“Shortly after I resumed to training I became exposed to Houshang's coaching style. It was evident that he cared for each of his athletes.”
- Svein Tuft
cycling, athlete, willock, amiri

PCC Athlete Trains in Tenerife

April 05, 2011

cycling, athlete, willock, amiri

The mountain ranges were incredible



PCC Masters Athlete Victor Pwu recently trained in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He experienced some incredible terrain and some extreme weather patterns. Here is the story of his journey.

I returned to competitive cycling last year after a 13 year intermission. I got back into competing in the Masters division, trained a bit and fell back in love with competitive cycling. After the season ended, I started training with Houshang Amiri in November and my goal was to learn how to train properly, discover what my strengths and weaknesses were and prepare for the upcoming season.

What can I say about my experience in Tenerife? Well, the first thing one notice’s is how hilly it is. You are either going up or you're going down. No such thing as a flat road here! After a full winter on the indoor trainer, Houshang had tried to ease me back onto the road with a few easy days, but there is no easing oneself into it in Tenerife. In the first five days, I think I logged in over 8500m of climbing. The following five days were about the same. No flat roads!

There are three mountain ranges on the island, with the main one called the Teide. There are three approaches to the summit road of the Teide Volcano which is at 2300m from sea level. Approximately a 40km climb at 6.5-7.5% average gradient depending on which approach you take. Many sections were 9-11%. En route, you are rewarded with several microclimates, smooth roads, cloud and cedar forests, cacti, flowers, respectful drivers and incredible vistas. Once at the summit, you are greeted with a moonscape crater in which the summit road (not flat) stretches over 18km. Here you can benefit from high altitude training. The weather is quite varied on the island. The North Side is cloudy 13-18 degrees Celsius and the south side sunny 22C at sea level and 15-18C at the top.

The other two mountain ranges, The Masca and Anaga were also incredible. The climb to Masca and out of the valley had sections of 10-13% and even a section at 18%.

The best part of my trip was running into a few guys from Team Astana training on the mountain. One day, they came up behind me and rode my tempo and then they took over. To my amazement, I didn't get popped off the back. (Must have been those AC intervals). I saw the Astana guys training everyday and they would give me a courteous wave or nod, one that I interpret as “respect" for this old guy still capable of given'er.

My winter preparation helped me tremendously. All those hours suffering on the trainer and those AC workouts! Tenerife was the icing on the cake. I felt fit going and even stronger coming back. It's going to be a great season.

(Dr. Victor Pwu works as a chiropractor in Mississauga, Ontario. He's the team chiropractor for the Toronto Argonauts Football Club and races for the Wheels of Bloor Cycling Team)






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