Wednesday, May 30, 2012

An EPIC weekend!

This weekend just gone was the multi events (heptathlon/decathlon) meeting in Gotzis, Austria....perhaps the biggest multi events competition outside of the Olympics. Here my good friend Sarah Cowley smashed her PB to score 6135, an Olympic qualifying mark....so stoked for her, congratulations Geezletron!! She had a massive highjump of 1.91m, beating several Olympic and World Champs medalists, including the overall winner in Gotzis, Jessica Ennis. Read more about it here. Scott McLaren, kiwi decathlete training here in Switzerland with us, also did a big PB score, nice one Scotty! Unfortunately Brent Newdick, the other kiwi athlete in Gotzis, had to pull out of the comp due to injury...wishing you speedy healing Newdy.

Sarah and Scott celebrated last night with pizzas in Biel, and we also wished Val bon voyage as she heads to Rome for her first comp of the season on Thursday night...


It was definitely hard to not be there competing in an event that has been on my 'bucket-list' as an athlete and doing PBs and Olympic qualifiers, but I am being patient and biding my time until Ratingen in a few weeks time. We have started the taper, so effectively the volume of training is reduced and the focus is purely on refining the technical elements and doing some fast, ballistic movements in the gym. Its all about sitting around and getting fresh. It sounds weird as many people often think that this is when you should be doing the most training, right before a competition, but I respond so well to lying around with my feet up, and as a speed/power athlete this is the way to go. Initially I feel lethargic but after a few days my body starts to fizz and then on comp day the energy levels are super high, as opposed to being suppressed during training. This is when the big scores come.....bring it on!!

Just one more thing....turned up for training yesterday and a game of unicycle indoor hockey was being played at the facility....for real! Check this out...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Switzerland


We have been in our Swiss training base for a week and its pretty amazing. This is the view from track with the Swiss alps in the background. 

The track is up a mountain in the village of Macolin and is where the Swiss Olympic Sports Institute is based. We are living in Biel which is a city about 15min away, at the bottom of the mountain. This is the view looking down at Biel from Macolin.

Despite it being a summer training camp we had 2deg and snow falling last week for a shot put session...

...luckily there are primo indoor training facilities...
for shot put...
...high jump, hurdling, pole vault and even a long jump pit.

We are very lucky to be able to train here, its where Valerie Adams has been based for the past few years with her coaches Jean Pierre and Werner (3 times world shotput champion). It’s been awesome training with her, Sarah Cowley and Scott McLaren, and having lots of laughs along the way! Sarah, Scott and Val have all been smashing out PBs in training which is pretty cool, gearing up for their first comps – Sarah and Scott in Gotzis (the ‘mecca’ of heptathlon and decathlon) next weekend and Val the Rome Diamond League competition on the 31st.

Scott put together a video of himself training at the facilities. Thanks for your amazing commentary Scotty!

I had my first competition on Saturday, with long jump and 200m. The long jump didn’t go great, but it was great to be back out there after almost 2 years since my last comp! The 200m was good, 24.90, which was great considering its less than a week since getting off the plane and having had a big week training.

I did a session called "8,4,3" on Thursday....a session that Andrew has been talking about since I started training with him in 1997. Its 800m, 1min recovery, 400m, 1 min recovery, 300m. Its pretty brutal and was even harder as the track is at 900m altitude. I was lucky to have Jarrod Adams (Dunedin athlete visiting Switzerland) to run them with me and keep me honest in the last few reps, thanks Jarrod!

Two more weeks of hard training and then we start the taper for Ratingen, can't wait!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Take off!


Wow the day has finally come...take off to Europe tomorrow, woop!! I've had a super week in Auckland training with some awesome running sessions, 200s, 300s and some speed work thrown into the mix....and yes a lovely 600m timetrial (thanks Andrew!). Its great to be able to do these running sessions and get some running back into the legs. I'm feeling really good with 4 weeks until my first heptathlon. The training venue up in Auckland is pretty flash, the athlete lounge even has a bed where you can sleep in between training sessions! Here are some pics of the gym:



I have been staying with my sister Nina and her husband Paul out near Murawhai, its beautiful out here. There is a crazy wood-pigeon in the garden who likes to fly into the windows several times a day, no idea why...this is the crazy fatty sitting outside my bedroom window:


We had a great last dinner together with some delicious NZ Lamb....yummmmmmmmmm!


So apart from driving about 1000km this week getting around the big smoke, its been an awesome week, and whilst I miss Dunedin I have definitely enjoyed the warmth of the north!

We arrive in Switzerland on Monday morning and will have a light week recovering from the journey. I hope to compete next weekend in a local Swiss meeting to get more into competition mode, likely racing over 200m and throwing javelin or shot.

My fellow multi eventers (Sarah Cowley, Brent Newdick and Scott McLaren) are gearing up to compete at the Multi Events Mecca of Gotzis in 2 weeks time. Its a decathlon/heptathlon competition held annually in the Austrian Alps and draws the top athletes from around the world, the line-up similar to that that will be at the Olympics. Unfortunately for me it was just slightly too early to do a heptathlon, so I will be competing in Switzerland in some of the individual events instead, have to say I am pretty gutted to be missing this competition as its been on my 'bucket list', just under 'Olympics'! Good luck to the kiwi crew...if you would like to follow the results click on this link.

So after a full on training week I am actually looking forward to sitting down for the next 24 hours on the plane, catching up on movies and sleep!

Aureviour/Aufwiedersehen!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Farewell Dunedin


My last few weeks training in Dunedin have been pretty awesome, although I got a bit excited about how brilliant the weather was for training and then it turned real nasty and today at training it was 5deg and raining, ouch....good time to head to summer!
I am really going to miss Dunedin, its been an amazing place to train, everything is so close and I had a fantastic group of people to train and work with. I will also miss all the girls and staff at Columba College, which has been my home for the past 10 months.

 I thought I would share a few photos and videos from the last few days in Dunedin....
The sunrise view from my bedroom looking out over Dunedin and the harbour, spectacular
An awesome, sunny last day at the track

120kg deadlifts with bands, personal best


Multi-tasking after training in the recovery room at HPSNZ...refuelling and icebath!
So thats where I have been lately....and this is where I am headed....
The track at Macolin where we will have our Swiss training camp, also European training base for Val Adams (pic)
and eventually I will end up here:
London Olympic Stadium!