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SMP x Emma Jeffcoat Update 3: International Season Heating Up.

Buenos días,

They say time flies when you’re having fun, & I think the same applies when you’re working hard. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Spain for over a month now. We’re well & truly into the European Summer & international race season, & it’s time for an update.

I’m currently sitting in Girona airport waiting with a 4 hour delay on route to Paris, the joys of being an athlete & travelling. A few cafe con leche’s later, the Spanish latte order, surprisingly good & cheap at 1.50 Euro, & it’s time to get writing. So let’s go back 4 weeks & I’ll bring you up to speed.

I last left off in Italy where I was gearing up to race at the World Cup event in Sardinia Italy. Unfortunately in the week leading up to the race I got hit by round two of a nasty bacterial chest infection, which had followed from one of the many flu bugs floating around, which I caught just before leaving Australia mid May.

As athlete’s we walk a very fine line, teetering on the brink of illness & injury due to the extreme stress we put our bodies through with high training loads & intensity. Add in a global pandemic still floating around, flu season, long haul travel & racing & that tight rope just got narrower.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing & if I had my time again I would have completely rested for however long my body needed to kick the infection & recover when first arriving in Spain. But I continued training & whilst monitoring how I was feeling, 25 hours of “just aerobic” exercise does not qualify as rest. Naturally as athletes, given the choice we’re always going to choose to give it a go, toe the line & see how we go.

So I travelled to Italy, did my pre race training & course familiarisation & tried to focus on process rather than feeling. Reminding myself we don’t always feel great leading into a race, or on race day, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still race well.

A long story short… I started, had a good swim coming out with leading women, but was having chest pain, trouble
getting air in & my heart rate was through the roof. I very quickly went backwards on the bike & pulled off course. A
temp pushing 39 degrees quickly pointed me in the right direction- bed.

A few days completely off, another repeat of antibiotics & another week of easy training & I was feeling more like myself. A lesson I’m continually grasping; listen to your body, be upfront with yourself & your team, & don’t be afraid to/of rest.

Shifting gears, I settled back into a solid few weeks of training ahead of a big block of back to back races, exciting!
What does a regular week of training look like with my Elotik Elite Triathlon squad over here?

A lot of sweaty miles, fresh baguettes, iced latte’s, afternoon siestas & late evening sessions. Rolling out at 6pm for the last session followed by a 9pm dinner is very normal in Spain, especially when we’re working with such hot weather. The last 2 weeks it’s been pushing 40 degree’s every day, (about a 35 degree difference to Melbourne these days, cruel either way you look at it) making the middle hours of the day too hot to train effectively.

Here’s my last week on paper;

So, what does this next race block look like? 5 races in 6 weeks, 5 great opportunities to get after it, some new courses, a few familiar friends, plenty of travel & one excited athlete!

19/6/22- Dunkerque French Grand Prix Race
26/6/22- Larache (Morocco) Premium Cup
2/7/22- Holten (Netherlands) Premium Cup
16-17/7/22- Tiszaujvaros (Hungary) Premium Cup
24/7/22- Pontevedra (Spain) World Cup

I’ll check in with an update half way through, hopefully with some good news & no doubt a few bizarre race/ travel stories! For now, I’ll tease you with a few snapshots from our recovery day trip to the Costa Brava Coastline.
Sorry not sorry…
Have to make the most of this athlete life!



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