Micki Marciniak Training Update

Micki Marciniak Training Update

Miki who is sponsored by Mayer Brown has been training hard with team GB at a Kayak training camp based at the Official Nelo Training Centra Montebello Agueira Resort, Mortagua Portugal. Below are some updates from Miki which provide some insight as to what the training entails. Good luck with the training Miki!

Day 1

On the first day of the training camp it’s very easy to overwork yourself and today we certainly had to try not to. With surroundings as beautiful as these it was a challenge to not keep going and going, incredibly scenic.  

The first two sessions were in K4 (4 man boats) and both followed the format of 4x750m and 10 50 stroke sprints. The afternoon session was in the singles and this was an eight km low intensity core aerobic pace pull. 

It felt really amazing to be out of thick rubber jackets, hats, scarves and gauntlets. I’m super grateful for this opportunity, thank you so much!!!

DAY 2  

Wow that was intense. Hitting 4 (some might say even 5) sessions in one day is pretty hard and hitting 4 HARD sessions is even more difficult. With some very intense Portuguese fog lingering to noon it made the first session both scary for not seeing where you’re going and fun for the same reason, visibility was near enough 10 metres and we were guided by the 3 lane buoyed course and the whiny sound of an overworked outboard struggling to pierce the mist.

The first session was 100m/100m x5 x3 (100m fast and 100m slow five times then a little rest and twice more). The second session was 4x750m followed by 10x50 strokes. The last session was low intensity core aerobic pac (CAP) covering about 8km. The last session was a very hilly run, very steep foothills of the mountains in the warm setting sun. 

After the fog had lifted it was like a British summer’s day, only its Portugal … aaaand it’s February.  I’m super super happy to have this opportunity to train in this amazing place. Thank you for allowing me to do this! Thank you!!

DAY 3

Halfway point, half the sessions of yesterday with bucket loads more intensity, again some mystery mist in the morning not quite as bad as yesterday opened up to a stunningly warm day later on.

400m x3 every 45 minutes was the first session, fairly challenging and was a good reflection of race day where heats and finals are often about 45-60 minutes apart from each other. The next session was extremely brutal, very difficult to describe but speaking to some other members of team GB I was met with mostly disbelief and double takes, this session was 500m x6 on a 4 minute clock - 500m starting every 4 minutes 6 times over. Out of the training group I clocked not only the fastest time but also the fastest average, something I was very proud of and managed to keep everything technically sound.

Such an amazing training environment, I’m going to bed excited for the next day’s training and despite the harshness of professional sport and some minor mishaps I’m having an absolute blast. Thank you so much!!!

DAY 4

It’s bad. Everything hurts and I’m really tired. The training is fighting back. Only 2 more days to go. Another hard 4 session day in the bag, I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve been making this week especially with holding maximum heart rate, 180 bpm and above.

The day started off with 4x750m in K2’s, I was paired with a fellow training partner from Nottingham and it was a really good combination with Joe setting the pace and the rhythm in the front seat and me putting down all the power I could muster in the back. The 4 efforts were followed by 50 strokers x10 on a 60 second clock. The second session was the same only in K1’s, we had done this session on Tuesday and trying to match the same speed after another 6 hard session since then drove each effort into a lot of pain, it’s a really strange sensation after you cross the finish line almost like claustrophobia inside your own skin with your heart beating over 3 times a second and your parched throat begging for water. The penultimate session of the day was a drill session in the big boat, the K4 the wind had picked up by this time making the conditions a little more challenging nevertheless we completed it very windswept. A hard Algarve hill running session finished off the day.

Thank you for all your support, it means so much to me that I’m able to go and train here in these conditions and surroundings and will put me in very good stead for training up to the first races of the year in just a few weeks’ time. 

 

DAY 5

Almost finished, some absolutely stunning conditions for the morning session K1. Could literally not ask for better conditions, the early bird gets the worm and in this case it was hundreds and hundreds of metres of beautifully flat water and Portuguese sunshine. 

The first session was (50st/30st x10 30st/20st x10) 2  a fairly intense session for this stage in the camp however I managed to find good rhythm and power in the later stages. As the wind stared to pick up we got on with the second session of the day 750mx6 in mixed crew boats, this gives younger athletes a good opportunity to train with more experienced athletes, I was paired with a young junior female athlete who had only been kayaking for 3 years and we got on surprisingly well.

Arriving for session 3 the wind was blowing an absolute gale, we had no chance of squeezing any sort of quality out of the session. Me being me I made myself useful helping the event organisers stop the marquees blowing away as they were being set up for tomorrows races.

Tomorrow I will be taking part in the Nelo winter challenge, an annual competition based here in Montebello every year very well hosted by NELO the leading boat manufacturer in canoe and kayak , it attracts athletes from all over the world, many Olympic and national teams will be present so it will be good to see how I get on!

Looking forward to tomorrows racing, super happy to be able to take part in this competition among some living legends of canoeing. Thank you for all of your continued support! Thank you!

 

DAY 6 

Final day done, competed in the Nelo winter challenge after a week of soul shattering training so I wasn’t expecting much but none the less I still wasn’t happy with 42nd out of 144, I was just half a minute down on the winner (European champion Fernando Pimenta) on a 1.5km circuit. 

Racing is always a good experience, something I don’t think I will ever get enough of. It helps you to learn to manage your preparation process, your fears doubts and insecurities but most of all it makes you comfortable being in that zone, am super happy to have participated in this event and I would like to thank you for helping me get here.

During this week I was super fortunate (and the only one in my training group) to bag one of the new model boats the ‘Sete’. This new boat came out in late 2018 and is currently rated the fastest and best behaving boat out there. I didn’t think there would be too much difference between my older model from 2014 and this new one but there was a substantial increase in performance; everything was far more refined in every way from the layup down to the steering. Before I didn’t really see what all the hype and attention was about but now I’ve had first-hand experience I can relate!

Thank you for allowing me to be here

Thank you!

Miki 

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