Nearing the end of base training season, I decided to kick-it-up a notch and head back to Europe for focused pentathlon training before the new season commences.
My past two weeks of training have been wonderfully productive in different facets. They have provided me with both an intense fencing period in Prague, Czech Republic and a technical week in Potsdam, Germany. This year marked my second trip back to Prague for the fencing camp sandwiched between the Czech Cup fencing comp and the marathon epee competition (two long days of fencing 5 super-pools with both men and women). Each day we would spend an hour in footwork lessons, two hours bouting, half hour in a coached lesson, while also getting in our swimming, shooting and running sessions. Since fencing was the primary focus, my running program that week was reigned-in to accommodate wear and tear on the legs. It did however allow me to get some miles in while exploring the picturesque bohemian city – which by the way, included A LOT of steep hills hidden behind corners. For anyone who has not had the chance to travel to, or explore Prague – it is one place that I recommend to see at Christmas time. Prague’s old town square market is incredibly magical (and tasty), and you cant go wrong taking a run-venture across the Charles bridge and up to the castle for the panoramic view as you catch your breath.
After Prague, I hopped the train over to Germany, where I was fortunate to train at the Sports Centre in Potsdam – home to many national team athletes including, Pentathletes, Swimmers, Athletics, Rowers, Bobsledders (to name a few). The Potsdam Complex allows pentathletes to train swimming, fencing, running and shooting all in one venue – a privilege I do not have at home, in Canada. The weather was milder than normal with patches of rain – allowing the trails and track to be bare for running. This was fortunate for us, as it allowed some solid combined (shoot-run) sessions on the outdoor track, which also houses a brand new combined facility. The track is situated alongside the lake – providing scenic pathways for warmups and cooldowns. Potsdam has a great pathway system for runners looking for scenic run-ventures just outside of Berlin. It is an easy train ride to run through the forest, beside the chain of lakes or around the sprawling palace gardens. So much exploring!
At the end of my training travels, I cant rave enough about the kind people in Prague and Potsdam that have helped make this pentathlon training camp possible. As tough as the sport journey can be, its always the people you meet around the world that make you truly thankful to be an athlete.
Děkuji. Danke shon.
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