Road to Rio begins!
With less than 6 months to go until Olympic qualification it’s been an intense month! We started September working with Biz Price to choreograph two new duet routines for us to take to Rio. The choreography is really interesting and it’s definitely pushed us to reach outside our comfort zones. It’s really exciting to have routines that are choreographed to our strengths, and having finished them in early September it gives us lots of time to perfect them!
We’ve recently been on a training camp in Majorca with Spanish Olympian and silver medallist Andrea Fuentes. It is an honour to work with her because she has so much experience to share with us. The aim of the camp was to work in lots of detail to perfect the new choreography and make sure we were swimming it in the same way.
Throughout the camp we were starting each day with yoga. It was important to wake up our bodies for the tough day ahead, as well as work on areas such as isolating different body parts which would help us swim our routine better. Each yoga session finished with a few minutes of meditation to help improve focus, self belief and motivation. We all know it’s going to be a tough Road to Rio but are all willing to fight hard for it!
The first few days we were really breaking down the routine and making sure each movement and angle was exactly the same. The routines are still very new so it’s important that we don’t let ourselves do the movements smaller/easier than they were choreographed because then they lose the effect. Andrea was really good at bringing out the emotion in the movements to help bring out the themes in the routines.
In the middle of the camp Andrea had planned to go and work with another group of swimmers so whilst she was away we took the opportunity to work on our fitness with Katie. Even though it’s important to do lots of detail work it’s even more important we don’t lose our fitness so that we can swim our routines our best. As well as this we were really working on getting height out of the water in egg beater and in figures.#
During this time we had some time off so we decided to have a trip to the beach. Whilst we were there we decided to have a surfing and paddle boarding lesson. Whilst both were huge amounts of fun they were also great training for our core stability – trying to stand up on a surf board is hard work! And because there were quite a lot of waves the paddle boarding was definitely an arm work out!
Once Andrea was back we had a couple of days training at Best Swim Centre. The facilities there are really good and we had more space so could swim the routines in bigger sections to put the details we had worked on into practice. Once you start swimming the routines in bigger sections it is easy to lose focus and think about how tired you are but we really worked on pulling the focus onto our corrections and trying to maintain the work we had done even when we were very tired.
On our last afternoon of training there was a big storm and lots of rain. As you can see we were training in an outdoor pool but that didn’t stop us. With the coaches under a little tent we continued to train through the wind and the rain. However when the lightning started getting close the pool had to be shut and we had to get out, but we just moved to an indoor pool and carried on with our session!
The most important thing I learned on our training camp is that motivation is key. Andrea taught us when it is tiring and hard, to picture the Olympic rings in front of us and remember what we are fighting for.
Lastly I just want to say a massive well done to the new squad selected at this year’s England trials! I hope everyone’s looking forward to a tough but exciting year 🙂
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