Friday, 28 October 2011

Mallorca training camp

Thats right you read it correct. I was in Mallorca or Majorca (however you wish to spell it) for a training camp the past week. (Thursday to Thursday).
So why go to mallorca? Well basically its sunny, warm and dry. In Norway it is cold, wet, windy and icy, but there is no snow yet. So we go to Mallorca to get better training conditions before the winter.
Last week was the highest hours per week i will train all year, coming in and above 25 hours of training. The first day was a 5 and a half hour training day. I learned a lesson, EAT LOTS. In the second session i decided to go in the fast group which only consisted of 3 of us. Coming down the last long downhill back to our hotell on the beach one of the others went on the "smellen". Smellen is a norwegian word which directly translated means "the crash". But in sporting terms in means ran out of energy. The body starts to crash. Mats, who was on the smellen, was exhausted. He was paddling or using skate 1 on the downhills (skate 1 is a climbing technique). My self and Gjøran had to push him down the hill back towards the town. Luckily we bumped into one of the other groups at a junction 5k from the hotell. Øyvind, one of the coaches gave mats an energy gel. it helped mats for 2k then he had to be pushed back to the hotell.
After this, I took it upon myself to eat lots. When i say lots i mean lots. Dinner consisted of:
1st course
3 types of carbs, normally chips, rice and pasta with a cheese sauce. 1 helpin of protein, either chicken or pork,
2nd course
more chips, more pasta, more rice
3rd course
soup (had to buy drinks and seeing as im scottish i wasnt buying anything, so i had to have soup to get over my thirst)
3 or 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 3 or 4 plums, a pear and a banana or an orange.

Breakfast was a similar amount of food, with a cereal course, a cooked breakfast course and a healthy helping of cakes. I would fill my pockets with cakes and take them out training with me. I would try to eat 1 cake per hour of training. For lunch i would eat sandwiches with chocolate spread, some fruit and some cheese. But mostly the long lunch breaks were used for sunbathing and drinking masses.

Once i had sorted my eating to adapt to the higher than normal training load everything went smoothly. No problems with running out of energy anyway.
We had a few interval sessions down in Mallorca but there is not much to write home about there from my perspective. The shape or form, what ever you want to call it, wasnt great. I wasnt skiing that fast and had to really dig hard to stay with the front groups. But i got good training and there is plenty of time for the shape to come good with a quarter of a year before the world junior championships and norwegian junior nationals.
One of the intervals, a brutal 6x6min skate session, was up the infamous Sa Colobra. An epic mountain pass winding its way up from the sea to over 600m. It was a truly epic session, even if the speed and form wasnt there, they views were. And the road is a true masterpiece in itself, winding and cutting into the hill side, including a full 360 degree turn with a corkscrew effect into the mountain.
Appart from lots of skiing we took some running sessions on the beach and some strength training on the beach to the delight of all the middle aged German women, who watched on with eager eyes. I had always thought the old joke about Germans leaving their beach towels on the deck chairs to be a false and just a joke. But living in a hotel that was predominately germans i found it to actually be true. They would leave there towels on the chairs at about 10am and return every now and then for maxim of 1 hour spells. Then some Germas lady came a tried to steel all of our sun beds when some of the guys had gone for a swim in the sea! The cheek, its about time we invade them!
Anyway, enough ranting about germans, or actually not quite, some german driver nearly knocked me over when i was out roller skiing. So inconsiderate. But yes, we had some alternative training which included getting back on the road bikes, which i hadnt done in a while. We were going to have 3 bike sessions of various lengths, but within the first hour of the first session i had decided to check out the tarmac. Scraping my chin, leg and chest on the ground. I swore a lot, chucked my bottle on the ground, got back on the bike, complained a lot. But generally i got on with it. It ended up being a great ride, with a mountain pass in it too.
I think i have just about covered everything, appart from how litte traveled the group i am training with are. I noticed this from two things. Firstly, on the way out at security, one of the guys was adamant you had to get your camera out for security and was bricking it as he couldn't find his in his bag. I told him he didnt have to, he relaxed a bit. Then he got his bag stopped at the check. he thought it was his camera, but he had 4 litres of water in his bag.
And the second is that people claimed they didnt like the food. I have to say, that a home made meal is nice. But food from a 4 star hotell with a buffet, where they cook the meat on a grill so you can see and have a fresh salads and french bread, is nothing to complain about. But nearly everybody expressed a joy to be back in Norway eating norwegian food. Well i say to them, that they should look forward to the day when they are in some small european village in the alps, where fresh means from the last year, cooked means when you cant tell what vegetable it was, and every night is the same mystery meet stew. Half way through the camp the family dog disappears and the mystery meet has changed to something else. Milk means UHT, and the concept of fruit is lost.
Only then can you appreciate good food.

All for now.


  1. love your description of food in the Alps ... I just hate it when the dog disappears!

  2. Enjoyed the photos and the description. I was brought up to eat what was put in front of me. It does help when away from home!!
    I hope you enjoy Norwegian food, especially when you have to eat so much of it when training.
    Love from Copper Beeches