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The start of something extraordinary

Flagstaff Altitude Training Camp - Week 3

This week we had a team trip to the Grand Canyon where we were able to see the snow in the forest during the drive there and more canyons on the route back.

A few of us took a helicopter ride through the canyon with an unscheduled landing to close the door that Dylan opened mid-flight. The views were spectacular and we were able to see both the south and north sides. The north side is located 18km from the south in parts and is 304.8m higher. Tom also ran the 14.5km down to the Colorado River and back on his day off.

Training this week was a little different to the previous weeks with six sessions from Monday to Wednesday then a day off followed by another six sessions to finish up the week. The total volume was similar to the previous two weeks although there was an additional session which allowed the quality of the work to be increased during the key sets.

The daily monitoring showed that the quality and length of sleep continued to improve this week as did the oxygen saturation levels. During the middle of the week the group did some broken swims appropriate to their main events. All of the swimmers stepped up to the challenge and did a great job which resulted in some additional fatigue in the water for the next few sessions.

This week was also an opportunity for the group to work on their skills and stroke counts as the breathing seemed to be easier for them. There were still some instances where I needed to look the other way but in general it was nice to see better streamlining and underwater work when compared to the first week in Flagstaff.

Not only did the week end with David’s birthday, but with a tough main set. The swimmers could choose between some straight 400m swims or broken ones at different paces (200m or 400m). Training was also going well for the staff who all recorded personal bests for the 10km trail around the hills of Flagstaff. Tom stormed home in 52:10, David in 56:35 and me bringing up the rear in 57:42.

Jodi Cossor
Swimming Biomechanist - HPSNZ