Base building on Tenerife

Nothing beats those first training rides in the sun. Coming straight from a dark, cold and wet cage, aka. Danish Winter, it feels extraordinarily liberating and transforming.



We have based ourselves on the Northern part of the Island (Puerto de la Cruz). The area is super beautiful and from our balcony to our left we see the top of the iconic Mount Teide and to our right we have a soothing ocean view. This is quite a constrast to our flat in Copenhagen, where our view includes suspect people on the street selling even more suspect things or people walking their dogs, while not caring much about where their four-legged friends dump their stuff (!).

Whenever you go to the Canary Islands there’s a guarantee, that you’ll dump into enclaves of North European (and predominantly) elderly people. This time around is not an exception, and we have landed almost right in the middle of one of these enclaves. Even thought this is Spanish land, you’ll see kiosks selling Scandinavian newspapers, Supermarkets only selling German food and even mailboxes operated be the Swiss Postal Service (I don’t even want to trouble my mind with how on Earth all this is working). Today I waited for Thomas outside the Supermarket and was rippet out of my daydreaming by an elderly lady out of nowhere addressing me with her complains about how to find the menu cards for the adjacent restaurant. In German. Not holding back. And clearly waiting for an answer from me. As if naturally I would be speaking German. In a Spanish speaking country. Honestly, I felt very embarrassed about being a North European person at that moment. Clearly, there’s some sort of invasion going on here.

However, as I said, it’s liberating to be here. At this very time, all those less exciting training hours back home pays off big time. Lately I’ve been very insecure and uncertain about, how my training is going. Am I doing too little, too much, too little intensity, too much? You would think, that by now I would have enough experience to know how it works with training, but that’s not always the case. Instead of having a rational approach, I sometimes tend to have a very irrational and emotion based approach. Every winter I have moments, where I forget, that top shape takes a while to build and it doesn’t just kick in on the very first day of winter training. Anyway, the last couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling that familiarly feeling of a solid basic endurance settling. The signs are clear and despite all, I do remember this happening before around this time of year; I start waking up earlier and earlier in the morning, my appetite is increasing, sometimes food in my stomach acts like a few drops of water on a huge bonfire, and training sessions under two hours goes into the mental category “Boringly little. Almost not worth doing.” A couple of days ago Thomas and I did a 20 minutes all-out uphill test and I felt surprisingly good. It’s fascinating how training hours and hours at a slow steady pace makes you faster on the shorter distance. Nevertheless, I got a good pointer on where my current shape is, and that gives me a lot of confidence and hunger for what’s ahead.

7 Responses to “Base building on Tenerife”

  1. Marius Serb says:

    I read about that huge appetite and the food in your stomach that feels like a few drops of water in a huge bonfire and i realize i have the same feeling after training.
    After each training i immediately drink a protein shake and eat a meal rich in protein and carbohydrates (usually boiled eggs with boiled potatoes) but in about 20-30 minutes after i’m done eating i feel hungry again.

    I know that after hard training the body utilizes the food to repair and grow muscles but the question is:What should i do? Should i increase the amount of food? Should i eat when i feel hungry again even if has been only 30 minutes since my last meal? Usually i wait at least 2 hours until i eat again?

    At breakfast i have coarse oat flakes with yogurt and an apple or a banana, after training protein shake with boiled eggs and boiled potatoes,after 2 hours another meal with plenty protein and a light dinner but as i said i’m pretty much always hungry.
    I train 5-7 times per week.1.82cm tall and 67kg
    I you could share an advice i would appreciate.
    Thank you.

    • annika says:

      Hi Marius, Thanks for sharing this. I’m sadly not an expert on this subject. Try to find someone with the right qualifications nearby you, that you can go visit and who can give you advice on this subject. That it always the best thing to do. Bon appetit!

  2. Marius Serb says:

    Ok,thank you for your time and good luck in 2016.

    • annika says:

      You’re welcome. I can totally relate to your situation. In really heavy training blocks I often don’t have any hunger straight after hard training, which is a problem, since that’s the best time for refuelling. But then later on, I’m hungry constantly. The only thing that helps is to eat something, which has a higher energy density and contains more fat like sweets, chocolate, cake, nuts and dried fruit or other stuff from the unhealthy snack category. As I said, I’m not an experts on this, but maybe you can use these tips anyway.

  3. Marius Serb says:

    Thanks for the tip.
    I can eat solid food immediately after training.I do really hard intervals (at least from my point of view) sessions and also weight training in the gym and i can eat anything after training.
    For example today after finishing my training session i had a protein shake,3 boiled eggs and a plate of pasta with brown sugar and grinded walnuts and literally in 15 minutes after finishing my meal i started feeling hungry again.
    From my knowledge that happens when the muscles are pushed to the limit and they use the food to repair themselves and grow so this might be a good thing.It means i-m growing :))
    I don’t really eat sweets like chocolate or cake but i eat walnuts which are rich in good fats.

    One more question. Since 15 of january i started really hard training sessions and my first competition will be at the end of may.Do you think i started to early?i know that after a while of hard training you peak and after that you usually you have a period of decline in form and i would hate not to be on top form when the racing season starts.

    Anyway i really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.(i’m trying to steal valuable info forma champion :))) I realize you must be busy with training so thank you for your time.

  4. Marius Serb says:

    First race is at the end april.Sorry about that

    • annika says:

      Hi Marius. I love to read about your dedication. Personally, I really profit from working together with a personal coach (from a Danish company called Aimhigh). Very often, you benefit a lot from having someone to guide you. It gives a lot of confidence and takes the pressure and stress away and you can use your energy on training and resting. Trust me, it’s money worth spend. Especially in your situation, where you train a lot and have goal where you want to peak. That is my advice.

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