The most exciting thing that happened over February half term was our training camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote.
Thirty team members from Winsford Swimming Club went, plus our coach, Dan. The idea was to get us away from home so we could concentrate on our training and get the best possible start for the competitive season.
It was great getting away from the wintry weather in Britain, but it was far from a holiday and we had to work hard both physically and mentally. We did two swim sessions (totalling four hours) in the pool every day, plus one hour in the gym and one hour doing something sporty outside. When we added it up, every team member had swum 88,000 metres in the week!
We did have a bit of time for team bonding though. Mainly we sat round the pool in the sun and but on one day we went paddle boarding in a lagoon.
I’ve been on two training camps before with Winsford Swimming Club, but this was the first one abroad. It was pretty tough, but I think it’ll have lots of benefits when it comes to racing. And it was good to catch up with my friends on the senior team – there was a lot of banter!
I’m now back at college and busy handing in assignments. I’m studying the rules and regulations of volleyball just now, which is very different to the sports I usually study. That’s good because it makes the course more interesting.
In the classroom we’ve been learning about nutrition. I’ve found that quite beneficial because we’ve been looking at which foods are best for you pre and post training. I never knew beetroot juice was so good at helping your body recover after training!
I’ve been using the college gym too for general strengthening and conditioning. Like many students on my course, I have a personal fitness programme specific to my sport.
I’ve also done a work experience assignment which was a mock interview with a member of staff. I’m hoping to get involved with a rugby league club for my work experience. This will take place over Easter for about three weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing how another sport operates.
Another thing that I’ve enjoyed has been my research project to see if caffeine has an effect on sprint swimming. I took some students from my course to a pool and carried out timed tests. Everyone did a length as fast as possible and repeated that twice. Then they had a sports drink which was high in caffeine and swam the lengths again.
Some people were slower but a couple got quicker so the results were inconclusive, but it was good fun doing the research and it was a different way of learning.
Now I’m concentrating on preparing for the Inter Divisional Championships run by the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) in Liverpool in two weeks. I’ll let you know how I got on in my next blog.