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British Champs build-up: Taper Time with Chris Walker-Hebborn

15 February 2011

Chris Walker-Hebborn has been preparing for the new season at a training camp in Australia. Catch up with the British Gas ITC Bath swimmer as he begins his taper ahead of the British Gas Swimming Championships in Manchester.

Post Delhi has been a very busy one. I literally flew straight from Delhi to Brisbane for a well-earned rest and to see my girlfriend and some very close friends I went to school with out there.

It was good to have another squad to train with - a little break from the norm.

After returning from Australia four weeks later, it was straight back into the pool at my training base at the British Gas ITC in Bath and back into some hard graft leading up to the British Gas Swimming Championships in March.

It’s never particularly easy getting back into training after the season's break. This season is such a short one as well so there was no messing about and we were straight back into it with no compromises.

In the period leading up to Christmas it was all about getting our bodies back into shape and ready for the competitions to come.

I was back out in Australia just after Christmas for a fantastic training camp. We took four Bath ITC swimmers along with Kev Renshaw’s squad at the British Gas ITC in Loughborough so it was good to have another squad to train with – a little break from the norm.

We spent five weeks out there training hard but at the same time earning some quality tanning time in the sun! Although now it’s back to reality, leaving the 30+ degree weather there and returning to the good old single figures of England!

There was a beautiful backdrop of the ocean our of our high rise apartments - it was as nice as it sounds.

In Australia we trained at the Southport School which was where I was previously based for two years, so it was close to the majority of my school mates that lived on the Gold Coast. My girlfriend also lives there and happened to be five minutes up the road from where we were staying so it was great to get away from things and spend some time with her in between the sessions.

We stayed in groups of four in the Grand Apartments where we cooked and cleaned for ourselves but with a beautiful backdrop of the ocean out of our high rise apartments. It was as nice as it sounds!

As for sight-seeing, I have done most of it already, having spent two years of my life there. I spent a lot of time in Byron Bay in New South Wales where my girlfriend’s family lives. The team also went to Australia Zoo which is an amazing experience – nothing like it anywhere else.

We were hands on with all the animals – holding the koala bears and stroking kangaroos – great!

After Delhi, myself and Dave (McNulty – Bath ITC head coach) sat down and spoke about my performances at the Games. We’re taking it as a blessing in disguise. I want to use my performances as the focus I need to get my head down and work on what has to be done this year.

So far it’s been really encouraging. 200m backstroke is never an easy race to swim as any 200m swimmer will tell you. But having done lots of training and being as physically fit as I can be, holding my form in the 200m should be that much easier – hopefully finishing with a great result.


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