My 2 month stay chez “Les Laidlows”

Triathlon Training and Fresh Vegetables!

Great Coastline Rides

I first came across Santure Sportifs on the web while looking for something to occupy my time for 2 months abroad. I contacted Michelle for more information and if I could stay for 2 months. Michelle was extremely helpful and explained the different options that were availably. I chose to take the self-catering option and booked my stay for 9 weeks.

I was very welcomed from the beginning when meeting Michelle at the airport and getting transferred to the Santure Sports accommodation. The accommodation had everything I needed as my disposal, kitchen, TV and relaxation area, storage, Garage for the bikes, work out area, washer and dryer for the clothes and not to mention waking up every morning to an outstanding view. I had shared accommodation, which I got to talk, and learned so much from the girls who I shared with.

If you don’t mind planning your meals ahead and been organised then the self-catering optioned would work for you. The shop is only 15-minute walk and they have amazing fresh fruit and vegetable markets in the town. Once every week or 2 weeks we would all go out to the famous Cafe de Paris for a meal. Just be warned if you are vegetarian like myself there is very little meal options in restaurants but Cafe de Paris always catered for me “off menu”.

There was no time to lose when living the life of an elite athlete; there was a swim session that evening to get me warmed up. Usually camps waste that first day of arrival in getting settled and making up your bike. The next morning Rich had got up early to have my bike ready for the mornings bike session…always one step ahead.

Firstly just to give you an idea of the facilities we had at our disposal and what I trained at over the 2 months, two beaches, two lakes, 50m indoor pool, 25m outdoor pool, outdoor running track, mountain trails, turbo trainer, watt bike and not to mention the cycle routes around the south of France were just breath taking.

The training was brilliant. I honestly can’t say enough about Rich and Michelle’s coaching.  The training sessions were very well explained and educational. I learned so much through their advice, conversations, debates which made great conversations over the dinner table. Rich, Michelle & Sam (their son who is another amazing athlete) was able to cater for all levels of athletes and made sure no one was left out.  My weeks consisted of 2 to 3 sessions a day, 6-7 days a week, from 10 – 25 hours a week. No time was wasted and all was very well organised. Rich was always looking at the bigger picture of my training and not just a week at a time.

For the first time I learned how to transition on and off the bike within 45 minutes with Michelle. I improved on climbs and descending on the bike. Rich often took video analysis on my swim & running technique with break down and explanations of where I need to be.  With e-mailed reports, pictures and video’s I got consistent feedback and one to one advise.

During my stay I decided to buy a new bike, which has been on my mind for a really long time. With first hand advise from Rich I got a dream bike, which was altered and fitted, to my exact size. The local bike shop was so helpfully and built my bike with precision.

I was persuaded to complete my first sprint triathlon at a local race where I came 4th. It was a great learning experience.

My overall improvements from the 2 months were phenomenal. I took minutes off all the 3 sports and with continual training plans that I signed up with Rich, I am still improving my times, technique and strength. When I came home and completed my first 2 races I placed 3rd in both races. I couldn’t believe the improvements I made. Riches plans were really manageable to life at home and I am able to keep up my training. I lost a stone in weight and not to mention I gained a tan.

I can’t thank Rich and Michelle enough for everything they have done for me. It was a home away from home, living an athlete’s life, I couldn’t have wanted more. I would highly recommend the camp on a short and definitely a long-term basis and Riches training plans. I will be back next year to top up the tan…. Thank you guys,

Flo O’ Meara


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sam laidlow wins ETU Junior Eurpean Cup. © AGpics