Ok so it’s actually only 39.5 hours but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Anyway let’s move on.

It was to be a nine day training camp. I wasn’t exactly sure how fit I was when I arrived at Lanzarote so the plan was quite loose and flexible. I had been training reasonably consistently for a couple of months but not in all three sports. I had plenty of pool time racked up but both my biking and running had been somewhat light in November and December.

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.

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I hoped I’d manage a big week. I thought somewhere in the region of thirty hours might be on the cards if I didn’t blow myself to pieces in the first couple of days.

I’ve been asked a couple of times recently about the type of training I do. Whether I favour climbing (I do) or flat riding. How many hours I train each day/week, how I fit it all in, how I split it between swim, bike and run.

This post covers how I do a training camp and how I split the training between the sports (badly this time and not exactly as the coach wanted…)

This week was a very big jump in volume over what I do at home and isn’t necessarily what I’d advise everyone to do. I’ve done big weeks like this before and know I can handle the increase reasonably well as long as I’m careful with the intensity.

I’ve only included links to the bike files on Strava but the other sessions are all available over there too if you want to check them out.

Day 1


  • Monday 7th 2h55
  • Bike 2:55 82.5k 880m

I flew out early on Monday and was checked in, had the bike built and was riding just by just after lunchtime. It was an easy, flat day (as flat as you can get in Lanzarote anyway) with just under three hours and almost 900 meters of climbing.

Day 2

Twice up Tabayesco. Over exuberant on day two?


  • Tuesday 8th 6h05
  • Swim 1:00 3100m
  • Bike 5:05 144k 2020m climbing

I was in the pool before breakfast and did an hours swim but in my head the week is going to be all about the bike. I decided to get some climbing done. I headed towards the Tabayesco climb and enjoyed it so much I rode it twice. I was feeling better as the day went on and went up the climb faster the second time.

I find that it usually takes me a couple of hours before the body really wakes up and I often feel much better in the second half of a ride.

Day 3


  • Wednesday 9th 6h10
  • Swim 1:05 3300m
  • Bike 5:05 148k 1410m

Day three is when things can start to hurt a bit. Especially if I’ve gotten overexcited in the first two days. But thankfully I was feeling good again today. Despite this I decided to stay mostly flat again with only 1400 meters of climbing.

We were passed by the BMC Pro tri team on our way back at the end of the ride and jumped on the back of the group thinking that we’d have an easy spin all the way home but they had other plans and turned up to Tabayesco instead of going back flat. Neither myself nor Dave felt like climbing at that point of the day so we rode back on the flat instead.

Day 4

Today’s spin was split on the garmin, this is the longer file. The other one is on my Strava feed at the link below.


  • Thursday 10 7h00
  • Swim 1:00 3000m
  • Bike 5:25 154k 1670m
  • Run :35 6.5k

I usually find that day four is when I really know how the week is going to go. Before starting today I had over fifteen hours done already this week. I woke tired and didn’t do anything exceptional in the pool. It was very much a case of just getting the distance done.

I was counting down the minutes to getting out and going for breakfast from very early on in the swim and was happy to just last for the prescribed hour.

After breakfast it took a full two hours for my legs to wake up and start to feel good. But when they did they felt really good. I did a couple of fairly decent efforts in the second half of the ride.

The run off the bike was on very tired legs and the feeling of almost endless power and strength I’d felt on the second half of the ride was completely gone.

Ais wants me to run more this week but once the sun is shining I have a habit of going for the bike first. And second. And third. You get my meaning.

Anyway going on how my legs felt on this run she’s absolutely right, as usual she sees things I somehow miss, or that I decide to ignore…

Day 5


  • Friday 11th 4h50
  • Swim :40 2000m
  • Bike 4:10 112k 1100m

I was a bit flattened this morning in the pool and decided that an easy day was on the cards whether I liked it or not.

I finished the up with twenty seven hours training in the first five days. And at this stage I’m feeling every bit of it. I decided that I should skip the post bike run and lie down instead. I didn’t move until dinner.

Day 6


  • Saturday 12th 6h40
  • Swim :45 2600m
  • Bike 5:20 156k 1970m 281
  • Run :35 6.5k

It’s funny how bad I felt yesterday and when I woke this morning feeling not much better, but again after about two hours on the bike I’d started to wake up. Even with almost 2000 meters climbing i managed to hold an average speed of just under 30kph. It’s really encouraging to see that the speed hasn’t dropped off at all as the week progressed, if anything it’s going up slightly despite very sore and increasingly tired legs.

Yet again the post bike run wasn’t pretty. Ais made sure I at least went out today (unlike yesterday) I found it hard to do much more than thirty minutes.

Definitely need to work on that.

Day 7

Sunday 13th 5:15 (2)

  • Bike 4:40 125k 1780m
  • Run :35 6.5k


You can check out the session and all my training on Strava at this link

At the end of today I hit 39 hours of training for the week. There’s still two days to go but I’m really tired now and have a feeling that it will be a case of survival rather than killing anyone on the bike tomorrow.

Weekly totals

  • Hours 38h55 (15 sessions)
  • Swim 4:30 14000m (5)
  • Bike 32:40 921.5k 10,830m (7)
  • Run 1:45 19.5k (3)

Day 8

  • Monday 14 4h00
  • Swim :40 2100m
  • Bike 3:20 90.5k

Unsurprisingly I felt like I’d been driven over by a bus this morning. Like every other day this week it took me a couple of hours before the legs woke up on the bike. We were climbing Tabayesco this morning and despite very heavy legs I was confident that I could ride it faster than my previous fastest time. I’d gone up it earlier in the week in 36 minutes. But that was the second time in a day and I was also riding fairly steady.

This time I had a big German former pro triathlete to race against. The fact that he weighs about 15kg more than me and was riding a Cyclocross bike has no importance in this story. His claim that he weighs 86 kilos seems sort of unlikely given how fast he goes uphill in his current claimed “unfit” state.

Maybe he’s hollow.

He also claims to not have been a pro but that’s also open to question. He raced the German Bundesliga triathlon series which I think is a pro (or at the very least elite) league having had athletes such as Ironman World Champions Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange race it.

So for the purposes of this story he was is a pro triathlete. Weighs 86kilos 68kilos. Was riding a Cyclocross bike superlight climbing bike with wispy carbon wheels and probably definitely raced with Lange and Frodo and possibly even certainly had faster bike splits than them when he did.

It’s also important to say that I’ve almost 1000km in my legs this week so far so if I get beaten up the climb by the large German gentleman then that’s also to be taken into account.

So back to the climb. I’m not going to go into all of the sweaty, painful detail. Rather I’ll sum it up in a couple of phrases.

  • Second place.
  • 31 minutes and small change.
  • 5 minute Pb.

The big lad beat me by about 20 seconds in the end. I was close to him almost all the way but I suspect that he had an engine in the bike (or stuck up his arse) for the last bit.

Either way I’m quite happy with a five minute PB on a 30 minute climb.


You can check out the session and all my training on Strava at this link

An easy swim, bike, run day to round out the week. I think this has been the best training camp I’ve done for a number of years. It’s certainly the biggest training volume week (actually nine days) that I’ve done in a very long time.

It’s been very encouraging that I was able to train right through without a day off. The fact that I managed to get a significantly harder and longer training block done than I’d anticipated was also a big plus.

Day 9

  • Tuesday 15 3h40
  • Swim :30 1500m
  • Bike 2:30 71.5k
  • Run :40 7.5k


You can check out the session and all my training on Strava at this link

Overall numbers for the nine day camp

  • Total hours 46h35
  • Total sessions 20
  • Total swims 7
  • Total bikes 9
  • Total runs 4
  • Swim distance 17600m
  • Bike distance 1084km
  • Run distance 27km
  • Swim time 5h40
  • Bike time 38h30
  • Run time 2h25

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.


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It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.