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Transition Time: Olympic Qualifiers

16th April 2012

The British Gas GBR Synchronised Swimming Team are preparing to compete at London Aquatics Centre for the first time at the London 2012 Synchronised Swimming Test Event. Team member Asha Randall fills us in on their build-up to the event.

After the Spanish Winter Nationals in February, the GB Synchros had a couple days off to recover from the competition and then were straight back into training Monday morning at 7am to start preparations for the Olympic Qualifiers coming up this week!

Training has been put up to a whole new level preparing for Qualifiers with physical training and intensity training.

Physical training consists of swimming our routine in laps with a maximum of 3kg weight belt on with only 30 seconds rest between to recover.

We always dread the physical training stage but we know it’s a great way to get our fitness up and in the end it results in huge improvements.

Once we have finished the physical training phase, which usually last around two weeks as you need a week for each routine, we then go onto the ‘intensity stage’.

This involves less quantity of whole swims of our routines but more intensity needed in our swims and if the coaches feel this is not being achieved they will stop the music and we have to start from the beginning again until we achieve the goal (even if it means the last ever movement does not have the amount of intensity required the music with stop and we will have to start over again straight away).

When training gets this tough our muscles tend to suffer a bit with lots of lactic acid build up, which makes training even harder and we really have to push through that pain and heavy feeling in the water!

Recovery is really important during this time and we use lots of different methods to help us such as ice baths and using the Compex.

The Compex became my new best friend during this training period – it is used as an active recovery method and it flushes the lactic acid out of your legs.

HORSING AROUND

Recently the team took a trip to Ascot races. Once in a while we try to organise team bonding days away from the stress and intensity of the pool and really get the chance to be with each other away from the training environment.

An opportunity came up for us to be able to go to Ascot on the 1st April and we thought that this would be a perfect day for the whole team and staff to get together and have a nice day out away from the pool.

It was a great day and everyone had a lot of fun. Some girls even bet on a few horses and won which is always a plus! We were also fortunate to present some awards to the public that won prizes at the races which was nice.

Ascot Ladies Day

Synchro has been getting a lot of positive media coverage lately leading to the Qualifiers and Games which is really nice to see.

We had a seven page spread a couple of weeks ago in The Telegraph magazine. It came across really well and we have received a lot of positive feedback from it.

We had a journalist with us at the pool for an entire day of training for this article and they really got our sport across to the public which is always such a relief to see.

HOME CROWD

The team are so excited for the Qualifiers next week. We just can’t wait to compete in front of the home crowd and get the first taste of what it might be like at the Olympics.

We’re very prepared for this meet. There are always improvements to be made and in our sport we have to be able to improve to the very last second before we walk on and perform.

The whole squad of 13 will be going but only the 10 that were selected in the previous Olympic trials will be able to train at the competition and compete. The other three girls will be used as extra staff to help out the coaches during the meet.

Even though we have already qualified for the Games we still need to show the judges, crowd and the other countries what we have been working on.

It’s amazing that the tickets were sold out in only an hour! It really makes us so excited to get out there and show our home crowd our routines and our amazing Olympic costumes we have just received! Seeing those for the first time made all us girls scream with excitement! We can’t wait to wear them at this competition!

Pressure is still on for the GB team at this meet. Even though we have already qualified for the Games we still want and need to show the judges, crowd and the other countries what Great Britain has achieved and has been working on.

We want to perform to the best of our ability and because we already know we are going to the Games, it doesn’t mean we will compete any differently or any less than what is perfect and what is required of us.

We still have our competitors we want to beat – it is just like any other competition.

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