For both amateurs, semi pros and professional sportsmen, Club La Santa is one of the preferred training places in the world. Especially triathletes see the advantages in the conditions here, with names like Luc Van Lierde, Stefan Vuckovic, Mark Herremans, Francisco Pontano or local athletes as Aroa Medino and Gregorio Cáceres Morales and they all enjoy the Club La Santa Lifestyle and facilities to train here.
But why are people so enthusiastic about Lanzarote and Club La Santa in particular?
We have asked the German triathlete Michael Gühner, who has been here for a week’s intensive training, in preparation for Ironman Hawaii.
For the first time, Michael Gühner has paid a visit to Club Las Santa, to get used to a more tropical climate before entering the World Championship in Kona nezt 16th of October.
Keeping fit for these kinds of races not only takes many hours of hard training, but also the right training facilities and some good equipment, to go with the energy and strength of will. And according to Michael, CLS has been able to provide him with the absolute best conditions to train all three disciplines in triathlon with an enjoyably good and easy accessibility.
Michael is here with his girlfriend, who is also very fond of sports, and when they heard of the possibility to combine his training with a vacation (in the same place), they made a quick decision and packed for a week of accumulation and quality time together.
The first thing that Michael had heard of on the Island before coming here, was the strong wind and the steep hilly roads. But as he has now tried it himself, and also experienced the heat of the Canarian Sun, it actually seems to have appealed to him pleasantly enough, to make him consider coming back next year again.
“Normally the weather of Germany is quite unreliable and rarely as delightful as here, which is of course an advantage for going on the bike and running. But one thing which is really luxury for me, is to be able to take a swim outside in the Olympic pool. It is just a few seconds away from my apartment. I don’t have to waist time on transportation and can spend the gained time doing other exercises or being with my girlfriend.” – M.G.
The training for Hawaii not only includes coming here, but also the Ironman Wiesbaden on the 19th of August, which is a training race before the “real challenge” in Kona.
“I hope to be in the top 3 for Wiesbaden, and look forward to doing the race. Of course you can never be sure what will happen, and the other athletes like Timo Bracht are of course really good as well, but I have a good feeling about it so hopefully I will obtain my goal.”
For Hawaii Michael predicts a bit differently, with a range between top 10 or 15; not really emphasizing the time a factor for him personally. But with the way he has been training now, and with his relatively young age and great results so far, he should hopefully have a fair chance of obtaining what he states.
To variate his training in a fun and enjoyable way, he sometimes combines the normal training with skiing. Of course this is very different from the usual program, but as Michael so wisely explains, then you have to accommodate to the conditions which you are in, which is why he, during the winter time, likes to go cross-country skiing; also as a way of building muscles and getting in good shape and train coordination and reflexes. And in the summer time, he goes on “skike”, which is a mixture between rollerblades and skies.
Usually running is his best discipline, and he also used to be into marathon, so obviously this is his strong side. But his favourite discipline is biking, where he is quite strong as well. The swimming is not really his thing, but he tries to use the quiet periods of the year, to train more intensively, and thereby get full concentration on one thing.
On the other hand Michael explains, he almost reduces his training with 50% before a big race, in order for his body to recover and reload, before pushing it to the fullest, -sometimes even a bit more.
The last question that Michael enthusiastically responded to, was his membership in Team Erdinger Alkoholfrei, who is also one of his biggest sponsors. He strongly believes in anti-doping within the world of triathlon, and speaks highly of the initiative in the German organization.
Even though the problem with doping is not that big in triathlon, it is still a subject to be discussed and surveyed, by both the Medias and various sports comities/ organizations.
Michael himself thinks, that amount of doping cases is being kept down, by the fact that there is not so much money to win in triathlon, compared to many other sports, which makes the contestants (especially the professionals) compete most out of lust.
May more triathletes keep up the same enthusiasm and true sports spirit as Michael, and hopefully he will return to train with us again next year…if not sooner.
All the best of luck at both Wiesbaden and Hawaii!
Date Posted: 31st July 2007