Elite training at Tenerife Top Training
Tenerife Top Training (T3) is a training camp in the south of the island of Tenerife with facilities to allow all types of athletes to train for a wide range of sports in optimal conditions. Enhanced by fantastic Canary Islands climate, many of the world’s elite athletes have spent time at this sports centre over the years. T3 director Gregor Zielhardt talked to Training Non Stop! about the incredible work that goes on at this high performance sport centre every day.
Optimal training facilities for swimmers
The centre offers superb training conditions for swimmers: "We are the Spanish team’s headquarters and are the facilities of choice for many Spanish swimmers, including Mireia Belmonte. We also welcome athletes from other national teams, including Swedes, Germans, Australians, Israelis and English swimmers," explained Gregor Zielhardt.
There’s no doubt that Tenerife Top Training is unbeatable where swimming is concerned. It offers two swimming pools, 50 and 25 metres long, which the director explains is a great advantage because the 50-metre pool is exactly the same as the one at the "Aquatics Center” in London, one of the main venues of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. "You might say that our swimming pools are 'faster' than others, because swimmers are more buoyant due to the composition of the water," he continued. "The water is taken from the sea around Canary Islands which is desalinated plant, but still gives a little extra buoyancy”.
The club also has a very exclusive piece of equipment. Tenerife is one of only two places in Europe (the other is Germany) with a hydrodynamic channel, and this one is owned by Tenerife Top Training. "This water tank generating counterflow is equipped with cameras positioned at different angles, including underwater, that enable users to detailed analysis of a swimmer's technique," explained the director of T3. It’s a "treadmill for swimmers", which makes recordings to be analysed by experts from a physical and biomechanical standpoint to correct errors in techniques and, ultimately, to improve athletic performance. A scientific treasure, whose services are only available here.
The home of international football
As well as swimming, other types of sport are available at Tenerife Top Training, including football. The grass on the football pitches has some special characteristics, most notably its capacity to withstand long hours of sunshine, which is vitally important in a place like Tenerife. "We use a type of grass known as paspalum. It is very similar to that used on golf courses and the great thing about it is that it springs back very quickly and is very short, so the ball moves much faster," added Gregor. It’s no wonder that some of the world's top teams, like Liverpool, Manchester City and Newcastle, are regular visitors. "We have also welcomed teams from Augsburg in Germany and Basel in Switzerland, who have been coming here for the last four years, as well as legendary Scottish team Celtic Glasgow".
Other interesting sports
Elite athletes also come to this sports centre to play tennis. Tenerife Top Training has three tennis courts, one of them accredited by the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) for Quick Tennis, a type of tennis played at the Australian Open. "Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem, one of the best in the world, often trains here."
Another outstanding sport at the T3 is the triathlon, although the island par excellence for this sport has always been Lanzarote with its famous Ironman and the excellent work of the Club La Santa sports centre. "We have had elite triathletes here, such as Alistair Brownlee from Britain, particularly for training in water. We also have an agreement with cycling company Free Motion, which take care of our cycling services".
There is no doubt that the Canary Islands have a charm of their own, an opinion held by the director of Tenerife Top Training: "You can come to the T3 in January and find spectacular weather, with sunshine and high temperatures. There’s no problem swimming in our pool at half past nine in the morning overlooking of the sea. Being so close to the ocean is another advantage of our facilities".
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