Aguilas Training Camp: January 2020
Updated: May 21, 2020
To kick off 2020, I attended a Welsh Athletics supported training camp in the South of Spain. The camp was located in Aguilas, which is around 100 miles south of Alicante. This is a quiet seaside town, with many different trails around the cabbage fields located nearby. This provided me with great off road running options, along with a fantastic promenade for us to train on too. The weather in Aguilas at this time of year is around 15-20 degrees, it hardly rained during the 2 week period I was there, which was great as it allowed me to put in much higher quality sessions than would have been possible at home in the UK at that time of year.
A typical day on camp isn’t necessarily the same as a typical day at home. Here the main focus of each day is training, and you are in the perfect environment for it. You are surrounded by other like-minded athletes who are also training hard. There are less distractions on camp, and you have access to great trails and workout facilities. This allowed me to put in a really good two week block in as I prepare for Barcelona Half Marathon and London Marathon.
Here is a typical day:
8am: Wake up and go to breakfast. What I eat for breakfast will depend on what training I have in the morning. Before an easy run I would eat a yogurt and a banana.
9:30am: Easy run or hard session. A typical easy run in the morning is 10-15 miles.
11am: Return from training and head to the sea to cool the legs and body down.
12pm: Lunch. A typical lunch might be something like a noodle salad or toasted sandwich.
1pm: Coffee and game of cards. You get a lot of free time on camp so it is nice to chill out with your training partners and talk about things other than running.
2pm: Do some work on my laptop.
5:30pm: Easy run. A typical easy afternoon run is anywhere from 5-8 miles depending on what I have done in the morning.
6:30pm: Return from training, either head to the beach again to cool off or just chill in my room before food.
7:30pm: Evening meal. I usually start off with a salad, then follow this with veg, chicken and rice for example. If this was the night before a morning workout or long run, I would eat a bit more carbs than usual in order to fuel my body.
9pm: Head up to the room, either do a bit more work before bed or watch something on Netflix.
This is a typical day, food intake and mileage would vary slightly throughout the week. I would train twice on 6 days of the week (Mon-Sat), then on Sunday would train once and complete my long run. I run over 120 miles on both weeks of camp, not every day is the same of course, both volume and intensity would vary.
On a training camp you are usually pushing your body hard and covering a lot of miles. In order to cope with this, you need to make sure you let your body recover between sessions. There are a lot of ways you can recover, and you need to find what works best for you. Given that we were in Spain and staying by the coast, I used the sea as a makeshift ice bath. The sun may have been out but the sea was still very cold. This really helps my legs and body cool down after hard sessions.
I also made use of the Welsh Athletics recovery team, I had two soft tissue massages during the two week block, and utilised the Normatec recovery system. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Normatec, it basically compresses your legs and stimulates blood flow, which aids recovery by transporting oxygenated blood to your muscles.