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Sun, Sea & Cycling

Kate jumped at the offer to spend a week in Southern Spain last winter, at her first official training camp and was looking forward to immersing herself completely in sport...

Kate - Two weeks before I was due to fly I noticed that after cycling into work, my right knee became very swollen. A diagnosis from my physio pointed to a ruptured bursa in my right knee. I tried everything, from rest and ice, hot and cold treatments, taping and even trying to desperately push the fluid up my leg (unsuccessfully), however, as the days flew by I had seen little improvement. Determined to remain optimistic I decided to change my hopes for an overnight recovery, to instead plan for the worst case scenario, that I would not be able to do any of the land based activities during the training camp. However, this would still leave me with swimming, and although this was arguably my strongest discipline, there was always room for improvement. On top of this, my week in Spain would give me time to catch up with my coach and allow daily access to a physio when I needed it most; even without training, it would still be a relaxing week of sunshine, a chance to mentally recharge before returning to training once recovered.

As soon as we arrived at the hotel, there was time for a quick bike build (which was great practice in itself) before heading out on a steady ride. After showing the physio my knee I was given the go ahead for a gentle ride. This was my first time riding in Spain and, immediately, I was amazed by how respectful the drivers were around cyclists and how smooth the roads were. This was also my first time out on my new bike, but it didn't take me long to feel comfortable, I was so happy just to be riding again. At that point I realised how much I enjoyed the sport and knew that whilst my injury had been a setback, this realisation would drive me mentally in the future.

Fortunately the cycling appeared to improve the knee and combined with some more professional taping methods, massage and regimental icing the swelling gradually reduced, allowing me to join in with the cycling and running sessions during the week. Whilst normally I struggle with run interval sessions, being able to run in the sunshine against a backdrop of mountains was an experience to relish. It was fantastic to share the experience with like minded people, who were great fun to train with. Training for Ironman distance means that often to fit the volume in I have to train alone, so it was a nice change to be riding with a group of people who could push me to ride faster and lighten the mood with banter. The highlight of the training camp for me was one of the long steady rides which crossed the mountains to the West of Carboneres. The quiet roads and incredible views were fantastic.

Overall my week in Spain has left me with some awesome memories and whilst not all may have gone to plan with my training, the experience has reminded me of how fortunate I am to be in a position where sport is able to enrich my life so much. 

All at TORQ HQ wish Kate the very best of luck for the up-coming season.