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MEET SWIM COACH – TANJA SLATER

From 2010 I worked as a Green Teamer at Club La Santa for 18 months. I was proud to walk around the complex in my Green Team uniform and say hello to guests, representing Club La Santa and the fitness lifestyle as a whole was a real privilege. Back then, my role was in ‘The Test Centre’, working on all the Club La Santa training camp weeks. This also included swim instruction, fitness tests and training programmes for guests. I loved my time working in the resort and my favourite part of the job was meeting so many people. Seeing the smiles on their faces while learning, progressing and improving their sport or fitness in the sunshine was such a fulfilling feeling. Oh, and the wind!!! Lanzarote is not Lanzarote without that wind to make you strong and tough; A real character builder!

I have been helping on training camps at Club La Santa since 2003, mainly Triathlon Camps and since leaving my full-time role at CLS I now run my own camps throughout the year at the resort as well as the CLS Women’s-Only triathlon Camp.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have a job now that allows me to work at CLS 3 – 4 times a year, every time I leave I can’t wait to return! I get to be there to enjoy the atmosphere, the facilities and the weather. I adore walking into reception and being greeted with a smile, hello and welcome back each and every time. Club La Santa is very infectious (in the best way possible!) which is why so many people come back time and time again. It’s comforting seeing so many familiar faces!

I have so many amazing memories from my stays at CLS, from winning the Volcano Triathlon, to teaching non swimmers to swim 50m without stopping, to guiding groups around the island on bikes. The atmosphere around the complex is truly fabulous! Like-minded people enjoying all kinds of exercise or sports day after day. It’s so special to have this many accessible facilities in one place at one time.

In terms of the current global situation, I actually started my lockdown journey at CLS! I was there on Sunday 15th March when we woke up to locked gates. It was very strange watching the place close down and all the people leaving. It was however exciting to see them start refurbishments, arguably the perfect time to do it! The leisure pool was drained to start fixing and re-painting it, and continue the new building works that were already underway. That’s the kind of dedication you see at CLS; Always looking to improve and adapt every aspect of the experience.

Initially we played Frisbee on the grass and a group round of mini golf which I have not done at CLS before. It was nice to do something different and it shows the huge range of activities available on-site.

Since returning home the rules are a little different to Spain. In the UK we are allowed to go out and exercise once a day (This wasn’t the case back over there, so I feel incredibly lucky) and go to the supermarket as minimally as possible. I have really quite enjoyed being at home with a guilt-free, slower pace of life. Totally different to what I’m used to!

I am lucky that I’m able to continue to work from home and I now have 6 x zoom exercise sessions a week for the athletes I coach full-time to join me for fun, social and to keep a bit of a routine. I decided, as there will be no racing in the foreseeable future, this is perfect opportunity to work on my weaknesses.

In recent times I’ve been very lazy with core / body workouts as I like to swim, bike and run. So to make up for it I’m now doing core and body workouts every single day in the garden to build body strength. This means when lockdown is lifted I can run, bike and swim again and potentially lower the risk of injury and allow my body to cope better with the training.

I can tell you it has not been pretty! After my first 15 mins high-intensity session I could not walk for 2 days due to muscle soreness! But this gives me the motivation to continue. It is terrible to know that a few squats and press up cause so much pain and, as bad as it sounds, it proves my body is weak despite a high aerobic fitness level. So I am enjoying doing something different with a small, achievable goal.

 

 

My advice during lockdown is to not overdo it; Find a routine and don’t push yourself to dangerous limits. Decide on one goal which is achievable. Right at the beginning of lockdown I read a very interesting article about “inspired productivity pressure”. It was about this pandemic being a more long-term issue than people originally may think. It went on to read, “it would be foolish to dive into a frenzy of activities or obsess about your scholarly productivity right now. That is denial and delusion”. This really helped me to step back and find a small, manageable goal. The article went on to say our priorities should be:

  1. Safety
  2. Focusing on our mental shift. And…
  3. Embracing a new normal.

This helped me at the beginning to not go crazy, not do too much each day and burn out. I have also since read some comments from a few professional cyclists such as, “I would prefer to come out of lockdown detrained rather than mentally and physically cooked from pushing too hard on my home trainer”.

I am really missing my swimming. I love swimming and we have a group who meet twice a week to swim and have breakfast. So there’s a social aspect as well as a training. I have been doing some land-based swimming sessions (yes, that’s a thing!) during lockdown, which I am very interested in finding out if they have kept my swimming fitness up. I’m sure I’ll find out when I take a dip back in the pool!

I really hope we will be able to travel and back to having holidays as I cannot wait to return to Club La Santa for my International Swim Camp from 26th November – 20th December.

https://www.clublasanta.com/en/sports/events/international-swim-camp-for-triathletes/international-swim-camp-for-triathletes.

Date Posted: 23rd May 2020

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