Olympic Gold Medallist, Joanna Rowsell gives us her thoughts on her upcoming road to Rio…
Happy New Year! I am very excited to finally be in 2016 and be able to say the Olympics are THIS year! Even though it has been within a year to go since August, I always think it feels more real once the date actually shows Olympic year.
When we hit 1 year to go I was out in sunny Lanzarote for a training camp at Club la Santa. The hot weather, quiet roads and well equipped gym were perfect for me to get a good training block in prior to the track season which started in September with the Track British National Championships. Our first international competition was the European Championships in October where we took gold in the Team Pursuit followed by the first World Cup in Colombia in November where we took bronze. Whilst we were pleased with our performances at these events, it is clear the rest of the World are continually raising their game and there is very little to separate the top 4 or 5 teams in the World.
A tough training block based in Manchester followed these competitions and we are now preparing for our first competition of 2016 which will be the next round of the World Cup in Hong Kong. We fly on 10th January and race 15th and 16th January. This time of year can be difficult with Christmas and New Year providing easy distractions from training hard and resting, but being the last Christmas before the Olympics the goal of Rio 2016 is all-encompassing enough to not give in to all the temptations of the festive period. I did, however, plan my training to allow a rest day Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and spent these days with family, but I was then back on the bike on Boxing Day and training hard the week following Christmas with a combination of track sessions, gym sessions, Wattbike sessions and road rides.
After the Hong Kong World Cup we have the World Championships coming up in March which are in a very special venue – the London Olympic velodrome. It will be great to have the home crowd support us for what will be our final international competition before the Rio Olympics in August.
I will keep you updated on our progress, but with just over 7 months to go, the countdown is on and I can’t wait. Bring it on!