Archive for December, 2011

What does Altitude Training, Snow, London and Pink – all have in Common ? Kate Haywood of course !

December 13, 2011

So after 3 weeks of preparing for altitude here in Melbourne we did the long 35hour trip over to Sierra Nevada in Spain, for a 3-week training camp.
Sierra Nevada is 2400m above sea level. Its located up a mountain above the city Granada.

The camp didn’t start off to well as a few of us had our bags go missing! Luckily we had all packed our swimming stuff in our hand luggage so we were able to start training. I also got ill with a cold from the travelling but was able to shake it off pretty quickly.
Whilst we were in Sierra Nevada we did some testing for a group of people that are researching the benefits of Altitude training.
For the first 10 mornings that we were there we had to take our morning heart rate, weigh ourselves and do a breathing test. We also had to do a urine sample every morning but this was for our sports scientist. When your training at Altitude you need to make sure that you stay hydrated so they monitored this the whole camp. For the researches we had to do a couple of tests in the water as well. This is to see how we coped with our breathing. It’s much harder to breath normally at altitude. You get really out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs!

Each week we did the same main sets in the pool. Most of us improved each week, which showed that we adapted well to the training environment.

Sierra Nevada is a Ski resort. It’s absolutely stunning up there and we were very lucky to get some snowfall within the first few days we were there.

Whilst we were they we also did some walking up the snowy mountain! We did 3 big sessions whilst we were there. Jeremy our strength and conditioning coach that went with us took these sessions. On two of the sessions we had to take med balls with us and we did small circuits up in the snow. On the Tuesday before we returned home we did our biggest session. We were out for 4 hours. We did a challenge called ‘London” We got to a steep part of the mountain which had in areas snow up to our knees and we had to carry a 20Litre (20kg) water tank up this hill. I honestly didn’t think I would get it up to the top! I could see the boys were struggling and I thought there was just no way I was going to make it. I did make it and its one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m so glad and proud that I did it.

It was a great 3 weeks and I did some of the best training I have ever done. I had a great time with my training group. Everybody did so well!