ASA Nationals Build-Up: Ross Davenport Blog
31 May 2011
Four-time Commonwealth medallist Ross Davenport fills us in on his schedule since booking his World Championships qualification at the British Gas Swimming Championships in March.
A well-earned break, training camps in Mallorca and Cyprus, a naked Cosmopolitan centrefold. You could say I've been busy.
Since the British Gas Swimming Championships at the beginning of March, things have been really manic for me. I eventually came down from the high of World Championship qualification in Manchester and decided it was time to take what was, in my view, a well deserved break.
But that wasn't before a further week of training after the Championships. As a group in Loughborough we completed an intensive five days of training to boost our fitness levels before taking a break. This made it easier to start again after seven days' rest, fully charged and ready to go on the next phase of the journey.
Plus it means you can have one extra ice cream on the beach!
My girlfriend Claire and I then jetted off to St Lucia for a relaxing and very chilled out week: just what the doctor ordered.
St Lucia is a beautiful place, the food was fantastic but the thing that struck us both was the locals. Some of the most polite and friendly people you could ever wish to meet!
On returning to the UK it was back to business as usual: the daily grind of training and preparing for the World Championship in Shanghai in late July.
We spent about a week training in Loughborough before heading out to Mallorca for a five-day training camp. The objective of the camp was to gain as much fitness as possible while also making it as fun as possible. This is really important because the stresses of competition can really pile on pressure and get you down, win or lose.
In Mallorca we cycled, ran, walked, played on the beach, lifted weights, completed body circuits and of course we swam. We'd start training at around 8.30am and finish anywhere between 2-3pm.
In that time we would only swim once but it was surrounded by other activities before and after, making the day a highly intensive one. But it was enjoyable, cycling the roads of Mallorca and running the streets of the local towns, all under the watchful glow of the sun!
The whole training group came back in better shape, both mentally and physically.
There was only enough time for a few sessions back in Loughborough before it was time to go away again, this time for the National training camp to Cyprus.
The annual get together allows the National Team to train as a squad and helps to create a greater bond between us. We're able to introduce the rookies to the team and train against other members or rivals who we might not be familiar with.
Cyprus was a great experience and another phase ticked off on the road to Shanghai!
With no time to unpack on arriving back from Cyprus, I was straight off to Manchester for the British Gas Great Salford Swim.
The swim is part of a series of swims all over the UK in lakes, docks and reservoirs that the public can take part in for a challenge. This one was 1 mile long with all types of swimmers involved, from elite swimmers to beginners, young and old. It's a great way of including everyone in swimming.
I was there for the elite race. I really enjoy the swims but it isn't my forté. Open water swimming is completely different to pool swimming.
In pool swimming you are the only person in your lane, there are two fixed walks either 25m or 50m apart, lane ropes and a black line to show you the way! In open water swimming there's none of that.
You're in cold, dark, dirty water and surrounded by other swimmers. It's great fun but I don't think there is a career for me in open water. I came 17th out of 20!!
Another thing happened in the last couple of months, which you might have seen....
Along with two other swimmers, Grant Turner and James Goddard, I did a photo-shoot for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Not just any old photo shoot but a NAKED centrefold for one of the biggest magazines around!!
We were asked by the media department at British Swimming if we were interested in doing it and I instantly agreed! It was only when the photographer asked us to get naked that it really hit home what we were actually doing: appearing virtually naked in one of the UK's bestselling women's magazines!
It was a very different experience!
I'm now working towards the the World Championship later this year. I'll be competing in a few competitions in Europe, Barcelona, Cannes and also at the British Gas ASA National Championships Sheffield. It should provide me with great race practise and brilliant competition.
Ross is supported by TBS Enterprise Mobility and Composed Communication - view his blogspot here.
Click here to join the British Gas ASA National Championships Facebook Event (must be 18+, must be signed in)