Athleteservice training Camp – Portugal March 2013

So nice to be in Portugal – a rehab camp for me with some lovely friends who are helping me fix myself up !

I am working with coach Filipe Salbany and  Laurence Plant – Back in Line, Henley, Chiropractor. The road to recovery is slow both physically and mentally but the plan in there and I have great confidence that I will be back. Laurence has reassured me I am in for an “oil change”  –  it doesn’t feel like F1 speed because I have given him and Filipe a heap to sort out  – but I am sure we’ll get there and I do have the best team on side to make me better for the future.

To have a break and get things moving on I have joined Filipe’s Athlete Service camp, in Portugal for a winter camp. The guys who are new friends to me are training for some long course events.  I am at a very low end of the spectrum doing technical swims and short bike rides.  I am doing nothing compared to what I normally do its all about building core strength and rehabilitation so I am watching the comings and goings from afar ! I notice my colleagues on the camps sharing their power outputs, the stuff I normally do.  My limits are exceptionally low at the moment, but Laurence, Filipe & various medics I have sought help from have told me not to panic people have had to endure worse –  but my goodness me I am not good at this stuff !! Its nice however to see everyone having fun and planning their years. For once I don’t have a plan so we’ll just have to see.

Day 1 – Standsted to Faro

A forward party of us including Filipe, Laurence and Mike headed  to Faro via Stansted, a meticulous planned day by Filipe who had scoured the Algarve for a palace of a training camp house, amazingly equipt, 500m from the beach, 3 km to a 50m/ 25m pool complex and on the edge of great biking country so I am told ! [ I have seen the same 30 mins section of tarmac so far] . Given my status I have become a bit of a driver so Filipe took out the top weighted insurance and so far I have only mounted the curb about 20 times, normally when the van is full of people – yikes. So in half a day we had managed to pick up a van, do the weekly shop at Jumbo supermarket, pick up an moped for motor pacing, build the bikes and do a 15 mins spin.

Training Camp base- heaven


Day 2 – Motor Pacing

Before sunrise quite literally and as Laurence was on a time schedule for a weekend only stay, both he and Filipe were all kitted up for one of many motor pace outings. I am told this is so amazing and transforms you as a cyclist – Filipe has years and years of experience in this. Added to his armoury both he and Laurence had a powertap attached to both  moped and bike so Filipe was in total control of all of the effort. My power meter has not seen such high heart rates or speed and it is so in shock it now doesn’t seem to want to work ! I did a second short outing the first time on a bike outside for 5 months the various bits of my kinetic chain were awakened ! The group rode off into the distance – you have got to start somewhere!

Day 3 – Long Run and Motor pacing

In the morning I accompanied Nicki and Laurence on their long run for what was a slow ride for me but enough in current circumstances. The routes around the house are great, a nature reserve leading to Monte Gordo beach which is stunning. Unfortunately Nicki tweaked her ankle but Laurence treated her at the road side and it doesn’t seem to have held her back for the remainder of the camp and she looks to be on top form heading for ITU World Long Course in France. In the afternoon, after a bit of a downpour day the group headed to Castro Marim for some more motor pacing and group riding drills around a circuit. I watched from the roadside as the pace hotted up and many new skills were learnt






Day 4 – Airport Run, Swim & Bike

I sadly took Laurence back to the airport whilst the remainder of the group went off for their first swim in our own private 50 m pool. A week of tremendous technical coaching in the pool has since taken place and I think we all feel totally energised and revitalised by what we have learnt in the pool. We have all had a lane to ourselves and only being 3 lanes wide meant Filipe was on full alert with training advice. Again my injuries are not even lending themsevles to fast swimming so I am using this time to relearn my stroke and hope that the second part of the year will lead to more physical training. I had my own private tuition from Filipe in the evening session and starting to feel more confident about the future. The sun came out and breakfast was a relaxing moment in the sun










Day 5/6/7 – Swim / Bike

More Swimming and biking & eating – lovely Veggie pasta meals keeping us in trim,  and some time on the beach.

What I admire the most about Athlete Service – Filipes weeks are is that you are built up during the week to a pinnacle day, not trashed from the outset. The guys peaked on a 135km, 5hrs 40 outing on the last day and are going hope ready to ride again rather than falling over











An amazing camp for all, sounds like the bike rides were fab. Some good time for me spent rehabilitating –  the road is quite a painful one at times both in body and head, but hope to be out of the pit lane soon and back to what I love. In the meantime I have realised you can enjoy a training camp with like minded people even if you are not in top form, it was great to get away. Thanks to all helping me on the road to recovery and good luck to all for the season ahead xxxx

Proudly sponsored by Athlete Service
Visit Athlete Service

Your Comment

You must be logged into post a comment.