The men’s and women’s senior cross country teams recently spent a week in Aguadulce near Almeria in southern Spain.  Why Aguadulce?  Dave Clark a long time Sportsworld member moved there in mid 2010 to work as an English language teacher in the local school district. Special thanks to Dave without whom the trip wouldn’t have happened, Dave put incredible effort into planning a week of intense training, great accommodation and transport logistics.

Special praise must also go to all those who helped get us there. Thanks to the committee, everyone who attended and organised the table quiz fundraiser, Emily and all those in Dublin who helped get the trip planned and organised. Too many names to fully list but of course allot of planning and organisation goes into getting these things organised behind the scenes and your support was much appreciated by everyone involved.

We arrived into Malaga on Sunday the 6th to get the most of the early afternoon sun. After picking up our Opel Astra cars outside the airport we sped off towards Almeria. The journey is a little over 200K but seemed long and windy after an early morning flight. The scenery in this part of Spain is spectacular with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada.

We were greeted in Aguadulce by Dave and Phil who had arrived into a bit earlier because of flight logistics. Whilst the two Dublin lads were wearing their shorts the locals were sporting winter coats and scarves.  What a difference a two hour flight makes in people’s perception of warm versus cold.

We were greeted by spectacular views when we got to Dave’s apartment. Accommodation for the week was organised by Dave, the girls Aoife, Crona, Emily, Jean and Lucy stayed with Dave in his 3 bedroom apartment.  The lads were stating with Dave’s good friend Tor. A real gentleman Tor offered to have 3 pale Irish guys cramp his bachelor lifestyle for a week and stay at his apartment. We finished off our arrival with a 30 minute jog around Aguadulce and a bite to eat in a local restaurant.

Now down to the training sessions. I’m fairly confident nobody on the trip apart from Emily had ever done so much running in a week, even during marathon training.   We ran twice a day apart from the Friday and also included an hour long core session, resistance band training with Lucy or stretching session each day.

Listed below are the sessions we did over the course of the six days.

Monday – AM 10 mile temp | PM 30 minutes easy

Tuesday – AM Hills and Sprints x 10 | PM 45 minutes easy

Wednesday – AM 80 minute tempo | PM 45 minutes easy

Thursday – AM 10x800M | PM 45 minutes easy

Friday – AM   1 hour easy

Saturday – AM 4|3|2|1 session doing 3 sets in 47 minutes | PM 45 minutes easy

During some of the toughest sessions I’ve ever done Dave and Emily was always on hand to give encouragement to anyone falling behind in the final stages.  Dave also took on the role of sports photographer for the week and captured allot of shots of everyone in action. The photos will be up in the Gallery section.

The  location was perfect with a mammoth hill for hills and sprints on the Tuesday, fantastic off-road conditions  for the run on Wednesday and great 800 metre uphill  track for the  Thursday interval session.

The trip was incredibly enjoyable. Everyone put in 110% effort to complete every session, stretching class and recovery run. With only a week to go until the senior cross country everyone is in great form to perform well on the day. The trip will also stand to everyone for the upcoming relays in April and give a great based for the upcoming road and track seasons.

Additional highlights included Dave’s great cd mixes, an excuse to eat allot of good quality home cooked food, sunshine for a week, great company and the savage eye. A strong hard week again this week will see us well setup to do well on the 26th.