• Serpentine Golden Girls

Progress in training - Lanzarote Mark 2!

I’m back in Lanzarote for a week. This time on my own. This was my backup insurance if I hadn’t been able to ride my bike outside in our previous Serpentine trip - my previous blog showed you that it wasn’t an issue! This is now adding to the benefits from four glorious days at Easter in the UK where I biked every day. Now is the time for fine tuning - not just the biking but all the systems of recovery each day. It was also fascinating to see Lanzarote in a season I hadn’t before. Note the unique Lanza vines growing vigorously in the pictures.

I’m only three days in (but also mid-week alas) but I have been reminded of some key issues to remember. Don’t force the rides - they will only come back and bite you the next days. So after a rather eager first day of working at that 80% effort or over, I regretted it and kept back a bit on the second ( Also had a fabulous fast 10K hike in the afternoon over the volcanic terrain to see the view from one of the volcanic calderas nearby courtesy of Club La Santa - hardly recovery!) . So the third day – I had re-equilibrated and had a strong 3 ride session round the island with a fourth good ride later in the afternoon. Mind you the wind had dropped considerably by then. Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the week. I am fortunate to be able to wind down with a swim at the end of the day whilst here.

One of the other key elements for recovery is balanced nutrition and I have been mindful of both my needs (a simple and digestible food balance) and what the crew can easily source and feed us on. I have been practising it here in Lanzarote on both trips. We each have our own needs and though I am an omnivore, for this sort of continuous effort I am almost vegetarian but I need some animal protein - and the best source for me – together with the fish oils and oil-soluble vitamins etc is fish – preferably oily fish and/or salmon ( or trout) ( preferably farmed from the sustainability point of view. For example, today’s lunch was a salad of cold potatoes, avocado, red pepper, tomatoes and sweetcorn - with Danish sild (herring in mustard sauce) but it could have just as easily been cheese. Tonight, might be salmon, potatoes (of course) and spinach. The other key starch carbohydrate I eat is pasta.

The other vital element is sleep – a precious commodity on a trip like this when we are “on duty” every six hours. For me, I will sleep during the darker rest period and get the other chores done during the “day”. The crew will be pleased that I am also practising some of the other elements of a good “RAAM” - washing my cycle clothes whilst I shower after that six-hour stint…

Onwards and upwards……

Hilary (Walker)


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