Training Camp Nerja 1

Costa del Sol

Day 1 – Monday

First ride on Costa del Sol was magical. I feel so much at home here. The ocean, the mountains and roads are so familiar to me, I even remember where the holes in the asphalt are. I know every route by memory, I know the good coffee-stops, the best ice cream shops and the locals remember my face as well as I remember theirs. The weather is good, the culture is relaxed, and I know exactly what to buy from the supermarket. It’s easy for me to come here, it feels like home, and I love it!

Cómpeta
On our way to Cómpeta

A friend from my Danish cycle club (Amager Cykle Ring) has come to join me for the first week, and I took her to Cómpeta on our first ride. An easy spin to feel the legs with a bit of climbing. I love that climb, because it’s relatively low average gradient and breaks in the middle with a few kilometers of downhill, before rising again.

Cómpeta
Coffee in Cómpeta

It is a climb everyone can do. A fast climb if you want, but also possible to do easy. On the top you find a beautiful view, a fountain and the possibility to continue to the Cómpeta village, where you can sit on a café at the square next to the church. Hang out with locals and tourist but be ready for feeling like a subject to many looks as cyclists aren’t the most common thing up there. Maybe because of the last very steep hill of 11% in average. There is almost guarantee for sun at the square and you are covered from any wind. The coffee is also cheap and good.

Cómpeta
Cómpeta view

After coffee it was back down to the coast and home, trying to relax as much as possible before tomorrow’s 20 minutes test.

Check today’s ride here.

Day 2 – Tuesday

Test day! Always with fear and excitement. Fear of failing. Excitement of maybe doing an all-time best. The fear is rational, I guess, but needless. What happens if the test doesn’t go well? Nothing is what happens. No matter what the test says, I will still be the same, be able to do the same and it’s only a tool for planning my training.

Canillas de Aceituno
They see me rollin’

Anyway, I wanted to do the test where I always do my 20 minutes test when I’m here. On Canillas de Aceituno. A climb of 7 kilometers with an average gradient of 7%. It starts very steep with up to 17% (says Strava, I don’t remember if that’s correct, but more than 13%) but it’s briefly and when it flattens the gradient is almost even all the way up, which makes it easier to do the test.

Canillas de Aceituno
Damn you 20 minutes test

I like this climb a lot, but I almost only do it when testing, so it feels like a very hard climb. But it’s also beautiful. You start on one side of the mountain but end on the other side. I think you start on the west-side and end up east, but I’m not sure. That means that the scenery and views chance a bit along the way, and even though I’m on limit more than 5 kilometers up the climb, I still enjoy the view, because I need to look somewhere else than on my Garmin in between. The last 2 kilometers I can enjoy in an easy pace, spinning the legs after 20 minutes of hard work.

Canillas de Aceituno
Smiling after test on Canillas de Aceituno

The first 6 minutes of the test I was flying! I feel good and thought “this is easy peasy”. Haha, shortly after I thought “okay, now I feel the pressure”. A few minutes later: “F… me, I hate this”. After 15 minutes I was ready to give up, but I reminded myself that I didn’t have to a test in a long time if I continued. So, I kept pedaling and kept fighting the negative thoughts with motivational self-talking. The last 2 minutes I was completely empty, and it was all about survival and not loosing too many watts. When the timer said 20 minutes, I had to go off my bike and sit on the ground trying to catch me breathe again. My average heartrate was 186 bpm with a maximum of 192 bpm, so that was ALL OUT for me.

Canillas de Aceituno
A little more climbing

I had hoped for a slightly better test, but doing a new all time best this time a year, after a training camp on Mallorca, is pretty good, so I am happy and so is coach PeakPower. We have worked together since the end of the 2018-season and to see improvement already is great! I hope to improve even more the next months.

La Bella Julieta
Coffee at La Bella Julieta

After the test we could relax and enjoy the loop taking us to Sedella, Sayalonga and then I forgot to turn for Cómpeta (because we wanted to go through torrox to Frigiliana) and we ended in Algarrobo. The weather was cloudy and a bit cold, so since we couldn’t enjoy a sunny lunch in Frigiliana anyway, we decided to go to my favorite coffee place in Torre del Mar, La Bella Julieta. I always order the same: a cappuccino italiano and cereal bread with serrano ham and manchego cheese. They have so many other good-looking things, but I have decision difficulties and I know what I always have is good, so I stick with that. Must try a cake one day though!

La Bella Julieta
My favorite sandwich at La Bella Julieta

Straight home after coffee/lunch stop feeling that with the test well over with, the coming days can be enjoyed with peace in my mind, haha.

Check today’s ride here.

Training Camp Mallorca 3

Mallorca

If you haven’t read part 1, do it here. Or part 2 here.

Day 9 – Friday

Almost 5 hours in the book today. It was a tough one starting with sprint efforts changing between 100 and 200 meters of sprinting every 2 kilometers for I don’t know how many times.

Mallorca

After rolling to freshness again, we did a 5 kilometers TTT. Then we span the legs again, before doing an uphill sprint of 400 meters. Then another easy spin followed by a 10 kilometers hilly race. I tried to attack and closed some attacks, but it all ended in a bunch sprint, where I had no power left.

Restore Cycling Mallorca
Restore Cycling Ladies

We finished off with another 10 kilometers race after 4 hours of riding, but this times with two teams. We were only five riders, so very small teams. One of two riders and one of three. I was on the two-rider team.

On my team, we discussed a little tactics, but since we were outnumbered, we wanted to wait for the others to make the first move. They did not, and suddenly I had a gap and tried my luck, but got caught.

Mallorca
Me and Dorien

In the end, I had a gap with one from the other team, but then we were caught shortly before the finish line. That was perfect for my team mate, because she could sit on the wheel of the others and take the win with a strong sprint.

We were all a bit tired after that training (why I also didn’t take many pictures), so we were very happy that we could have pancakes when we came home. There were natural ones, some baked with cheese and some baked with banana. The last two versions were new to me. The Dutch people put schenkstroop on the pancakes, which is a kind of syrup. Tastes good.

Billedresultat for koekreep

In the Netherlands they also like something called Rinse Appelstroop which is kind of salty. I don’t really like it. But I like their koekreep (a bread/cake thing), especially for a long rides.

Check today’s ride here.

Day 10 – Saturday

The last ride on Mallorca was with a lot of climbing. We went west heading for Andratx on a 120 kilometers long route with around 2000 meters of climbing. It was beautiful and with different stunning sceneries from almonds trees in blossom, to mountains covered in mist and views to the blue ocean bathed in sunlight.

Mallorca

I took a lot of pictures! People have asked me how I do it – take the pictures whilst riding – and it’s easy: I ALWAYS keep my phone in the right-sided pocket and rarely have anything else in that pocket. In that way, I can quickly get it out. I don’t have to open the phone to take a picture, just a slide on the screen and a press on a button. I do it quickly and take a few pics without looking at them, just hoping for a good result. Sometimes I’m very lucky, other times I need to delete a lot. I rarely stop to take a picture, and indeed it is much easier to capture something going uphill due to the speed, but sometimes I risk a bit, taking a picture downhill or at high speed on the flat (it is stupid, I know!).

Well, we started the day with some flat riding and then a short climb of a few kilometers, just to feel the legs. Then, we had a 5-6 kilometers long climb to Valdemossa (I think) that was kind of a race. We have a very strong climber on the team, so no surprise that she took the win.

Mallorca

After refueling on a gas station, it was time for a long section of up and down to Andratx. I really liked that part! So many different impressions, through villages and raw nature. Not much traffic or other people either.

Mallorca
Minna and Dorien

From Andratx it was a little bit more up and down, and then another short competetion-climb of 2,5 kilometers. From the top it was downhill to Palma and then flat on the coast to El Arenal with almost 5 hours on the bike in great weather. A nice way to finish off the team camp!

Mallorca sheeps
Made some new friends on Mallorca

Check today’s ride here.

Day 11 – Sunday

It’s the end of team camp on Mallorca and the beginning of my private camp in Nerja. I’m having a day off the bike, so plenty of time to pack the bike and my bags, before catching the plane at 13:35.

Aeropuerto de Palma
Adiós! Doei!

It has been 10 good days of getting to learn my team mates and staff a lot better and getting a good number of kilometers in the book. It was my first time on Mallorca for biking, but maybe not my last.

Aeropuerto de Palma
Killing time at the airport, writing this blog post 🙂

In 10 days TrainingPeaks tells me I have done 37,5 hours on the bike covering 998 kilometers with 9.530 elevation meters in total and burned 18.771 calories. My fitness has gone up with 13 points in the last week, so form is starting to show.

Mallorca

Now, I’m looking forward to catching up with friends in Nerja, get rid of my natural gloves (tanned hands and white arms) as well as the revers panda-eyes, and of course to have a big ice cream!!

Training Camp Mallorca 2

If you haven’t read part 1, do it here.

Day 5 – Monday

Today, the sun finally decided to come out and play! The whole day was with sunshine, blue skies and not a lot of wind – just perfect! Still only 13 degrees, but better than the other days.

Me and one of the Finnish girls, Minna.

We went north on a loop from El Arenal through Santa María del Camí to Inca and back through Sencelles and Llucmajor. A much prettier scenery than the east coast, and hillier. I liked it a lot!

Empty roads on Mallorca

We had an 3,5 hours easy ride, but with the possibility to do some short uphill sprints and a 4-5 kilometers uphill tempo to Randa that kind of ended in a race between some of us. I hope it won’t affect the legs too much for tomorrow’s queen stage of 165 kilometers with 3000 meters of altitude.

Going up to Randa

For once, we were home early, so I took a little walk on my own after lunch. I went down to the beach, which at this time a year is totally empty. Almost all the beach shops are closed (including the ‘heladerías’ (ice cream)), and not many people are around.

Platja de Palma

The last time I was at Platja de Palma, I was not even thinking about cycling. I was running every morning on the promenade and tanning on the beach for the rest of the day. How life has changed since then! The friend I was travelling with back then is a married mother now, and I am acting like a professional cyclist 😉

Running on Platja de Palma in 2014

Check today’s ride here.

Day 6 – Tuesday

A major day was on the paper today! The lack of climbs the last days was made up for with 3000 meters of altitude spread over 165 kilometers. I had a good sleep and was looking forward to a day in the mountains.

Early birds along the beach

We started a bit earlier than normal (9:30) and it was FREEZING! You could see your own breath as it was down to 1 degree Celsius. But as we got further the temperature rose and we had up to 17 degrees with the sun coloring our faces too (at least my face, and I now have the famous panda-eyes).

Beautiful roads going up

We started our loop from El Arenal going north to Inca. From there we turned west through Selva and Lluc, climbing ‘Coll de sa Batalla’ (8 kilometers with an average gradient of 5%) before reaching the top of Sa Calobra (or actually it is ‘Coll dels Reis’ which is 9,5 kilometers with 7% in average gradient).

Short pit-stop on top of Coll de sa Batalla

The funny thing about Sa Calobra is, that you must go down, before you can go up and once down, you can only go up to get anywhere else. Unless you take the ferry from the habour.

The bottom of Sa Calobra or Coll dels Reis

So, we went down a nice descent with a few hairpins and in the bottom, there was the most beautiful harbor. Mountain rocks standing tall and proud bathed in sun and with the bluest sky as a background. Picture perfect!

But, no time for more than one photo, then the climbing back to the top began. As always, when I don’t know a climb, I want to enjoy it and get to know it in my own pace. So, I stayed in my zone 3 being able to admire the view and still get some decent work done. Maybe next time, I will see how fast I can go up.

Sa Calobra / Coll dels Reis
Sa Calobra / Coll dels Reis
Sa Calobra / Coll dels Reis

It is a beautiful climb in many ways, and it is not too step or long. I got a little competitive in the end, trying to finish in 45 minutes. But I forgot where the top was, so I had to hurry in the end and reached the top with my tongue hanging out of my mouth in 43:37 – phew!

Made it!

On the top we had a short break, refueling with pancakes and other good stuff, and then we had a little more climbing to do, before descending Puig Major. An almost 14 kilometers nice, long descent with wide roads and easy corners. I went fast! So no time for pictures…

The top of Sa Calobra

Then, there was only one climb left up Coll de Sóller which is 5 kilometers with an average gradient of 5%). That was easy peasy after Sa Calobra, except I was trying to follow our two lightweight mountain goats, so when they went medium, I was struggling a bit more. I had to lose them in the last kilometer and all I noticed on our way up was a lot of sharp cornering (hairpins).

Down to ground zero again

From Sóller it was a lot of downhill and flat the last 40 kilometers back home. Thank God! After so many hours on the bike, I just wanted to go home as fast as possible.

From the left: Marieke, Kirsten, Dorien, Minna, me and Ida

Check today’s ride here.

Day 7 – Wednesday

Today was another easy day on the bike, because of the epic ride yesterday, but I threw in some zone 4 efforts along the way. I remember doing these efforts in the cold at home recently, and they felt so hard. Today, even though we had a long ride yesterday with many meters of altitude, they felt a lot easier, so I’m looking forward to doing a 20 minutes test (or at least till when it is over) next week and see if I have gone stronger over the winter.

From the left: Sari (from another team) and Kirsten
Campos, I think…

Anyway, we went by the coast to Campos, where we had a coffee at CurroBikes. A nice combined bike-shop and café. I think almost everybody ended up buying something there, besides coffee, and I bought new socks – that matches the Restore Cycling outfit of course.

Coffee at CurroBikes (Campos)
New socks!

On our way home we took the smaller roads with very few cars and with trees in blossom on both sides of the road. Beautiful on a sunny day like today. The only “downside” is, that there is A LOT of straight roads here on Mallorca, and it can get a little boring. But on the other hand, it was great for doing my efforts 🙂

Me and Dorien

Check today’s ride here.

Day 8 – Thursday

Another rest day today and I wanted to try out the Cycling Planet Café in Alaró, because I had seen it on Instagram and the food as well as the coffee looked soooo delicious. Only problem was that there are more or less 30 kilometers from El Arenal to Alaró, so a bit long for a recovery spin. I went anyway, since I don’t know when I will be back on this island, so I better get the most out of my stay.

Somewhere along the way to Alaró

I went alone since no one else felt for the same adventure and got on my bike around 10:00 in the morning. The weather was nice. Warm, but a bit cloudy, and little wind.

I had made a route on Strava, but as always, when I am my own tour guide, I got lost somewhere along the way. One of the roads was closed, so my Garmin sent me on a little detour. After about 1,5 hour I finally arrived in Alaró to a stuffed café.

Wrong way

I ordered a toasted slice of bread with cheese, serrano ham and avocado besides a cappuccino and a coke. It was yum! I ate it quickly, I always eat quickly, and after half an hour, I was back on the road.

Fancy toilet at Cycling Planet Bikes

To not get lost again, I decided to follow the GPS on my Garmin, but that might not be my best idea to date. It took me to Palma, before back to El Arenal, so another 1,5 hours more or less, and one long recovery spin richer. Good thing we only have two tough days of training coming up! (Ironi can appear).

Check today’s ride here.

Continue to part 3 here.

Training Camp Mallorca 1

Mallorca

Finally, training camp is here! I will stay 10 days on Mallorca with my team and 10 days in Nerja afterwards on my own (joined by a friend some of the days). So, three weeks in Spain – wuhuu! 🙂

Mallorca ride
Smiling on Mallorca

Day 1 – Thursday

I landed on Thursday afternoon, just in time to do a short spin before sunset. I had to go on my own, because the others had landed earlier, and was already on the road.

I have never been on Mallorca before, so I didn’t know where to go. We live in a small town just outside Palma, El Arenal, but it took me 20 minutes to find my way out of town and to the main road.

Mallorca
Main road on Mallorca

I decided to continue West, staying by the coastline not to get lost. It felt so good with double digit degrees, even if it was only 12 or so. There wasn’t a lot of traffic, and I only met a few other cyclists. The road was a little bit up and down, but mostly flat. It was great to be on my race bike again, instead of my winter bike. Back to light weight, aero position and electronic gears.

Sunset ride Mallorca
Sunset on Mallorca

I went 45 minutes in one direction, turned the bike, and went 45 minutes in the other direction. The Restore Cycling team stays in a big house, and I found out that it is right next to the hotel of the professionals doing Challenge Mallorca this week. On my way home from my spin, I was passed by a rider from Trek-Segafredo. I was going the same way as him, so I don’t hope he thought I was just following – haha.

Check today’s ride here.

Day 2 – Friday

We woke up to a very windy and rainy Mallorca – damn it! So, we decided to postpone our training till the afternoon in hope for better weather.

Our strategy worked, and we didn’t get any drops from above, only slightly wet roads and a lot of wind. Almost perfect conditions with a temperature of 10-15 degrees.

Playa de Palma
Playa de Palma

We did two sets of 3x 200 meters sprints, and very unexpected, I managed to kick in a new PB in 5-, 10- and 12-seconds peak performances. We also did a high-speed echelon, before going up a short climb of 1,5 kilometers full gas.

Happy after sprint efforts

In the uphill “race” decided to follow one of the strong girls, letting her decide the pace. I slipped in a wet corner, got out of rhythm, and had to close a small gap to go back on her wheel. Then, with 400 meters left, I passed her, she passed me again, and then we went neck to neck for the last 100 meters. It was hard to call a winner, since I did not know where the finish line was, but it was fun and only took 5 minutes of pain resulting in another new PB! What is happening coach PeakPower?

Exploring Mallorca
Exploring Mallorca

After the climb, we did a 10-12 kilometers tempo on rolling hills to Llucmajor before heading back home, nice and easy. A great day on the bike with 99 kilometers and 3,5 hours.

Check today’s ride here.

Day 3 – Saturday

Today, was an easy day. Easy in the way that we had to go in zone 1-2 for 4,5 hours. It was a pretty flat route with less than 900 elevation meters. The first three hours was great with sunshine and a nice tailwind.

Playa de Palma
Mechanical problems

Then, we turned into evil headwind, a few showers and a temperature around 7 degrees. If I wanted that, I would have stayed at home! We ended up being on the road for more than five hours due to the wind conditions.

Rainbow ride
Spot the rainbow!

But, today at least, I had a good chance to see a lot of the Mallorcan island and to be honest, I don’t like it as much as Andalucía. I might be a bit biased, since Costa del Sol feels like my second home, and I might just need to go into the mountains to see Mallorca’s real beauty. I will on our queen stage with Inca, Puig Major, Sa Calobra and Soller.

Restore Cycling Mallorca
Coach Rob leading the way

Check today’s ride here.

Day 4 – Sunday

Today is rest day, and we started the day with breakfast followed by walking to the beach to watch the start of Trofeo Playa de Palma.

Trofeo Playa de Palma
Start of Trofeo Playa de Palma

Afterwards, we found a cafe where we could watch U23 Women Cyclocross World Championship. One of the Dutch girls from Restore Cycling was participating and came in 3rd after a great fight.

Cycling cafe
Where we watched CX Worlds

Then, me and one of the other girls went on the bike to Palma to watch the finish of Trofeo Playa de Palma. We decided to go via the bike path by the beach, but it was tricky! Curves, narrow, many pedestrians, skaters, other cyclists, sand etc., so it was like doing our own little cyclocross race.

Playa de Palma
To Palma by the beach

Eventually, we reached Palma after half an hour. We found a café to share a sandwich and drink a coke, while watching the last kilometers of the race.

Katusha Cycling
Nice ride home

When we decided to turn our bikes home, the whole Katusha team (Kittel had won the race) was passing, so we followed. Who would be saying no to a free ride home? Our team house is right next to the hotel of the professionals, remember, so we were going in the same direction anyway 😉 And, they new a better way than the one we took, so, win win in my opinion.

Selfie Mallorca
Selfie time

Back home I made lasagna for the girls, and tomorrow it’s back to real training.

Check today’s ride here.

Continue to part 2 here.

The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit podium

It has been a while since my last update, but my computer broke down before Christmas and I was without it for 3-4 weeks. In the meantime, a lot have happened, and now I’m ready to share some of it.

Restore Cycling
Restore Cycling jersey

New year, new team

First of all, I started 2019 on a new team, Restore Cycling Women Team. A Dutch club team based in Pijnacker, Netherlands. I have been with the team two times before Christmas. Meeting the other riders, training in the dutch cross winds, discussing the race calendar and trying the light blue team clothes.

I will race the whole season with the team, so I will need to temporally move to the Netherlands. It will be an exciting and challenging year, I think, but I am ready to take the ride.

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Track season

On the track, I have developed a lot since October! I started with a pumping heart on every training, being scared to be on the track, especially with others. Now, I enjoy the track without fear, and I even race, although I still struggle with being comfortable among the other riders.

Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

I didn’t have to worry about other riders in the Danish Championship Individual Pursuit back in December. I only had to worry about my legs, and the lack of equipment. Being nervous on track have made me not care about equipment, because it didn’t really seemed necessary as long as I didn’t feel comfortable riding.

So, I was going to do the individual pursuit with the same setup as on any training, except for a disc wheel I was allowed to borrow. During the warm up, I talked with some of the other riders, and the conversations were something like this:

Rider 1: “Don’t you have front wheel?” (that matches the disc, he meant).
Me: “No”
Rider 1: “Here, you can borrow mine”
Me: “Thanks!”

Python track bike
My Phyton track bike went from regular to very cool in no time.

Rider 2: “Don’t you have a TT handlebar?”
Me: “No, I haven’t tried that on track before”
Rider 2: “You can borrow mine”
Me: “Thanks!”

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit
Borrowed handlebars and helmet made me a lot more aerodynamic.
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Rider 3: “Don’t you have an aero helmet?”
Me: “Yes, but I ride my bike to track, so can’t have two helmets with me”
Rider 3: “You can borrow mine”
Me: “Thanks!”

And suddenly, with help that I’m very grateful for, I had an awesome setup! Now, it was all about the speed my legs could produce. It was my first ever individual pursuit, haven’t even trained it, so I didn’t know what to expect or what to be capable of.

On track, you are not allowed to use any electronic devices, so I didn’t have anything to pace me other than the feeling. I just went as fast as I could, without killing myself completely.

Danish Championship Individual Pursuit
Danish Championship Individual Pursuit 2018 podium
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

I felt good, but I was also afraid to be catched from behind by my opponent. That never happened. Instead I was close to catching her on the last lap. I was so focused that I couldn’t figure out which finish line was mine, so I did an extra lap just to be sure.

My time for the 3000 meters was 3:53,850 and good enough for a second place, and I was really happy! I was only 4 seconds from the gold medal, so maybe I should train the discipline for next year 😉

Danish Championship track
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

The same weekend, we also raced Nationals in scratch and points race. None of them went good for me, but I learnt a lot. Track season is over for me now, but next season I hope to improve my racing and get into Madison. I tried Madison briefly on a training session and it was a lot of fun.

Ballerup Super Arena
Photo: Jesper Skovbølle

Training camp

My next adventure is training camp in two weeks – I can’t wait! First, I’m going to Mallorca with my team. It will be my first time cycling on the Spanish island, and I look forward to trying some new roads and climbs.

Straight after, I will continue to Nerja, my second home, for some epic rides with my Spanish friends. Being home in the cold, wet Danish winter weather, makes me miss Spain a lot, so I look forward to be back. And, with three weeks in the south, I hope to be in shape and ready for the season-start in March.