Return to the AIS 2008

Share this post TFUPM Posted April 12, 2008 in Josie's Racing

Once again I find myself at another AIS cycling camp in our nations capital and this time there’s more than one strange twist. This time instead of sharing `ressie’s’ with the many strangely shaped athletes like 60 wrestlers (thank goodness!!), 20 mini gymnasts (a little scary too!) and heaps of long and lanky basket ballers. We cycling girls now find ourselves living all the way over at the physiology labs sleeping at 3000 meters in the altitude house.

The BOC altitude house’s slogan is `to live high and train low’ and that’s how we spent 2.5 weeks at the first AIS training camp for 2008. Sleeping at altitude is done in hope of increasing haemoglobin mass, which should effectively improve performance. I was looking forward to this part, however, on reading some of the fine print of the side effects or symptoms I was a little apprehensive.

This fine print included:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent coughing
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain

In the first two nights at altitude I experienced

  • lack of sleep
  • shortness of breath,

And from then on I also experienced the following:

  • lack of sleep
  • shortness of breath
  • sore ears from wearing ear plugs to escape the loud/heavy squeaky doors which opened and then slammed all night and the squeaky bunk bed
  • more lack of sleep from the more frequent bathroom visits you seem to need
  • and a sore left hand pointer finger from wearing the pulseometer.

However after many sleepless nights we were able to take the pulseometer off and I smarted up and got the Rock n’ Roll chain lube out and spent the next 20 minutes lubing every single hinge in the altitude house. We also got the `friendly’ lab supervisor to tighten the screws on our bunk bed and that night I experienced my first night of relatively quiet sleep. Good stuff….

During the days we spent our time training hard on the road and testing on the bike and in the lab. We did many TT efforts and my favourite was the 30 min TT effort in the lab with a very uncomfortable saddle. I had good power but I’d pay for the saddle for several days after…. Oww! We also spent many hours in the gym impressing Ross our Strength and Conditioning supervisor with our strong muscles and great control. He he!!

As well as all the 'sport stuff’ I managed to escape the confines of the institute and altitude house several times with my friend Bella who was `doing time’ at the institute as a triathlete. We visited the Tasmania Devils and Llamas at the Canberra Zoo, caught a movie and ate some prawn skewers (Spain) and sausages (Austria) at the international food festival. We also busted out a few times for secret breakfast clubs at our favourite Canberra cafe `Milk and Honey’ and nearly broke our ankles walking with cleats on the floorboards and stairs. I’m sure we kept a few Canberrians amused with our little stunts there! But we really meant to do that!


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