Whilst Manchester and many other parts of Britain have been hit with blizzards this week, Team NB Manchester have headed out of the UK to Aguilas, Spain for a 10 day training camp in the Winter sun. Aguilas is a seaside town in Southeastern Spain often frequented by many International Triathletes at this time of year because of the perfect weather, abundance of off-road trails around a huge vegetable farm, quite roads and sports facilities. A chance to get away from the winter weather and look to the year ahead, this is the perfect opportunity to focus on training, recovery and adaptation with minimal distractions in ‘sleepy’ Aguilas. This is the second year that we have come out to this part of Spain in January following last years successful camp, and this year we are also joined by the Welsh Athletics Endurance Squad under Chris Jones.
It was an early start on the Tuesday morning with a 6.30am flight out of Manchester. The journey went smoothly with no drama to report unlike our recent trip to Italy!
Training Tuesday was simply an easy run, drills and strides in the afternoon when we arrives. Wednesday morning was a session of between 5 and 9 threshold mile reps around the cabbage fields followed by more easy running in the evening. Thursday started with more running around the vegetable fields (which go on for miles and miles deep in to the foot hills behind the town) followed by a late morning gym session before heading to the sea front for a bite to eat and to treat our sun deprived skin to some Vitamin D!
Next weeks blog will provide you further training updates…
Race reports from 7th/8th January
Team NB Manchester were straight back in to racing at the start of 2017. Last Saturday saw Charlie represent Great Britain at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country, whilst on the Sunday Eli and Andy head across to the EIS in Sheffield for some indoor action over 1500m and 3000m.
It is the 6th year that Great Britain have taken a team up to Edinburgh to compete against the best cross country runners in Europe and the USA at Holyrood Park, in Edinburgh City Centre. It is always a fun event for the athletes and a great one to spectate with 4 international races plus the relay. Once again Mo Farah was there to represent GB which always attracts a large audience although he wasn’t quite on top form following time off after his Olympic success. The Senior mens course was 8km, made up of four 2km loops. Scot Callum Hawkins provided some amazing entertainment for the home crowd leading for 7.99 of the 8km course being dipped on the line in a sprint finish by the American Kenyan Korir. Charlie battled hard moving through the field over the 4 lap course to come home in 18th place and 6th British Athlete over the finishing line in a time of 25.28. He finished close to the in-form Andy Vernon and Dewi Griffiths.
The next day was the Sheffield indoor BMC and the chance for Eli and Andy to open their indoor season. First up was Eli who last minute switched from the 3,000m to the 1500m after the former got cancelled less then 24hours pre-race, not ideal but with Steve we learn never to panic and simply take the opportunities we are presented with. She ran a perfect race sitting just behind the leaders over a relatively slow first 1km and then with just under 2 laps to go kicked away from Jackie Fairchild and Kate Maltby to take the win in 4.18.31, her fastest season opener over this distance and an indoor PB. Next up was Andy in a pretty stacked 3000m field. Like Eli he sat back mid-pack and watched the leaders fight for positions up front and take the pace on up at the front, and was quick to close any gaps that developed. With a 1km to go he moved in to the top 5 before taking the lead just before the bell and kicking for home. He was caught in the last 30m by Tonbridge’s in form James West who was fresh off the back of racing for GB in the Edinburgh Cross Country 1km team relay the previous day. It was 2nd place, a 3000m PB, and his 1st time dipping under 8mins over this distance finishing in 7.59.18. Another successful day and great end to the weekend! Both athletes were pleased with their results and surprised by their finishing speed…..although Steve constantly reminds us that ‘Strength is Speed!’.