February split between (mostly) Australia, and London. A song of fire and ice. But where is the ice? Pseudo-spring. An easy transition back to training in London. A scary reminder of the damage we have done to our planet. Enjoy the sun, but it should make us think too...
Kim Jones capturing me through the spray back at Lee Valley
Australia: Great camp. Simple as that. I did A LOT of canoeing. A stark contrast from last year. Well reflected on. We are in SO much better shape going into this season than last. With a strong team around me, we have kept my body injury free and completing a high volume of training. Smart sessions, clear intentions, mindful observation. We are not playing catch-up this year. I am very happy with the work I have done up to now and I get to prepare for my first peak as planned.
The lifestyle over there suits me. I feel relaxed and that shows in my paddling. I was also without my coach (the big man’s 2nd daughter arrived this month, congratulations Craig!) but had Mark Delaney as an excellent substitute for 3 out of the 5 weeks. Good to get a bit of time on my own, and where appropriate paddle with friends from other nations. Reinforces the clarity of our plan and trust from the programme that we can operate like that. An autonomous unit within a team.
Papped with the big man AP by Ettore Ivaldi
We kept things steady first week back at base. Learning from experience not to over-commit when dealing with jet-lag to avoid setbacks. A few sessions to ‘keep ticking over’ but mostly it was a chance to catch up with home comforts. I spent some time at Triyoga, moving through the fatigue from training built up physically and mentally. I did keep up my practice on the road, but getting back in a studio with a teacher feels good! I couldn’t keep up my cold exposure training in Australia, cold showers don’t cut it anymore. So I was back in the lake at Lee Valley day 1, straight from the airport. Winter certified.
This week was back into heavy training and the introduction of speed / fitness work on the flat water. It is an intense period but a very important part of building up to a performance. Trust is required. The increased fatigue reduces quality. But next month, when the volume drops out, I will be enjoying the extra horsepower. Upgrades.
Making shapes between the waves in Aus. Photo by JGRimages