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Training (and recovery!) in Lanzarote for 10 days with Vonsy’s Tri Family

Berber Kramer, March 17th, 2024

A deciding factor for me to join Vonsy’s Tri Family was its training camps. I had never met my former coach in person and felt like I had been missing out on the social aspect of the sport a bit, so the idea of spending more than a week with like-minded athletes and my coach, in person, doing the thing I love the most – swim-bike-run – really appealed to me. And when I joined the team, I got lucky, with two training camps this year – one in Lanzarote, and one in Mallorca!

With the Mallorca camp still a bit more than a month away, the Lanzarote camp is now behind us, and I couldn’t have wished for more. Being in Lanzarote for 10 days with the coaches and other athletes on the team was amazing. Vonsy’s Tri Family has a diverse range of athletes, all with their own unique inspiring stories, and we got to share some fun and hilarious moments together. Suffering together on long rides, hilly runs, and hard swims made sessions go by a little faster. Being able to talk with the pro/elite athletes in the team, and learning about how they approach training, recovery, planning a season, and race preparation, was extremely valuable.

During camp, we swam almost every day. Given that swimming is not quite my strength, this was very helpful, since now I could get immediate feedback on my technique. Trying to stay on the more advanced swimmers’ feet was very motivating to swim faster and push just a little bit more to get some solid training in. The facilities were great, with a 25m pool as part of the hotel and a spa to recover after a hard swim. There was also a lot of cycling, and Lanzarote is perfect for this. Admittedly, my standards are low, given the poor and chaotic conditions of Nairobi roads, but even for European standards, Lanzarote roads are fantastic, with cycling highways, few stoplights, (most) drivers being very patient with cyclists, and beautiful cycling weather. And coach Vonsy was always waiting mid-way for us with water and snacks. She came up with fun sessions too, included hill repeats on a scenic 6-kilometer climb, and a multi-brick session, whereby we got to run-bike-run-bike-run several times – a triathlete can’t wish for more!

All the in-person time with coach Vonsy also helped us to get to know each other a lot better, which is so important in a coach-athlete relationship. Now that she has seen me swim, bike and run in real life, she knows exactly what my strengths and weaknesses are. We were able to take a good look together at my training plan for the next few months and think of how to best address those weaknesses. But maybe even more valuable is that we got to talk about our goals and challenges in life beyond triathlon, which inevitably influences training. And inspiring to see Vonsy’s interaction with all her athletes (“girls”), being everywhere, and still logging her own training runs!

A final highlight was not having to juggle a full-time job with triathlon training, which made an enormous difference to my recovery. I slept much longer than usual, was able to stretch after long sessions instead of having to rush to the next meeting, and with all the good food cooked for us, my body reacted to the high training load a lot better than I had thought. Once back in Nairobi, and acclimated to the elevation (1800 meters), I had an amazing performance during a time trial on the bike, and one week later during an off-road half marathon. Hopefully the gains from Lanzarote also yield stellar results for the rest of the season, and I can’t wait for some quality training, recovery, and in-person time with Vonsy’s Tri Family again during Mallorca training camp


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