Siobhan O'Connor

Breathless schedule

Swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor blogs on altitude training, a great end to 2013 and continuing that form into this year...

Last Updated: 23/01/14 12:42pm

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor: Ended 2013 in fine style and hopes to continue that form this year

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor: Ended 2013 in fine style and hopes to continue that form this year

I am currently just over halfway through a three-week training camp at altitude in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

I am here with three swimmers from my home programme, along with six from other national programmes, my coach, physio, a sport scientist and a strength and conditioning coach.

It is my second time up this mountain and unfortunately the thin air hasn't been any easier to get used to! Each day we swim for two hours in the morning, then have gym for two hours, swim again for two hours in the afternoon, and then stretch for an hour.

It's a great training environment because the pool, gym, living and eating facilities are all in the same building. Sierra Nevada is a lovely Ski-Resort and although we are not allowed to ski or snowboard, it's nice to go into the town for food and to play in the snow when we have time off. Hopefully this camp will boost our fitness and get us off to a good start for the new long course season.

At the end of our three weeks here we fly to Belgium and meet up with the rest of the British team to compete in the Flanders Cup. This will be our first long course meet of the new season and it will be good to race again internationally, and also against other members of the team.

Denmark

I had a great end to my 2013 season with the European Short-Course Championships in Denmark, where I was able to put to good use my race experience from the World Cups. It was a well stacked event with all countries entering their strongest teams, therefore to win a silver and a bronze as well as setting my first British Record was a great outcome for me.

I was so happy and had a fun time racing. The British team won eight medals in total, with seven of these coming from swimmers in my home programme at the British Gas National Centre in Bath. The swimmers from our squad who weren't in Denmark competed in Edinburgh at the Scottish SC Nationals and they swam brilliantly there too. It was probably the best week we've had collectively as a squad and it was great to end 2013 together on a high.

I only had two days off over Christmas this year, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but I still managed to have a great time with my family, and to enjoy all of the lovely food!

The major competition in which we are aiming towards and preparing for at the moment is the Commonwealth Games, where the trials are in Glasgow in April. This is where the England team will be selected for the Games in the summer.

There is still lots of hard training to do before this, but I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few months will bring.