Swimming in the Clouds

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I’ll admit it’s been quite some time since my last post. I promise it is not for a lack of desire, but rather that through the process of traveling the globe, both for swimming and personal occasions, I ran out of time to properly sit down and record what has been going on in my life. That being said, I am currently at the CAR (Centro del Alto Rendimiento) in Granada Spain for next 21 days. Our coach, Taja, chose five members of our team, including myself, to train here at the center. There are many reasons for training at the CAR, the first and foremost, would be the benefits of high altitude training for endurance sports. We are currently at 2,320 meters above sea level. Others include the ability to break away from the traditional grind and focus purely on training.

In many respects our schedule in the water mirrors our practices at home. We have two practices (doubles) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. And a single water session on each of the other days of the week (We do normally get Sundays off, but one extra practice is nothing to complain about). Here is an example of our schedule from Monday:

7:05 Wake-up

7:15 Give morning data to our coach (Data includes your morning weight and heart rate*)

7:30 – 8:15 AM Cardio (30 minutes on a stationary bike plus 10 minutes rowing)

8:15-8:45 Breakfast

8:45-9:00 Stretching/warm-up

9:00-11:00 Swim Practice

11:00-11:30 Stretching

11:30-1:00 Free time

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Mandatory nap/ rest

3:00-4:00 Free time

4:00-4:30 Core Circuit

4:30-6:30 Swim Practice

6:45-7:45 Weights session

8:00-9:00 Dinner

9:00 – till you fall asleep

Looking at the schedule I, too, am slightly overwhelmed, but I must say that thus far I have not had trouble adjusting to the schedule. In many ways, it is much easier to accomplish all of the various athletic tasks when they are the only things that you are responsible for. By that, I mean I do not have to shop, cook, clean or worry about any other part of my life. As you can see there is a great deal of variety in the types of training, which keeps things fresh and exciting. For instance, Tuesday might also be a double day but it does not look the same as Monday – the short core circuit is substituted for the morning cardio and another longer circuit is substituted for weights.

Here are a couple of photos of the Center to give an idea of the great training facility:

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The days with just one practice are quite special and we have honored those that we have had thus far with outings and excursions. For instance on Saturday, after morning practice four of us decided to go down into town. We took the scenic route riding the chair lift down to the town below. As you can see, locals would love a snowstorm like the one that just raged across the east coast. Yet, there were still many people out on the slope. (I don’t think more than one is running).

The following are photos from our journey into the town square:

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On Sunday our single session was in the afternoon, which allowed us to climb to the Virgin of the Snows (ironic since there is hardly any snow this year) in the morning. Taja our coach led the excursion up another couple hundred meters to her triangular shrine. As the pictures attest, it was a beautiful hike.

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Most importantly, we made it just in time as the clouds started to roll in (as seen in the photo below). Most days they arrive around lunchtime and then will stay the rest of the day, covering everything in sight.

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Thus far, we have had an amazing training trip and I am sure there is plenty more fun to be had. I am most looking forward to training hard and devoting some of my spare time to bringing the blog back up to date. Happy Tuesday!!

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