The GB junior squad is heading up to the British Championships this weekend, as part of their preparations for the two main summer competitions, EYOC and JWOC, due to commence in a few weeks time.
Sixteen of the selected athletes will rendezvous at the FSC Kindrogan Hall, Pitlochry, on Friday evening and begin their training weekend, which will include a number of sessions led by the squad coaches focussing on technical, physical and mental preparation for the international races.
The main work will take place on Saturday, with classroom sessions focussing on, firstly, technical reviews of the main competition areas in Bulgaria and Hungary, with many of the JWOC athletes using this opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the challenges they will be confronting in July. Several of the team went to Hungary last August as part of the Pre-JWOC reconnaissance tour and also went on a self-funded visit in March of this year to learn more about the intricacies of the inland, sand dune terrain around Kecskemet and continue to develop their JWOC strategies.
The EYOC team includes many debutant athletes and this will be a great chance for them to learn about the challenges of international competitions and racing overseas. Both countries will also offer up the additional hurdle of running in the heat and there will be a session on Saturday considering race preparation and acclimation strategies to handle these environments and maintain optimal levels of performance across the programme of individual and relay races.
Alongside this work, the athletes will be competing in the British Championships on Saturday and Sunday at Balmoral and Torphantrick, and this will give them further opportunities to develop their race routines and practice their technical and tactical strategies in some great Scottish terrain!