Where the Europeans get ready

To escape the wet and cold Northern European spring, many European athletes head to the island of Mallorca to get ready for the upcoming season. During the summer the beaches and bars are packed with tourists, but during springtime this island is taken over by cyclists from all over the world, and especially from Germany.

German pro triathlete Uwe Widmann recently came back from such a training camp and he reports for Slowtwitch.

"With the season approaching rapidly it was time to increase the training sessions, especially on the bike. I made Alcudia on the Northern end of the island my home for a few weeks, just as I had in 2007. The weather in Germany had been pretty bad and dreary and on the island I encountered spring like temperatures and lush green pastures. The beauty of the island is actually reason enough for me come back over and over. Well, who wouldn’t enjoy riding past orange groves, olive trees and happy goats and sheep? The workouts are typically quite harsh, so it is good to have something for the eye.

The streets are well built too and usually don’t have too much traffic, luring every year several pro road teams and triathlon pros like Faris Al Sultan, Thomas Hellriegel and Norman Stadler to Mallorca. From my base in Alcudia you can choose all kinds of bike routes with quite varied terrain ranging from flat to rolling to mountainous.

The mornings here are quite a sight when all the cyclists leave the hotels in their colorful cycling garb and start their rides. It sometimes has a bit of a Tour de France feeling.

Mallorca is mostly known as a cycling mecca, but running and swimming can be easily done here. I usually do my 30 minute breakfast runs along the beach, but for longer runs I typically utilize the area near the garden and the quite roads around Pollenca and Alcudia.

My swims I usually get done at the indoor pool in Alcudia and I always encounter folks I know there. Here and there though it gets a bit too busy there. Especially on rainy days it seems that many triathletes replace their cycling workouts with time in the pool. Several hotels here though are starting to cater to triathletes and have some nice pools within.

The weather this year was fantastic and during the 2 weeks there we only had one rainy morning with nice spring temperatures throughout. The wind though was sometimes quite harsh and somewhat annoying, but we all know that the wind only makes us stronger and really gets us ready for the new season."

During his 2 weeks in Mallorca, Uwe Widmann logged about 1400 km on the bike, 14 km in the pool and 130 km running. His "queen stage" was a 220 km bike ride with just about 10,000 feet of elevation gain and he pretty much fell asleep right after the shower.