French alps training camp

Fairway Group Alps training camp:

In preparation for the Island Games in Gotland I decided to go out to the French Alps in Briancon for a smash fest of hard training. TPS coach Nick(Ox) made sure we were put through our paces and ensured we got the most out of it.

The week started with a nice easy climb up Latauret to an altitude of 2100m and then over towards Alp d’Huez to watch the Criterium Dauphine. We swam in a lake in Roche de Rame, which was a very nice 19-20degrees, this meant my TYR wetsuit wasn’t always needed. This was definitely a lovely setting for a swim as we managed to clock up around 15k across the week.

We managed to ride over 400km which included some famous Tour de France climbs, these included both sides of Col d’Izoard, Col de Vars and Alp D’Huez and many other smaller climbs. My light body weight and my Pedal Power AiR 9.8 Boardman bike enabled me to bounce up the climbs. I needed to ensure I took my gilet to keep me warm when descending down the other side of the climb as it often got chilly as you got higher.

The highlight of the week was riding part of the route of Stage 18 of this years Tour de France from Briancon down to the stunning lake near Embrun, through Barcelonnette and up Col de Vars and back towards Briancon. A total of 150km. This year the Tour will be going up for a mountain top finish on Col D’Izoard after doing Col de Vars. We skipped this as it was a bit too far and we had already climbed it earlier in the week.

We ran over 45k in the week which included scenic routes such as Col de Granon, running at an altitude of 2400m for over 14km. We also managed to squeeze in a tough fartlek session along the side the river that ran up along Col D’Lauteret. The training at altitude really started to take it’s toll within 48 hours of arriving in Briancon which made training tough but I knew it was going to be beneficial when I return to sea level. This is because my body would start to create extra red blood cells providing my muscles with a higher concentration of oxygen rich blood meaning I can go faster for longer.

The weather in the Alps was abnormally hot for this time of year and temperatures reached a high 39 degrees during the peak of the day. This made training a lot hotter and I needed to ensure that I kept my hydration up. Luckily I used SIS electrolyte tablets that pedal power kindly provided before I went out. Taking on fluids was essential to maintaining performance as my body was sweating to cool me down.

I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Fairway Group Jersey who made it possible for me to be out here for this very beneficial week of training. Also a massive thanks to TYR, Pedal Power, Sports HUB and Jersey Sport Foundation who provide me with kit and facilities for training.

Onwards and upwards to Gotland Island Games next week ☺

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