Just a quick one today to give you a little bit of an idea of what a day in the life at the Team England holding camp consists of.
I arrived at the camp in Manchester on Thursday afternoon. After checking into my room, I went down and checked out all of the facilities available. We don’t have the hotel to ourselves but there is a large area on the groundfloor which is for exclusive use for the team. This area has some nice comfy sofas, a large screen to watch TV/movies and a smaller screen linked into a games console. There is also a table football and table tennis table to keep us entertained. Snacks such as fruit/nuts and cookies are out for us all day which facilities to make smoothies as well as tea and coffee. We have quite a large medical room with physios and massage therapists and a a room with an ice bath facility should we need that after training.
All of our meals are held in the ‘hub’ area. Meals have been great so far with a good selection of hot and cold choices plus dessert which i have been very good in avoiding too much of so far!
As I’m in full on taper mode now training has been pretty limited. My first day here I did a little bit of exploring and found a loop about 2.25miles round the hotel and surrounding area so did that twice then added a little extra on to make up my 5 miles. Some of the other endurance athletes managed to find the local canal which is only about a mile away so even though I don’t have many miles to do here it will be a good alternative to pounding the tarmac.
Saturday I was down for 5k at marathon pace so myself and fellow marathoner Steve Way went across and ran Heaton parkrun. I was a little worried about the route having read the course description and the mention of ‘angina hill’. Luckily it turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I imagined it to be and I survived it, even running a little faster than expected but thankfully without putting in any extra effort – happy days.
Sunday was my final longish run, which when you compare it to my long runs the last few weeks was actually not very long at all at just 13 miles. I set off with the rest of the endurance group and headed for the canal. The lads soon pulled away from me as we hit a lovely cross section and I slipped and slided my way through the mud with fear of slipping and ending in the canal. The plan was just to do 6.5 miles out, turn round, and head back but when I got to a pitch black tunnel I was too scaredy cat to run through it and turned round a little early adding on a 1 mile out and back in the other direction.
In between training most of my time has been spent chilling out watching episodes of Breaking Bad or sport on TV. Apart from relaxing in the spa facilities the only other thing I have done other than train is walk the half mile up to Sainsburys to buy a laundry pen to mark all of my kit.
Holding camps are designed to help the athlete put the final touches to their training and to begin their mental preperations and so far that is what I have been doing. I fly up to Glasgow on tuesday afternoon and thats when it will all hit that this is actually all real!!