After the high of Hawaii Ironman, Ian turned his training towards the bike with the aim of tackling some notorious foreign classics. With his son Alex in tow – who’s now aiming to replicate his Dad’s Kona dream – the Garrod duo joined our OTE Training Camp in Mallorca to max-out their mileage…
I started to take part in triathlon in 1986 when I joined the fire service. I concentrated on long-distance races and eventually managed a 9 hour 30 minute Ironman, which qualified me for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 1994.
After the high of Hawaii I continued with long-distance triathlon up until 2006 but have since found my training has become simply riding a bike a bit with the odd jog thrown in. I needed a goal but first I needed to get fit. When I spotted the OTE Training Camp in Mallorca I signed up and roped in my son Alex. A cycling holiday in Mallorca; he certainly didn’t come kicking and screaming.
The ride leaders were invaluable. I loved having a guide to show us the best routes and avoid the crowds of cyclists – whilst making good progress and avoiding dual carriageways. Our ride leader Antony soon had everyone riding well, taking turns equally, riding decent echelons and looking out for each other on the first day.
It was possible to ‘sit in’ when needed – and I admit at times I needed to. The two groups met each morning, which meant you could pick and choose how you wanted to approach that day; essentially there’s a pace and a group to meet all needs. Doing the structured miles we did, over varied terrain in an organised group meant that a great deal was gained in a few days.
Strangers became Friends
I enjoyed not knowing anyone at the start of the week, but cycling got everyone on board and soon it was really good to see the groups mix so well – both on and off the bike. You always learn something from meeting and riding with new people. The addition of a pro-rider and nutritionist always helps you learn something too. The evening’s were always fun with the inevitable cycle chatter thrown in. I enjoyed the riding in warm weather in a group who were good company with fantastic, strategic cafe stops!
The best thing I did was to book on the OTE Training Camp in Mallorca. It rounded off my winter training and prepared me for the Spring. After that, I took on the cobbles in the Tour of Flanders sportive, then the Nove Colli event in Cessanatico, Italy. Since the OTE Training Camp my endurance on the bike – at pace – has improved massively.
I’d recommend the OTE Training Camp. It’s really well organised while remaining friendly and casual. There was no hanging around for transfers – with a friendly and very organised welcome. The ride leaders are so beneficial as they really know the best routes. The hotel facilities were the best I have experienced on any camp or cycling holiday. The standard of catering was excellent and the support that the camp staff provided was priceless. They even organised for the weather to be unbelievable for the whole week.