Performance and Development Squad Warm Weather Training
The Performance and Development Squads are currently away at a training camp in Punta Umbria, Spain where they are able to concentrate 100% on training, refuelling and recovering.
The daily routine
Each day begins at 0730hrs with a check of waking pulse (to check athletes have recovered from the previous day's training) and analysis of urine with osmocheck equipment (to check athletes are hydrating well). After this there is a pre-breakfast workout that includes dynamic stretching, core work and light plyometric training. Once breakfast is finished there is a morning session either running or orienteering before refuelling with lunch, taking an afternoon nap and then heading out for the second running/orienteering session of the day. Flexibility and stretching also make up part of the daily routine and takes place after dinner each evening. It is a physically demanding schedule but the training environment and programme have been carefully planned to ensure that athletes are provided with everything they may need to get the best out of their training including high quality nutrition that will enhance recovery.
This camp is part of the training plan, for these athletes, through to WOC 2016 and WUOC 2016 but is also part of their longer term development with a strong emphasis on learning new skills and exploring new ideas.
The benefits of warm weather training
Training in warmer climes is beneficial in several ways:
- An increased training load is possible with less chance of injury, as the muscles warm up more quickly and are more pliable.
- Athletes are able to train with less clothing, carry less weight, run faster and start their quality speed work.
- More daylight and more training hours without other 'chores' or distractions allows athletes to train at optimal times and recover after the sessions.
- No extreme weather to 'scupper' training plans means that plans can stay in place so athletes know what they are going to do and when they are going to do it.
- Many athletes in the UK and Northern Europe have a vitamin D deficiency and sunshine provides a welcome boost. The sunshine has only made an occasional appearance so far on this camp but we hope to get more and also get the additional benefit of increased levels of the feel-good factor that the sunshine provides!
- All in all - more opportunity for purposeful practice
Timing and focus of the camp
This camp has been organised to coincide with the start of the Specific Preparation period for the spring competitions. The athletes have gone through their General Preparation phase and have been training hard in their home environments. Coming away for a week to train together, in a different environment, in different terrain and on different sessions is providing new motivation and renewed focus that they will be able to 'spring-board' off as they go into the next phase. There have been some monitoring sessions during the early part of the week to assess how well their general preparation has gone, including a track session at specific paces with heart rate and lactate measuring. The later part of the week is dedicated to experiencing, practising and planning effective physical and technical sessions that they can put into their programmes.
Opportunity to visit other places and meet fellow orienteers
Today the sprinters visited Seville and were made very welcome by Association Deportiva De Orientacion Lince (ADOL), the local club who provided maps and training exercises as well as accompanying them for training. Pictured are some of the British athletes with members of ADOL.
Thanks to coaches - Liz Campbell, Bashir Hussain, Marsela McLeod, Jackie Newton, Ed Nicholas; to MMU Sport Science support for field-testing lactate analysers and osmocheck equipment; to Association Deportiva De Orientacion Lince for the support and welcome.