January 7 – January 21 2024
Location: Playa de Las America, South Tenerife, Spain
Athletics Venue: Antonia Dominguez Stadium
Amidst the excitement of an Olympic year, Russel is currently starting off the New Year 2024 on a two week warm weather training camp in Tenerife, Spain with his training squad.
Training with 3 of the 4 members of Great Britain’s 4x400m Bronze Medallist team from 2023’s World Championships, the current training program and competitiveness is only beneficial in the lead up to the 2024 athletics calendar season.
The two primary reasons for this warm weather training camp is to train in conditions hotter than those currently in the UK during this winter time and to gain body adaptations to faster running speeds in the heat that we may not reach in the cold leading into the indoor season and the outdoor season in particular.
It is currently winter in the UK, where the current weather is in minus degrees and snowing. In contrast, the location of this camp (Playa de Las America) historically almost never rains and is predicted to have an average temperature around 22 or more degrees. This training location has also been used frequently in the past by British Athletics as well many Scandinavian national teams who are also currently at the same training facilities.
Although there is an indoor track opposite the outdoor track at the Loughborough-based facilities, it only has 8 lanes and a 120 metre straight, meaning that training gets altered if athletes cannot run outdoors while there is no ability to practice running on the curve as a 200m runner.
Russel commented in situ at the training camp:
‘This camp has been amazing so far. The training quality has been really solid, and the in-training competition and camaraderie of the teammates within the training squad has pushed us all to get the most out of this training block. Escaping daily life commitments such as full time work to focus purely on training performance and physical & mental recovery just for these 14 days while meeting other international athletes is something I’ve not been taking for granted.
The warm weather makes it easier to sprint faster and gain adaptations from those speeds being ran, while it allows me to focus on my bend running that I may not get to complete in January in UK when’s it’s snowing down on the track. The change of scenery is energising and exciting too; it’s like being back in the Aussie summer in which we train hard and then recover through good food and hydration, sun exposure and swims in the ocean. It’s also been a pleasure to see my teammates in a different setting, helping me form and/or strengthen bonds with each athlete and getting to understand each others “why’s” in the sport and life journeys. It’s probably helped us all respect one another’s journeys and goals and we are all supporting one another in achieving our 2024 goals and making teams.’