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Ladies Race Team Winter Training Camp

posted 15 Jan 2015, 06:48 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 19 Jan 2015, 02:52 ]
(By Steven Franzoni)   
Traditionally when we cyclists and most other athletes talk about winter training camps we mean flying to sunny climates for some much needed vitamin D. I don't quite understand why I find myself in a scolding hot bath trying to regain some feeling to my hands and feet (a little dramatic but near enough). These ideas always seem great to begin with, "Will we have a three day training camp in January, in Mullingar, to bond as a team and get some much needed miles in?", was pretty much how it all started in December. I seem to remember it was much milder then.

So on Friday last, Mullingar's elite ladies team assembled late in the afternoon, for a hard hour and half turbo session to kick start the weekend off. The principle is simple, over train the body for three consecutive days as prep for the rapidly arriving race season. We also put on some different recovery methods each day to help the body repair.

Things didn't start brilliantly, one hour into the session I wasn't seeing much bonding, mainly grimacing. As the hour and half concluded I was worried war would break out, maybe I made the session too hard? A few grumbles and gripes later and the team made their way to St. Loman's for a dip in the ice cold crio-spa. This is supposed to speed up recovery after training. Given the low humour level, we left the team to their own devices. I feared the worst but later that evening I heard all was good. Three Wheeler girls squeezed into a tiny ice cold bath had done the trick, most left smiling and happy. As much as you can be after ten minutes in sub three degrees water anyway.

The cold theme carried on for the rest of the weekend. Saturdays spin was supposed to be the hilly route known as "Flanders" , after the famous Belgium, cobbled, hilly mud fest. The sub zero temperatures meant we had to stay on main roads, so we headed for Moate and did some intervals on any hills we could find. Col de Gneevebawn, is always a favourite with the girls.

Post ride all weekend we were met with recovery smoothies made by Paul Daly, with recipe advice from our nutritionist. We were also trying out different energy foods, in a move to be more natural.

After our smoothies and soup Saturday we headed to NGS Fitness for a lesson in proper breathing and stretching. Shane, tailor made an hour class to help us recover and relax, intimate at times, Roy Carey's words, the experience was brilliant and definitely something I will try again. 

Sunday's ride was open to all local women and was run as a technique and skills day. The cold was at its tricks again and froze everywhere up. Local club spins were called off, and we hit the turbo for hour while we waited for the thaw. When we eventually hit the road the group of mixed racers and leisure riders were warmed up and ready. Everyone enjoyed the drills, but the head wind home was a killer and a lesson for some in motor pacing. On return to Outdoor Escape Eileen Gorey was on hand to massage the weary legs.

A great weekend training and bonding for sure, we were all impressed with the new girls, there's a very strong team in the making. Well done to Naomi Wade for joining us on Sunday. A great support crew always turns up to help with the team and are always there, many thanks.

The next camp is early February, we will run a open training day on the Sunday again.
Ladies Race Team on the N52 at the weekend
Ladies Race Team on the N52 at the weekend