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Taper Time: Chris Walker-Hebborn - time at camp

Taper Time is a collection of regular blogs from across the disciplines offering insight into the lives of key British aquatics athletes. Here Chris Walker-Hebborn blogs on his time at camp in Majorca.

The last four/five weeks have been busy for me. After competing at the Commonwealth Trials, I had a week off and then straight back into training.

It was great to go head to head with some of the best swimmers in the country as well as take a break from the normal routine of same thing week in week out.

After five sessions it was back to the airport and I made my  way to a Bath ITC training camp for two weeks in Cyprus. A great break. No cold weather and a nice tan to show off when I got back home.

On return I had media training with British Gas and British Swimming. This was a first for me and it was a good laugh. I feel a lot more confident standing in front of the camera now. And then it was two weeks in Majorca... National Squad camp, not a holiday, although it did top up the tan.

It was great and gave me the chance to go head to head with some of the best swimmers in the country as well as take a break from the normal routine of same thing week in week out.

Also, being able to train with people of the same discipline gives me, and the others, a great opportunity to have some real head-to-head competition in training circumstances, which sometimes is hard to find. 

There are a few things that change when away on camp, one being our diet, usually we have to cook and fend for ourselves but being away at a hotel gives us the opportunity to sit back and enjoy food being cooked for us.

Our sleep routine can also change slightly, our coach likes us training in the sun at all times so in the morning instead of getting up at 6am it gets pushed back to about 8am. Those extra two hours can make the world of difference.

A typical day at camp would include a wake up run at about 7:30 then in the pool at about 8.00, for roughly two hours. After this at about 10 we head to breakfast and eat as much as we can before a nice afternoon nap.

This replenishes energy levels before the next session at 3pm - 5pm. Following the evening session we would head off to dinner, again to eat as much as we could before relaxing in the evening and heading to bed.

There is a lot of banter at camp especially with the Commonwealth Games approaching in September as some of us will be competing against each other. But it is all good natured and we are all good friends so none of it is taken the wrong way.

Towards the back end of a camp, I really look forward to getting back and sleeping in my own bed! Usually we are straight back into our normal regime, no time off just back to normal. We take an hour or two to sit down with our coach and look at what's next in our plan.

For me this means mare nostrum in Monaco, where I am now. Really big names and this means fast racing.  And it’s in Monaco, enough said! I’ll update you on this in my next blog.
 

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