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South of France Training Camp

A weekend trip that turned into an epic 2-week training camp...

I had originally planned the break for a bit of fun and to mark the end of a first very good block of training with my new and internationally acclaimed tri coach, Chris Jones. I had long promised Clemmie, one of my bestest friends from growing up, that I would visit her in her new house in the South of France. So I thought brilliant, this is my chance.

Little did I realise how spectacular a place Clemmie would live for triathlon training. Thankfully she was kind enough to let me extend my trip to enjoy all the splendours that the South of France has to offer a triathlete.

The days tended to begin with a bowl of porridge on the patio in a very French garden with a boule pitch. My first session was always a swim and as the pool – an outdoor 50m pool – had begun its off-season opening from noon til 6pm, it meant an enforced lazy start. This turned out to be a great thing. I truly began to relax and enjoy a good 12 hours sleep each night. These are both of course essential ingredients to recovering and allowing your body to adapt and strengthen from the days’ training.

The steep switch back climb up to the pool at Altitude 500, Grasse soon woke me up and got me ready for one of Chris’s tasty swim sets. The school kids had gone back to school so more often than not, I had the pool to myself. I was also blessed with a late season heat wave of +30 degrees and clear, sunny skies. This enabled some multi-tasking so that I could get fit, and, get a tan!

The biking country was spectacular. One of my favourite rides was up to the village of Gourdon. The ride began with a long, fast descent deep into the valley. It then meandered its way back up the mountain to the summit where lay Gourdon's centre piece; a historic chateau on the cliff edge.

Here are some short video clips to give you an idea of the scale and beauty of the mountain scenery…

All in all, it was an epic training camp discovered unexpectedly off the beaten track in the South of France that comes highly recommended! To find out more details, feel free to contact me via my website - www.emmaruthsmith.com