Training: Cornwall Style

I have spent the last few days in perhaps the only place that stands alongside Chile for me, God’s own country of Cornwall. Although it was primarily for a holiday, I could not resist getting in a bit of the unique training opportunities this would give me towards the Challenge.

Beach TrainingRocky beach

Rocky III Beach Run

My first session was a great early morning run. First task was getting up before 7 am on Bank Holiday Monday after a Portuguese BBQ and bottle of wine the night before, but surprisingly I actually made it up and out without any problems. Obviously too good a chance to miss. At that time in the morning Newquay was all but deserted, and this gave a real sense of freedom whilst running along the cliff tops, starting near Tolcarne beach, across Lusty Glaze and then down onto Porth beach.

Then the adrenaline really kicked in, and I had little choice but to switch on Eye of the Tiger and practice my sprints, just like Apollo & Rocky.  To be fair it is not as easy as it looks, as the sand gives next to no grip, and there was a plenty of streams leading down to the sea to dodge, but it was definitely worth it and should add a lot to my off-road running in the next race. My only regret was not having some of the eye-catching numbers paraded by Sly in the montage sequences…

A run back took me along the front and running up the (135) steps from Tolcarne, then down past Newquay zoo and into the park. A quick lap around the lake and gardens and then back to the hotel for 8 am and 8 km covered, taking in plenty of hills, steps, rocks and even sand. All in all a great start to any day!

Newquay SwimPoint Break

Operation Point Break (ish)

Part two of the adventure was supposed to involve some surfing, however that fell down on one fundamental issue, I can’t surf there was no waves! Yes, the sea was about as flat as it gets, and combined with fairly dull weather it was not one to spend sat floating on a board for an hour hoping for a bit of action. You can see how gutted Bodhi is in the above photo when he found out.

Fortunately I had a back up, in that given I already had my wetsuit ready, it was perfect conditions for some open water swim training instead. I am not really sure how far I did, but working out at my usual pace I covered around 2 km in 40 mins going across the bay and back again, although it may have been a bit less as it was again a lot tougher work with the few waves there were which seemed a lot higher at water level. I did manage to get in a bit if body surfing though which was fun.

The session was not without a few mistakes though. My first was sporting my fetching scuba diving hood and goggle combination, which whilst my head was warm and my eyes salt-less, looked very strange. I can only imagine the terror in some of the younger surfers as a strange man beast emerged from underwater near their legs, with a smooth black head and bulging red eyes. I must have looked nearly as crazy as Gary Busey, and some of them may never venture into the water again…

My goggles also did not seem to want to stay waterproof, and this meant I had to stop every few minutes to empty them. Although it was good practice for mid-race clearances (roll on your back and let the water out), it was a pain and may well be the last time they make it into the water either.

Finally, it only clicked when I got out that I had neglected to use my Body Glide (wetsuit lube) and as a result for the next 48 hours have looked like I narrowly escaped a lynching, with a huge red ring around my neck where the seawater well and truly did it’s chaffing work. Aside from that it was some great training, and who knows, hopefully I may be doing a coastal triathlon before too long to put this training into real action!


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