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Transition Time: Asha Randall blogs from Fort Lauderdale

3rd November 2011

The British Gas GBR Synchronised Swimming team have just returned from a three-week warm weather camp in Florida. Team member Asha Randall fills us in on their progress in Fort Lauderdale.

We have had a few outdoor training camps previously before big competitions but this warm weather camp was the perfect opportunity to train with the new members of the team and also the rest to choreograph our Olympic routines.

It was the perfect opportunity to train with the new members of the team and the more chances we get to train in the sun, the better!

Also, spending most of our time based at the High Performance Centre in Aldershot, the more chances we get to train in the sun, the better!

We’ve been working with the same coaching staff as we do in Aldershot but we have also had choreographer Stephan Miermont working with us along with USA coach and former Olympic champion Tammy McGregor.

It’s amazing to have these talented and well-known coaches working with us and we tried to soak up as much from them as we can.

We stayed at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale and I shared with Anastasija Bates (mainly known as Staz). This was my first time sharing with her as she’s a new member of the team from our recent trials.

The views from our rooms was beautiful, they looked out to one of the many marinas surrounding us and with an international boat show coming up there were some amazing boats docked there. The beach is just opposite the hotel so we were very close to the ocean.

While we weren’t training we would usually go to each other’s rooms and watch HBO or catch up on  X-Factor from the UK.

Another thing we did in Florida was to visit the International Swimming Hall of Fame which was really interesting.

We had a tour of mainly the Synchronised Swimming part of the museum, showing us the sport through the ages.

It was amazing to see the suits worn and the medals won that had been donated by the athletes.

We trained at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex which is very different to our Garrison Sports Centre in Aldershot. It has three pools – a 50m, an Olympic size pool and a diving tank – and they are all outdoors.

During the week we trained from 07:30 until 16:00 each day with a two-hour lunch break in between. On Sundays we trained from 07:30 until 18:00, also with a two-hour lunch break, and we had a day off on Saturdays!

Most days, our entire training was in the water. Sometimes we’d start with an hour’s swim work in the morning before our synchro specific training and choreography work.

We did have 75 minute strength and conditioning sessions before entering the water on six days, consisting of weights, stability and core work with each swimmer completing their own program set by our S&C coach Ian Durrant.

The only other dry land work we did was 30 minute flexibility sessions as a team at the end of the day in the gym they have at the Aquatic Complex.

Every day was really exciting because we were practising and making up our Olympic routines – we’ve been coming up with some great ideas and I can’t wait to train again back at home and really make it our masterpiece for the Games.

We've been making up our Olympic routines. I can't wait to train again back home and really make it our masterpiece for the Games.

While we trained in warm temperatures for most of the camp, we did have four days of constant bad weather with a couple of days torrential rain! But nothing stops the Great Britain Synchro Swimmers... so we trained through it!

It did make the pool we were training in a rather chilly 24 degrees so we had to switch to the diving tank for most of our sessions because that temperature is too cold to stay in it for four hours.

The chlorine levels were also quite high in the Fort Lauderdale pools which resulted in all of us getting quite dry and sore red skin known as chlorine burn.

We also noticed our arm and leg hairs went as a result which was quite interesting. But it wasn’t enough to stop us training – we just made sure we moisturised well at the end of the day and put lots of Sudo Cream on our faces!

The atmosphere of the whole camp was amazing – everyone was so friendly and impressed with what we were doing.

One swimming coach came up to me at the Centre to say she had watched us every day and noticed the visible improvements we were making.

CLICK HERE to follow Asha on Twitter.

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