Posted by USN Ireland on October 3, 2014
For the second time this year I am setting up camp in The Altitude House in the University of Limerick for a pre World Championship training camp. My previous experience of altitude training took place in the same venue in January after a 12-week strength phase so I am looking forward to seeing what improvements, if any, I will get after putting in a 3 month training camp in Portugal.
I quickly settle back into a routine involving early morning weigh in and pee hydration test followed by a 10min questionnaire. In the questionnaire on a scale of 1-10 I go through how I slept, hours sleep, mood, motivation, training stress for yesterday session, perceived recovery, etc. A couple of days in and I fly through the questionnaire, 3, 7, 5, 4, 3, 7, and so on. There are several reasons for this in-depth monitoring; the primary reason is to gauge how safe it is for me to increase my elevation every couple of days. If I get the green light then I slowly and safely go from 1900m initially, eventually settling at 2700m for the final two weeks of the four-week camp.
During this camp I will also do a couple of sessions on the turbo trainer at altitude with lactate testing and close monitoring from my coach, physiologist and Rachael the manager of The Altitude House and sports scientist. I also continue my strength and conditioning training and the scores I am hitting in the gym and on the bike are very encouraging, lifting more explosively than ever before and holding power that I have never held before.
All of this training is done in conjunction with a strict diet, I have cut nearly two kg during my time in the house in a healthy way as power and muscle mass has increased while body fat has decreased. I always try and get my sources of carbs, fat and proteins from natural foods but during a heavy training session I continue to use USN Cyto Power HP and natural energy bars. It is extremely important that I eat on the bike and keep glycogen stores high so I always err on the side of caution when it comes to carbing up for training. For recovery I use the USN’s Protein, Seed & Nut Bar along with Whey Protein during the end of the gym session and just after I get of the bike.
Having just arrived in Greenville South Carolina for the 2014 World championships I am confident that I am will put in a good performance and get the results I deserve, over the next week I will taper for my event and 3 days out I begin my carb loading for both the Time trail and the Road race. This is always an anxious time as I review my years training but I am confident that I have done enough to gain important qualifying points for the 2016 Rio Paralympic games.