We took a total of 23 squad swimmers away on a long course training camp to the Coral Beach Hotel and Resort in Paphos, Cyprus. The goal was to build on the hard work they have already done over the first half of the season. The objectives of the camp were to provide a week of intense long course training at a very key time in the swimmers training as we build towards the Olympic Trials in April.
A very important part of a training camp is about the swimmers becoming more responsible and learning to look after themselves in terms of getting to meeting points on time, packing the right kit, unpacking kit after training and making good choices when it comes to what foods to be eating at meal times to help fuel them for training. All these things are great learning curves as they aspire to one day be making national teams and having to go away with those teams and then knowing what to expect and how to deal with it.
We had a total of twelve pool sessions and six land training sessions over the eight days; which for all of them is a lot more sessions than they would normally do. This is where we are looking to increase fitness levels and push them as much as we could to get the best gains physically from them but also mentally as well. By the end of the week they are able to look back on what they have achieved and know that because they have completed this intensive camp they can complete anything they set their minds to which for an athlete is very powerful and will help them when it comes to racing.
The main aims in the pool sessions were to encourage the swimmers to be more aggressive at the start of swims no matter how hard or easy the main set was. We want them to learn to be the leaders and be able to push hard early. That way they can simulate how it feels in a race and by the end of the week know that they can be strong at the start but still have the stamina to be able to finish faster than their competitors.
The swimmers all had a great time and worked really hard in and out of the water and they were a pleasure to be around as they all bonded well and have come back feeling more together as a group but also stronger and faster athletes. We now look forward into our final phase of training in the lead up to the Olympic Trials where we look to get them in tune and race ready