Firstly I would like to pass my thoughts and love onto my close friend Mark Scott and his family. It has been a difficult couple of weeks for many of us, especially his family. He is made of strong stuff and will continue to fight.
As some of you may know, I have been fortunate enough to secure the position of physiotherapist to the New South Wales and Victorian Institute of Sport Triathlon teams (NSWIS and VIS) based in Vitoria, Spain. This is a fantastic opportunity for me, not only from a professional perspective, but also an amazing place to do some serious training.
In addition to this postion in Spain, I have also been given the job as the Australian Physiotherapist for the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) triathlon team. The AIS Triathlon team are based in Aix Les Bains, in the south of France, where I will travel to following completion of my work here in Spain. Another great opportunity!
So far it has been an amazing experience. The hotel where we are staying is awesome, full kitchen, I have my own room with a queen bed and we are across the road from a huge shopping centre. Literally 20m from my door is a restaurant/cafe, where the coffee is $1…. Not helping the caffeine intake. Quite the novelty to have my room cleaned everyday and a triangle folded in the toilet paper as well!
The training here is like nowhere I have been. There are 4 swimming pools within a short ride or walk and is great to be swimming with the squad, as they are giving me plenty to chase. I can barely type at the moment as we’ve just finished a threshold swim set….
The riding is spectacular, mountains, hills, flats, gorgeous scenery – I will attach photos, but they don’t do it justice. Just awesome. And the cars embrace cycling, which is a welcome change.
My running is coming along well, doing most of it on trails/hills/grass, which is a welcome change from the cycle path and the body is liking it. This is one area which I am really focussed on, as I know in Las Vegas (Half Ironman World Champs – Sept), I will need to run really quick to have a shot at being competitive.
The culture is something which I have missed, having not being back in Europe for a few years. Siestas, ‘living’, larger lunches, etc. Trying to embrace it, but also trying to stay away from the lunch time vino, which most people embrace! The weather has been great since I arrived, with some cooler days, but many over 30degrees.
I am typically treating the athletes of an evening, from about 5-10 or 11, which is working out well. They are all going quite well, with plenty of travel to and from races, London, Canada, Paris etc etc. It is a very supportive environment, but one which is obviously quite driven and focused. I love it.
I had my first race on the weekend, next to Pamplona, home of running of the bulls. It was a sprint race, which was a bit of a shock to the system, but great to get out there. Had an ok day, finished 7th after a few ‘tech’ prob’s with the bike. I only have my TT bike here, which they weren’t thrilled with, as it was a draft legal race. It is the only race where I have ever been given a bottle of wine in the race pack!
I am now going to knuckle down with training and my next race won’t be for another 3 weeks. This is a Half Ironman, in Vitoria which is where we are living. Last year the race was the European Champs and next year it is the ITU World Long Course Champs, so no doubt will have a strong field. It will be great to give it a go and see where the fitness is and perhaps check it out to race on next year!
The trip is also giving me an opportunity to focus on planning for my return with regards to the development of AP10, Phytness and swim and run courses that I will be running. Such a fantastic sport. I will attach a couple of pic’s, but will put some more on AP10.com.au if you’d like a look at the country side etc!
I hope everyone is doing well and will keep you updated.