From April 2nd to April 9th, 2022 we left the moderate German weather behind us and hopped on the plane to Albufeira.
Packing for the training camp is very easy. Go to your closet the night before departure, grab everything that says BR and throw it in your suitcase. Go to your shoe rack, grab all your running shoes and throw them in the suitcase. Hah, that was quick!
Wait a minute, the racing bike has to come along too, the helmet, the cycling shorts, do I need chain grease? Where was my sunscreen again? Did I really book the right outbound flight? Can I pack sourdough in my hand luggage at all? Oh dear, it's going to be a short night...
Three flight hours later, we have clamped ourselves and our equipment in three vans and off we go to the villa with a heated pool. After the short shock that two weeks before departure our house was canceled due to repair work, the happy coincidence that a few corners away better accommodation was available. Because of the inconvenience, the pool heating is free. Free upgrade accepted, thanks!
Arriving at the house, school trip vibes came up for a moment, who gets the best room, has Niklas already put his towel on the sun lounger and do we really want to sleep wall to wall with Azicola? Anyway, those are problems for later, put on your running shoes and explore the hood with a short shake-out run. It is only 400m to the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira and its perfect track, the swimming pool is opposite and the sea is not far either.
The next day starts with homemade bagels for everyone, a relaxed jog for some and the first bike tour for others. In the afternoon there was the first track session in the stadium and how great is a soft tartan track when you're only used to hard ashes at home?
Basically, two running sessions were planned each day, easy in the morning and hard in the afternoon. Of course, the whole thing is just a framework and not a strict training plan. Depending on personal preferences, units can be added, varied and adjusted here. Mobility and running coordination were not neglected either, we are not here for fun!
Or is it?
Between all the units there is of course enough time for lounging around the pool, sightseeing in Albufeira Oldtown and 13 aperols in the evening. Power naps became more and more important as the week progressed, but all the homemade treats from Holger's and Azib's bakehouse kept the engine running. We've pushed the kitchen to the limit of its capabilities several times, 13 bridgies need a lot of supplies and calories are your best friend.
It is amazing what the body can do when there is no job and no everyday stress is sapping one's strength. Four times the weekly workload is possible if you can just focus on training, eating and recovering, life can be so simple.
Last day, last tempo unit, it's still going surprisingly well, even if you notice the past 6 days of course.
Finally, a tour on the racing bike, quickly out of the city and the traffic and into the mountains. On small roads and through orange groves we drive to the Arade dam, for coffee and cake to Silves and then at a good pace along the coast back to Albufeira.
We while away the time until departure the next noon in the port of Albufeira, eat fresh fish, drink coffee, massage our tired legs and nobody really feels like going home.
Adeus Albufeira, the training camp is over for this year!