It was as the weather madness in March was at its height and I was holed up at home - too icy to head out for a run and too miserable to enjoy it even if I did force myself - that my thoughts turned to Club La Santa (CLS) and memories of an amazing trip there last year (writes Olivia Fazackerley).
The attraction of warm year-round weather is CLS’s underlying attraction, that and a wonderful range of facilities that kept me happy and active for a full week. The ability to chill out and to recover both physically and mentally was an added, but crucial, bonus.
It was late March when I headed to Lanzarote, travelling with my partner, Alan. We both wanted an active break although my agenda was more full-on as I was putting the finishing touches to my spring marathon prep while Alan with more interested in getting back in shape after hibernating for most of the winter and maybe trying a few new activities.
Green for Go
We were happy after an early inspection of the main facilities - the tennis courts, the running track, the bike centre, 3 x 50m swimming pools, and various outdoor arenas for classes: indoor facilities include a gym and a spa. We also noted the sports shops, a supermarket and a launderette.
The following day we both headed along to meet the Green Team and joined them for their daily morning run - there were 2k and 5k options. We went out for a leisurely 5k and it was good to meet some other runners and to chat to the Green Team and get a few tips for longer runs. As I was to discover there is a great network of quiet roads, tracks and trails across the island, ideal for me as I it was a big week on my marathon training schedule.
The rest of Day 1 was exploratory, some mid-morning sun - it was a holiday after all, followed by a relaxing lunch and a game of tennis in the afternoon. A dip in the pool,
a pre-dinner cocktail and some good food meant an easy introduction to our stay.
The wind in our hair
On Day 2 I skipped the morning jog - Alan enjoyed a short 2k spin - as I had arranged to head out on a 12k off-road run with the Green team. We met up later to share stories over lunch - Alan of an introductory wind- surfing session and me of my run before we both headed to a pilates class. After all that we had a quiet evening and an early night!
Don’t forget the recovery
On Day 3 I was set for a big one. Encouraged by my trail run the previous day I had planned a 17-mile long slow run for the early evening so I enjoyed a high-carb lunch and a relaxing afternoon poolside. My run was superb, cooler towards the end of the session but great scenery that kept my mind off of the effort. A high protein dinner rounded off a great training day.
For me Day 4 was strictly about recovery although later in the day Alan and I took a short stroll to La Santa village to check out the bars and cafes. Earlier while I had been enjoying the sea views, Alan had graduated from wind-surfing to paddle boarding which he had tried with his new friends from the morning run. In the evening we bumped into a group of fellow runners from a London club and they invited me to their planned track session.
Stars of track and field
I shuffled my schedule to make it work and nailed a few Yassos the following day while the adventurous Alan decided to drop down the gears and take in a Tai Chi class. There was quite a lot of ‘rest and recovery’ that evening as the Londoners and Alan’s morning pals joined us in the bar for a few drinks. There was a lot of talk of the autumn International Running Challenge - four official races of various distances and terrain - and Alan and I headed home having committed to a return trip in November!
People having fun
On our last full day we decided to pack a lot in and signed up for a spin class, did a few lengths in one of the 50m pools and had a great gym session. That evening as we reflected on an active but relaxing week we bumped into a family we knew from Stoke. Jackie and Ray were visiting Club La Santa with their three young kids. They were in high spirits.
Jackie enthused: “We’ve had a brilliant week. The kids have loved it. We took them to Play Time (Club La Santa ́s morning activity club) most days and they got involved in all sorts of things - movement, painting, crafts and loads more. Afternoons they had swimming and tennis lessons. Ray and I went for a cycle one day and spent some time in the pool but mostly we just chilled.”
Whether you’re hardcore like Olivia or adventurous like Alan or you simply need a family break like Jackie and Ray, Club La Santa will work for you.