THE IRON LADY: Emma-Kate Lidbury's fortnightly column
IF I was to tell you I’m recovering from a hellish training camp in Kona, Hawaii, I’m guessing your hearts might not bleed for me too much.
Given the current weather in the UK (I dip in and out of the British weather forecasts, mostly just to feel smug) I realise that “complaining” about being on the Big Island might not be too smart a move.
My job certainly comes with some perks and spending two weeks in Hawaii – albeit training hard – is definitely a plus point.
I was over in the Pacific for a fortnight’s camp with my coach, Matt Dixon, and another seven of the professional athletes he coaches at purplepatch (CORR).
Training camps are a great time to really knuckle down to some quality work – usually high volume and high intensity – with few distractions and great focus. Of course, being among teammates and in front of Matt is another obvious advantage.
We always work that little bit harder and push each other that little bit more when the boss’s eyes are on us.
It took me a few days to really get in the groove at camp – I felt a little sluggish to begin with, which is most typically attributed to travel and jetlag. It’s a six-hour flight from LA to Hawaii and, at this time of year, a two-hour time change.
Us athletes are finely tuned, hypersensitive beings who thrive on routine, so move us and we tend to malfunction. After those opening days, though, I soon found my rhythm and was working hard and performing exactly as I’d hoped.
There were six of us sharing the “pro house” which was great fun (and a great mess) and a typical day would see us up at 6am for light breakfast before our swim workout. Swimming in the ocean in Hawaii is one of my all-time favourite workouts – the water is warm, crystal clear and teeming with beautiful fish. We clocked some big swim miles, both in the pool and the ocean, with our biggest sessions hitting 7.5km.
Swim sessions would soon be followed by breakfast number two before hitting the road on our bikes. Eighty mile rides in Kona feel a lot longer because of the tough winds, heat and humidity, but it didn't stop us from logging plenty of those. We would sometimes run immediately after bike workouts (referred to as “running off the bike”) or, depending on training demands, would head home for lunch, a nap and then run or hit the gym before dinner.
The workload was so high that it was not uncommon for us to eat dinner by 6pm and be in bed by 7.30pm. A “late” night was watching a DVD until 9pm. Rock and roll.
I’m now back in LA and recovering well from the camp. Time to let the body absorb all the good work and come through stronger. Here’s hoping winter miles equal summer smiles!