Tom Wheatley of ShortList blogs about his progress so far
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
We took the same route as the day before then headed away from the coast at about 25km. The hills kicked in pretty soon after. I powered through at the back but soon realised my cycling could do with a bit of work, I was still managing to keep my heart rate under 155 though.
At 30km we stopped for a toilet break, at which point I looked up at a hill/mountain in the distance and asked Kypros if he'd ever been up there before. He turned and laughed, this was the hill he was talking about. To anyone thinking I may be whining, here's an overview of the incline.
For the next 5km I pushed myself on to climb the winding hill roads that led up to the peak as Kypros explained how I could use my gears better to manage the effort I was using (left hand big changes, right hand small changes) and highlighted that I was crossing them too much. Eventually I reached the top and looked down towards the base, now it was time for the fun bit.
As Kypros kept telling me, what goes up must come down, and the down bit was really nice. For 5km we had a clear open descent taking us from the peak. Kypros shot off in front at a speed I don't even want to think about while I held onto my handlebars and breaks with my teeth gritted, carefully scanning the road for the slightest imperfections.
The rest of the ride we spent running group drills testing our ability to stay in single file formation whilst overtaking each other at intervals.
With only a 15 minute break after returning to the hotel we set off for the swimming section of the day. This time we started in the pool to work on our stroke before heading out into the sea for some distance training.
After only a few minutes I realised the 60km bike ride had taken it's toll and I found the session much harder than the day before. For the next hour we performed a series of drills in addition to the previous ones. Mine were focussed predominantly on breathing and positioning as Kypros once again positioned himself underwater and filmed us as we went back and forth.
After a final short open water session and some much needed lunch we headed off with Kypros to sit down and run through what we'd learned. Looking through the videos he highlighted areas to concentrate on and the best ways to improve. My aim for the next few months of training was to swim three times a week, two spent on drills and one purely to build fitness. I would also need to spend time relaxing in the water as my apparent anxiety was resulting in breathing issues which meant I was tiring far too quickly.
To celebrate the days effort we finished with a deep tissue massage followed by a meal cooked by Almyra's Executive Chef Rob Shipman. Suddenly the aches and pains drifted away as we made our way through a selection of dishes combining traditional Greek and Asian cuisines.
The next Active Holiday with Thanos Hotels will take place at their Anassa resort. Information and how to book can be found here.