SMP x Emma Jeffcoat Update 2: No Longer Working from Home
A warm welcome from Girona, my European Summer base nestled in the Catalan region of Spain. Some may know of Girona as it’s come to be a Mecca for Professional cyclists & triathletes making the move to Europe.
It doesn’t take long to figure out why, perfectly positioned about 90 mins North East of Barcelona, and another 90 mins south of the French border. With the snow capped Pyrenees on the horizon & a dip in the Med only a stone throw away on the Costa Brava coastline.
The old town is beautifully picturesque, transporting you back in time with the towering cathedrals, narrow cobblestone streets, stone archways & ancient city wall.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, many scenes from the series were filmed right here in Girona’s old town.
The influx of expats & athletes has brought with it an array of Melbourne quality coffee & cafe’s too. (Have an insta stalk of Espresso Mafia, La Fabrica, La Comuna, or Federal) with a side of traditional Spanish tapas & patatas bravas it’s hard not to quickly fall in love with this new training base.
Before I start sounding too much like I’m trying to sell a European Vacation to you all, I’ll get back to business … I promise I train hard. With a full calendar of International Racing ahead, which will see me overseas until mid October!
I started my international season in Yokohama Japan, leaving Melbourne mid May for the first stop on the World Triathlon Championship 2022 Series Calendar. An Olympic distance race (1.5km swim/40km cycle/10km run), my first since the Tokyo 2021 Olympics & coming back from 2 bone stress injuries which had hampered my end of 2021 international season & start of 2022 domestic racing season. So I was excited to be healthy, back racing & lining up against the best in the world!
The race itself wasn’t my best, with an average swim leaving me chasing the front bunch, a strong bike & relatively solid run to earn me 26th place (funnily enough, the same as Tokyo). Within context it was a step in the right direction as we build into this season & get back to full training load & racing!
One thing I’ve always been sure to do is make the most of every opportunity I get whilst travelling for races (within reason of course), but as we raced in the morning it meant I could head into Tokyo for the evening to explore some of the city, an experience Covid robbed us of at the Olympics, as we saw only the race venue, Olympic Village & airport.
I flew out from Japan the next day, via Abu Dhabi, onto Spain. I have not missed long haul travel & was grateful to make it to bed 2 days later. We settled into our new apartment in the main square of town, & had an easy few days of training; swimming, riding & running every day but just aerobic. Giving our bodies time to adjust to a new time zone & the heat! With every day sitting in the mid 30’s, and it’s not even summer yet!
The riding here is very hilly, you’d be hard pressed to find a 2 hour “flat” loop with less than 500m elevation gain. But it’s stunning riding, with endless loops to chose from I’m constantly in awe discovering new roads. The run trails from our doorstop here in Girona are great, like Melbourne the soft surface/ gravel options are terrific & for someone like me who is more injury prone, this is a must!
If you’re interested in following more closely the cycle & run training I’ll be doing here then please send me a request on strava.
Our second week in Girona has been a typical taper week leading into racing this Saturday in Arzachena, on the island of Sardinia, Italy. Here I’ll be racing on Saturday in my first World Cup since March 2020, before covid hit! It’s rated as the hardest course of the series, with a steep hill on the ride & run. You can check out the course profiles here from the race link. I love hard honest racing so I can’t wait to test myself.
I’ll report back soon & fill you in on the latest European training adventures & race plans soon.
Stay warm, stay healthy, & have a magic for me.