Friday 30th December 2011
I had an early start today. I got up at 5.30 a.m., having packed my kit and got the boat on the car the night before, to leave for a day’s training on the white-water course at Nottingham. It was cold and dark and brought back memories of travelling up there in the winter last year.
The journey was really good though, no hold ups. It started getting light about an hour and a half into the journey. I managed to sleep for quite a long time, which was good as I knew I would soon be paddling and would need loads of energy and being tired wouldn’t help. By the time I woke up my Dad told me we weren’t that far away. We arrived right on time and I linked up with my coach and we went to inspect the course before getting changed. It was cold and cloudy.
Once on the water I did a warm up on the flat water before moving down onto the slalom course. We did timed runs in the morning and it went really well for me. I got some good times and was ahead, against the older lads, until the last run but then got pipped by less than a second – but that is a good result and something to build on.
After lunch we got back on the water and did some technical runs on the lower half of the course. By this time it was raining consistent but we were all wet from paddling hard so it didn’t matter; except to the parents watching from the bank, who had the umbrellas out.
Normally we would have done another session in the middle of the day, either gym or a run, but the park was closing early, not sure why, so we all had to leave so we didn’t get our cars locked in.
Still a really good hard session and another one on Monday
Monday 2nd January 2012
I went to another training session at Nottingham today. Up early as usual (4.30 a.m.) and a slight diversion to pick up another paddler. Even so it was still dark when we arrived. It was cold too.
A quick inspection of the course, the water was a bit higher than Friday; then got changed and on the water for a warm up, very important in this weather.
It seemed even colder on the water but at least I was going to be working hard. Straight into some timed runs and like Friday I got some respectable times so was really pleased with that. Some of the gates were difficult, the coach had placed them to make it challenging and I had to get the technique spot on to make the gates.
Great experience but had to really work, which will hopefully pay off next season. An hour and a half of that then off to get some food as a 5k run scheduled for 12.30 so needed to get something to eat mid-morning to get some energy.
The run was ok but into a really hard, cold wind which slowed everyone down a bit but that was expected.
Back to the water in the afternoon for a long technical session, a lot of precision moves needed and the wind got even higher so it made it tiring. I kept going though and ended the session well, I felt I worked really hard and fell asleep quickly on the drive home.
Straight to bed when we got home as back to school tomorrow.
January 2012 update
Since my last update in early January I’ve been continuing my club training at Shepperton and am also doing some strength training at home between my paddling sessions. There are more sessions at Lee Valley booked, both on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. I’m looking forward to them.
My regular trips to train at Nottingham are ongoing. Training at Nottingham at this time of year is really hard due to the extreme cold, so I have to be really committed. The usual early starts, I’m sort of getting used to them, to arrive on time and I’m taking homework with me to fit my training and schoolwork together.
14th and 15th January 2012
In the sports hall on Saturday morning for a beep test just after arriving, tough but improved my performance. Then straight in the gym for some more tests followed by a long paddling session working on progs (short, sometimes timed sections), as we were making the most of the warmest weather – about minus 1 degree. It got colder so our second session, stroke technique and a bit of play, was a bit shorter. On Sunday (my birthday) we did four sessions , paddling half and full timed full runs, then theory – juggling training and school, then technique on the water and lastly a 5k run. The run was hard after a tough, cold weekend but I still managed to beat my previous time by 1 minute and 10 seconds.
It didn’t get much above minus 2 all weekend, except for a short period on Sunday – the water even froze over in my drinks bottle!
Next Nottingham weekend is 28th and 29th January. In February there is a half-term residential camp.
Pre-season races are coming up too. Not long now.
Training at Shepperton. A bit more water than Saturday but still need more. Did the session in a C1, not paddled one for a bit so got to get used to it again before the season starts.
26th to 28th January
C1 session at Lee Valley Legacy on Thursday, so getting back into it a bit.
Saturday back at Nottingham again, another early one arrived at 7.40 for 8 so had to get up at 4.30 aaarrggh. Session in the morning, I was quite tired. Another one at midday and then a break before doing some agility stuff in the sports hall………..a long day for everyone!
Sunday, drove over to Stone for the mini-slalom, two clear runs and second was better than the first after a cold day so not too bad.
More training at Lee Valley coming up and going for a paddle on the Olympic course with friends afterwards……looking forward to it should be good
9 o’clock session on the Legacy Loop at Lee Valley. It was – 6 degrees centigrade! Then at 1 o’clock I did a session on the Olympic course and finally a pool session at 6 p.m. where i learned to roll a C1. Very tired after all that!
11th to 14th February
Building The Podium - Residential camp at the National Water Sports Centre at Nottingham.
All the Under 16 and Under 14 slalom squads plus junior sprint paddlers on one camp.
I missed the first session as I was a bit unwell but then intensive sessions, paddling, 5k runs and fitness testing, a long three days.
Shepperton Winter Open race, paddled 3 different boats, K1, C1 and C2 with my friend Piers. Beautiful sunny day. Results were ok and managed to go faster on in all boats on 2nd run, which is always good. Used it as a bit of pre-season practice which always helps
Since the season started earlier this month I have been continuing my weekly training at Shepperton – twice a week – and at the Lee Valley Legacy Course when there are sessions. I’ve been mixing in a bit of C1 training too as my K1 is in for repair. Hoping to get it back soon. I’m still doing gym stuff at home and going running too.