Barry Kitcher, Hampshire’s 2012 Coordinator and UK Athletics coach, blogs on his experience at Vila Real de San Antonio, the Portugese Olympic Centre.
After a few hectic days of travelling and getting settled into our new accomodation, we’re now getting into full swing at the Portugese Olympic Centre at Vila Real de San Antonio, just 5 mins drive away from the holiday resort of Monte Gordo.
Haven’t been here for 2-years as last year went to Cairo to train with Jama Aden from the Sudan who coaches Abubaker Kaki (World Indoor 800m Champion) and Ishmail Ahmed (800m silver medalist in Beijing).
We are staying in a villa outside Monte Gordo so have about a 10-minute drive to the track. They are really spending money on the facilities, which was the holding camp for the Great Britain athletics team last year before the World champs in Berlin and now looks like being the holding camp for the athletics team before the 2012 London games. It is a very popular destination with athletes from all over Europe and there are numerous groups out here at the moment from the UK.
I have 6 distance-runners here with me (half of my group from Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC) and we did our first track session yesterday which went well. Mark Berridge, who is an England International and one of the main middle distance runners in the group, continues his successful tranistion from 400m to 800m runner, had a particulaly good session.
3×90 secs on the grass then 400m 200m 200m 400m 200m 200m (an influence here from my trip to Cairo with Jama). Always cautious about including training times as coaches & athletes often take them out of context. But at the risk of that here goes:-
Mark’s times were for the 400/200/200 element of the training:
55 /26/26 secs
Better than I was expecting! Next serious track session will be on Saturday and I will let you know how it goes.