After 'morning gymnastics' - 15 minutes of stretches, star jumps and the like, led by an instructor which began each day, I started my programme late morning on Friday with a 3 x 1600m session, running them at an average pace of 7:13 which, for me, was amazingly good. After a light lunch by one of the centre's pools, I did a core and stretching session in the gym
Saturday morning was a 400m swim in the 50m pool in the sun. This was fantastic. Bright sunshine, sparkly water and the warmth of the sun on your back. My swimming is, however, rubbish, so I was dead slow - especially compared to the swimmers of Leicester Swimming Club who were training in the lanes alongside! That evening I entered the weekly 10k race. This was two laps of an out and back, undulating course with a powerful headwind on the return legs. I finished in 50:32 and, amazingly was first MV55 (erm, there were no others) and second overall. Which meant I got a diploma at the end of the week!! Now, in all my years of running I have never got anywhere remotely near troubling the judges, so I am unfeasibly proud of that bit of paper!
Sunday was an easier day; a 'Stretch and Relax' class, which took place on the 5-a-side pitch in the sunshine and was led by... well let me just say that the place is run by a Danish company and they tend to use lissome twenty-somethings as their instructors.... In the afternoon Mrs HF and I did some swimming drills in the leisure pool which was absolutely bloody FREEZING. I think they just pipe the Atlantic into this attractively shaped pool that meanders its way between the sun loungers. Having said that, once acclimatised to the cold, it was very refreshing to swim in and, masochistically, I rather enjoyed it.
Monday was another track interval day, this time 5 x 800m, after 'gymnastics' but before breakfast. They were as knackering as these things are, but I've no idea what the times were, because my heart monitor 'Stop' button packed up! It is pretty ancient though, so I suppose it's time for a new one.
In the afternoon I hired a bike (Cannondale Alu-frame, Shimano Ultegra groupset, decent wheels [if you hire a bike for a week you get similar, but carbon fibre frame]) and went out with my brother-in-law for a 21km ride which we did at an average of 24km/hr. The wind was savage; we had to pedal flat out into the teeth of it - yet we were going downhill! It was very scary.
Tuesday morning consisted of a 2000m row in the gym, followed by 300m in the pool. It was a bit busy and intimidating when you're not that good at it! In the afternoon I enjoyed a 'Fitball' class which is where you use those big squishy balls you get in gyms to work out. This was a revelation. It made me realise that it's pretty much the only bit of 'toning' kit you'd ever need. This was followed by another 'Stretch and Relax' class.
Wednesday was our last day and I did a sort of triathlon. I started with a run: 3 laps of a 3k road route. The first lap at 60% of Max Heart Rate, the second at 70% and the third at 80%. A tempo run basically. But in the sunshine by the blue crashing Atlantic. Late morning I did 500m in the pool and it was glorious. Sunny and bright, the lengths felt relatively easy and smooth; it was a fitting way to say goodbye to the pool. In the afternoon I did 30 minutes on a bike in the gym with Mrs HF alongside me showing me how to train at intensity. She was awesome.
And then we came home. As I write this, the woodburner's doing it's thing, the sky is clear. It's going to be cold tonight. And the sun seems rather far away....
If you ever fancy a spot of warm-weather training, check out Club LaSanta. I can't wait to go back next year.