It’s just over a week until the clocks change and it eventually means ‘summer’ is on its way – fingers crossed! I can’t wait for the lake to be open and to be swimming non-wetsuit and riding and running in the sunshine in slightly warmer temperatures. It’s pretty tough training full time through an English winter with its unpredictable weather, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?! I left it quite late planning some warmer weather training as I’ve been nursing my delightful foot but luckily managed to sort out two separate camps in Portugal with a week or so in-between – success!
At the end of February I headed out to the Algarve for 6 days to Steve and Carol at Tri Spoke Activities. It was a brilliant block of training getting in lots of miles on the bike day after day with some swimming and some time on the treadmill. The roads were so quiet, the views beautiful and it was perfect to see the sunshine again. Carol and Steve looked after me brilliantly; fed, watered and washing done every day which left just the training for me to focus on which was just the environment I needed, no distractions that you inevitably find at home! I’d love to go back to do some more race specific work and swim in the beautiful Barragem and the sea.
I didn’t quite realise how tired I was after my trip and tried to get back into my normal training routine, which inevitably resulted in me becoming exhausted and having to take a couple of easy days before heading back to Portugal. My second camp was back to Tri Training Harder after such a great time last year. I headed out with Richard and Jas and was joined by roommate Janette when we were there. It was another fantastic week with lots more bike miles day after day, some quality swims and slowly building back up the running. The set up at The Residences is brilliant, the apartments are top quality, the food provided by Scott and Lynn was fantastic and the coaching team excellent. It was great to swim in the sea, run on the XC course, work on bike handling skills and have run and swim video analysis. I cycled my longest ever ride (125 miles) and recorded the TTH fastest women’s time up Foia. Last year the 100mile Monchique ride was the wettest, coldest and longest ride I had ever done – 6 hot chocolates just about got me through. The weather this year couldn’t have been more different, blue skies and sunshine – perfect! After 70 miles of hilly riding we arrived at Monchique and from there it’s a 7.2k TT up to Foia. I made huge improvements on my time from the year before and I was pretty pleased with my effort (26.14 to 23.30 minutes)! Lunch then a few miles back to bring the ride up to 125 followed by a cracking BBQ. A solid day’s work!
Despite being highly motived after both camps it’s pretty depressing returning to the cold, wet and grey UK to try and get back into the training routine – especially with no more camps planned! I’ve tried to have an easier week in order to get my energy levels back up before cracking on with another block of training. I hear Easter is meant to be nice and warm so at least it won’t be too long before the weather picks up in the UK! I’ve got a few months to try and get my running back up to some sort of respectable level before racing starts in the middle of June, first stop Blenheim Palace.
Keep paddling, pedalling and pushing!