Tom Wheatley of ShortList blogs about his progress so far
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
I'd been to Cyprus once before, a heavily alcohol-fueled holiday just after finishing university. I didn't really remember a great deal about the place save for the fact it was hot, there's a bar that shows Friends episodes all day, and I ended up quite badly sunburned. I read a few reviews and found that triathlons had really started taking off there, largely due to the ease of training in all three disciplines. So I packed a pretty large bag of equipment (triathletes don't travel light it would seem), read a few articles on sea swimming, and flew out.
The location for the trip was the Almyra, a five-star sea front hotel just a fifteen minute drive from Paphos airport. Once we pulled up in front of the hotel and were greeted by Ashley, our tirelessly helpful host for the weekend, we were taken on a tour of the impressive facilities that would make up our training for the next few days. Bear in mind that most of my previous training had largely been in the local swimming pool and the occasional lake on a cold day, the sight of the beach outside my room suddenly made any exercise seem considerably more inviting.
Our coach for the weekend was veteran triathlete, marathon runner, Ironman and physiologist Kypros Nicolaou. As we sat by the pool he took us through what we could expect from the next three days, what we hoped to achieve, any concerns that we may have and gave us our training plan for the weekend. He then took us through his future plans for the Active Holidays program and gave us an overview of some of the previous camps that had taken place as well as an annual triathlon held at the resort.
Following this initial run-through we went to check out our rented bikes and set them up for the next morning's 8am coastal ride.
Before heading to dinner I decided, largely through fear that my swimming was going to me my downfall, to nip into the pool for some practice. Having the opportunity to swim somewhere that wasn't packed out like my usual pool meant I could actually relax and focus more on my stroke, rather than spend half an hour dodging the other people using the lanes. It's probably safe to say that the view didn't hurt either.
Once I'd spent a few hours relaxing, preparing equipment and the occasional nap in the sun I felt largely ready for whatever Kypros would throw at me. After some traditional Cypriot food and a couple of glasses of wine I headed back to my bed in preparation for day one.