Since Cremona I’ve been training hard up at altitude in the French town of Font Romeu in the Pyrenees. I came here last year and made sure I set aside some weeks with no races to come here and do some very hard weeks of training in the perfect environment. It’s 1800m above sea level here, there’s a 50m indoor pool, running track and endless mountains and forests for riding and running. The weather is great and the town is full of athletes.
After being here for 4 great weeks, everything had gone perfectly. I completed 3 of the biggest run weeks I’ve ever done, running 10-12 times per week for around 140-155km. My harder speed sessions have also gone well and I have adapted well to the altitude. Times that seemed imposible in the first couple of weeks here are now a piece of cake.
When everything is going well, you have to expect your luck to eventually run out... My luck ran out last week as I jogged to the forest warming up for a speed session. Somehow I tripped over and came down really hard. I put my hand out, did an army roll and found myself sitting with my hand in my lap thinking I’d dislocated my pinky on impact. It hurt quite a bit, but I said to myself with 4 weeks to London I was lucky it wasn’t something worse. You don’t really need a little finger for triathlon!
I got up, ran to the forest and completed my session. By the time I got home the finger and hand were getting quite swollen, but I thought nothing of it and got ready for my 2hr ride in the sun. When I started riding I realised I had done more damage than I first thought. I couldn’t hold the handlebars or put any weight on the hand. I went to our team physio Caleb and then we went for Xrays and bam I found out I have a broken bone in my right hand and was into a full on cast. I’ve never broken any bones in my body before despite plenty of crashes off the bike, so it was pretty hard to believe.
I was meant to race in a Grand Prix in Paris for my Team Largardere last weekend and then the World Series race in Hamburg this weekend as my last 2 sharpeners before our Olympic Selection Race in London. I’m now trying to get into a European Cup race in Geneva, Switzerland which is next weekend. This would be 2 weeks before London, and the last major race available.
Honestly I think the hand is healing pretty well and I have now taken the cast off and got gently back into the water. I have trained really hard for London and I don’t think I will lose too much fitness. I am riding on the windtrainer (HATE IT!) as I can’t put any weight through the hand yet and running with the cast on in case I fall again.
Not the end of the world! Watch me heal!