GET­TING TOUGH IN LAN­ZAROTE, SPAIN

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRAVEL - KM

While the Ca­nary Is­land of Lan­zarote is of­fi­cially part of Spain, this scenic vol­canic is­land sits just 100 km off the coast of Africa and about a four-hour flight from Madrid. Flights from Ger­many, France and the U.K. are about the same length, mak­ing Lan­zarote a pop­u­lar win­ter des­ti­na­tion for Euro­peans look­ing for sun and sand.

Since 1983, Lan­zarote has also been an in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for ath­letes. Founded that year, Club La Santa, set on the western side of the is­land, of­fers the ul­ti­mate in train­ing fa­cil­i­ties, which makes it a pop­u­lar train­ing camp venue for na­tional teams as they pre­pare for ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions. (If you head to Club La Santa in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary of an Olympic year you’re likely to see a plethora of past and fu­ture medal­lists.) Last year two more eight-lane 50 m pools were added to the orig­i­nal 10-lane Olympic length pool that has been a main­stay for triath­letes and swim teams alike for decades.

Triath­letes aren’t likely to take in all of the 38 sports that Club La Santa of­fers its guests, but they will spend lots of time in one of the pools, the fully equipped weight room, get­ting some speed work done on the 400 m out­door track, and tak­ing in one of the nu­mer­ous core, yoga or ball ses­sions of­fered ev­ery day. Af­ter all the hard work ath­letes can en­joy some re­lax­ing time on the beach, next to the spec­tac­u­lar leisure pool or in the spa that in­cludes all the ameni­ties you’d ever need for some re­cov­ery time.

Here’s what’s even bet­ter – as nice as Club La Santa might be, one of the ma­jor high­lights of any train­ing trip to Lan­zarote is the cy­cling. Al­most ev­ery ride is in high winds and over the chal­leng­ing ter­rain, but along with all the hard work you’ll be floored by the spec­tac­u­lar views and vis­tas along the way. An in­flux of money from the Euro­pean Union about five years ago al­lowed the lo­cal gov­ern­ment the lux­ury to pave a good por­tion of the roads around the is­land, which makes for some smooth rid­ing.

Club La Santa isn’t your only op­tion when it comes to ac­com­mo­da­tions in Lan­zarote. Sands Beach Re­sort has be­come another pop­u­lar train­ing spot on the eastern side of the is­land, of­fer­ing a 25 m pool to go along with the out­stand­ing cy­cling and run­ning op­tions the is­land of­fers.

Lan­zarote doesn’t only serve as a train­ing spot for ath­letes from around the world – Iron­man Lan­zarote is con­sid­ered one of the most chal­leng­ing Iron­man races in the world thanks to the two ma­jor moun­tain climbs and in­evitably tough winds that make the bike course a treat for those look­ing for the ul­ti­mate test. Club La Santa, the ti­tle spon­sor of the full event, also puts on Iron­man 70.3 Lan­zarote in Septem­ber, which is based right in the re­sort.

For those look­ing for a unique and in­tense train­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s hard to go wrong with a trip to Lan­zarote.–

OP­PO­SITE Train­ing in Clermont, Fla.

TOP LEFT Iron­man Cozumel

TOP RIGHT Iron­man Lan­zarote 2015

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