Blue Ambassador, Bryony Shaw updates the Blue Project on her training and competition progress leading up to London 2012:
Finishing a disappointing seventh place at the 2011 World Championships in Perth, Australia was not the finale to the year that I had been hoping for. Having performed so well in the training in the lead up to the event and in fact keeping the blue dot (second overall) until half way through the competition I had high hopes to remain on the podium.
This podium was fiercely contested, as the three girls who stood there from Israel, Poland and Spain were all previous World Champions. However, none of them have an Olympic medal, which is what we will all have our eye on come August 2012. Performing to our best will be the aim of the game and I certainly felt that I underperformed in Perth.
I do have another shot at glory on a world stage before the Games… the 2012 World Championships are less than three months away in Cadiz, Spain. A venue that I am very familiar with and one where I have taken home a gold medal before. Not that I want the events to come around quickly. These next six months are going to be about grasping at every hour each day offers to complete the package that has to be in place to perform in Weymouth.
I certainly feel that my performance across the wind range is better at this stage of the game than I could have ever imagined. My biggest gains that have come about over this autumn and winter have been with my board speed around the race track due to a solid technique in planning conditions and a good handle on fast equipment. My main failing in Perth was not getting off a busy startline too well, something that I can try and rectify by getting a lot of practice in over the spring.
My fitness has also seen a marked improvement. The focus of my programme in 2011 has been on quality recovery as well as quality aerobic sessions, which has kept a balance over long training periods thus avoiding burnout.
I will continue this focus on interval type sessions while in Cadiz, Spain over the next three months, which will be split into lots of intense training camps. Motivation will not be such a problem while I have my two British training partners Izzy Hamilton and Claudia Carney, who will be shadowing my programme. We all have our bikes, rowers and surf boards so we can train together and keep the sessions fun and repeatable.
Trying to pack all this gear into my VW van while battling against cold 66mph winds on Portland was quite a mission. My coach Dom Tidey had to shout instructions over the wind noise to his team of helpers, but we managed to get it all in within a couple of hours.