We depart for the Balearic island of Mallorca with hope for sunshine. Nestled off the Eastern coast of Spain, south of the French Riviera and, on a clear day, within sight of the Algerian coast - a majestic island with a land mass of just over 3,600 sq metres and truly breathtaking scenery. Stretching from deserted stone beaches up to jagged, almost violently steep mountainous paths, with low clouds that blend seamlessly into the glistening Mediterranean Sea below.
The Mountain range of Tramuntana is often challenged by elite athletes, who descent on Mallorca from across the world to test themselves in the most unforgiving of environments. Its highest peak is the Puig Major, reaching a summit of 1,445 metres, the highest single mountain range in the Balearic Islands and close to rivalling the feared Alp D’Huez of France. This is but one of the summits we strive to confront over a gruelling 3 days of interval training.
As the first stages of interval training commence with a light shake out, each athlete attempts to keep their mind off the impending suffering about to commence. We find the perfect section of a deserted mountain road, perched between the foothills and the peak, for a session that is purposefully designed to push a man to their true limits. Slowly and methodically over a period where, for the athletes, time will cease to exist and will instead be replaced by a deep, grinding pain.
The chosen road ascends through a narrow twist of enormous lemon trees that block out the sunlight and cause shadows to dance across the tarmac - stretching just over 250 yards that will soon seem so much more. The athletes gradually increase pace as they climb, maxing out when 20 yards from the peak. The run is completed 12 times, each leg lasting about 45 seconds and with 60 seconds break in between each interval.
As the interval session reaches its climax - oxygen is fiercely grasped as if trying to escape the lungs, faces contort into shapes unnatural in any circumstances other than training to the maximum and water is poured over the entire body to provide the smallest of physical relief. A full fifteen minutes pass before normality even considers a return, with wry smiles ever so gradually reappearing and the ever so slightly arrogant banter that is known the world over to athletes who have just faced down the wall and found a way through.
The Castore Marathon collection has been designed with endurance in mind. Created to withstand the longest distances in the harshest conditions and stand up to anything an elite marathon runner can throw at it. Made from a special Swiss spider-mesh fabric that wicks sweat away from the body at a faster rate than any other Castore garment we have ever before produced.