad to be able to split! We came back after 2.5hrs having covered 40odd hilly miles, which is some pace! The rest of the group then started to splinter and riders were coming back in dribs and drabs. In the end there was Javier, his training partners and only a couple more riders left. Of course Dan was one of them. The boy is a machine!
There’s been some other interesting rumours too?
GA –Like Affy’s big birthday kiss…
AM – well, we’d worked hard that day, great road ride with a good wind behind us for the way home, with a bit of slipstreaming we were sat at 35mph for nearly 7mins-it’s an amazing feeling. Dan topped out in top gear at over 80km/h! Hey, we thought he deserved a night out, see if we could find him a birthday kiss – unfortunately for him it was from a 6 foot tall drag queen, which was far more amusing for the rest of us!
We were talking about SWIMMING! We know you love it…
DA – Didn’t happen…
RA – I have loved it! The 50m outdoor pool is AMAZING! sitting in the sun as you recover from lengths, with palm trees and the sea beyond is just surreal….
You guys are training together but there must be a huge variation in what you actually do?
RA – I guess the main difference between me and the guys is the weights we lift and sometimes duration of road rides…well, Affy rides about 3 more hours on the road than any of us! I love training with my brothers, trying to catch up and impress them pleases me and seeing them suffer under weights is rad too!!
Sometimes on a road ride when I am pushing myself past my comfortable heart rate I get on Affy’s wheel and he drives me for 2 hours! He is awesome with me, he goes fast and I stick to him like glue knowing that if I drop off I can’t pick it back up again. My biggest strength is my power and the boys sometimes get lost on the hills if I’m feeling good that day! But I don’t need to work on my power so it’s really important for me not to try and keep up but sit at my lower heart rate, so frustrating!!
AM – It’s great to work as a group but we split to stay at the right intensities where needed.
DA – Yeah training for different disciplines is interesting. It’s good. Gee and I used to do the same thing which was great as we’d really compete but not so good in really drilling down on our strengths and weakness and playing to them. With Enduro we’re training together so we have the support and it’s good that they’re here but we’re on completely different schedules – Milway knows what we’ve got to do and why we’ve got to do it.
GA – yeah – Alan’s a pretty experienced guy and he’s quite scientific so he’s got all this information about what we’re doing and why we have to!
RA - It’s been cool having Alan along on our first training trip together, it’s nice because he is a new addition to our team and so it does bring a sense of politeness and freshnesss back! He also can see us all as individuals which is nice because we do need different things….
And you’ve got Ben along too, how’s that?
RA - Training how we do is always really fun but the hard parts are the rest periods. It can get quite boring staring at Gee and Affy all day but having Ben with me is rad. Being able to hang out as normal and chill also takes the strain off me and the brothers so we all get along better!