Road to Rio - Training Camp


After having to clean my bike one too many times after mucky, cold, winter riding, I was more than happy to escape to Spain for a lovely, sunny training camp. The aim of the camp for me was to get a solid two week training block in before my racing starts (Abu Dhabi World Series next weekend). This was to involve 1 week with a small group of training partners from Optima Racing Team and then a second week with a larger group including some of the Triathlon England London Academy. The Rio Olympics is my main aim for the year and everything is geared toward that race in August. I am in a good position qualification wise but just need to cement my position with a few early qualification races between now and May. After riding in freezing cold weather with layer upon layer of clothes, it was bliss to be able to cycle around the amazingly quiet and sunny roads of southern Spain.

The camp was probably more swim and ride focused for me as these are the two disciplines we've been aiming to strengthen over the winter. After 5 years as an elite athlete you'd think we had it all sussed, but no no no, there are always areas to improve in and get better and faster. It was great having some really strong junior boys to train with, they make great training partners. One of my favourite sessions was a race simulation bike session over a very technical, 4-5km circuit. The boys pushed me to my absolute limit on this which was perfect. James & I have worked really hard on my swim over winter and have seen some huge improvements time wise in the pool. I just need to now translate this into open water and racing. To be able to get a few open water swims in and have the boys push me in the pool was perfect training for me and I've come away from the camp confident and happy with the way I'm swimming.

So just over a week until my first race of the season! I am extremely excited and need to calm myself down from getting too excited! Things are on track for Rio 2016 and I can't wait to experience these next few months lead up. Thanks to James, my training mates at Optima Racing Team and the London Academy juniors for a wonderful camp in Spain. There are some speedy little youths and juniors coming through and I wish them all a successful season.

By: Gillian Sanders