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Women´s Winter Training Camp

Women´s Winter Training Camp

Date 12/03/2019


Domini d’Isards is located in Espinavell, municipality of Molló (Ripollès) in Vall de Camprodon, within the province of Girona. That's where Domini d'Isards is located: a trail running station, which is a project run by Eva Martinez.

The day began with a welcome from Eva Martinez (founder of Domini d'Isards) and Laia Andreu (professional athlete and European Snowshoe Champion). After accommodation in the shelter’s respective rooms, initial greetings and introductions, the training began.

Laia had prepared for us a strength circuit with 12 stations, where we worked out the muscles in our legs, abdomen and upper torso. The best strength training sessions are usually those which combine good exercise performance (technique) with a big smile. At this point Silvia Leal appeared (runner-up in the Vertical Kilometre World Circuit) with all her magic and good vibes, adding a fast-paced musical soundtrack to the moment. So, between the music and the smiles, strength training was much easier and more bearable.

Exhausted after finishing two sets, we ran a little to help the body assimilate the work done and we also did some progressive training. Laia Andreu advised us at all times and helped us to understand the importance of these exercises and subsequent assimilation work, encouraging us to develop both techniques in our own daily workouts. What a pleasure to learn from professionals like that!

After the first round of training, we moved to one of the nearby mountains to continue with the day's training. The second part of the day was a set of inclines. Laia recommended a workout based on time. She proposed we do a set of inclines (where we'd go all out to the top and then jog down to recover) without stopping. Depending on our level we'd do 10, 20, or 30 minutes of training. After the training we did stretches at the foot of the mountain. It was like an oasis in the middle of the desert, brightened by our laughter, jokes and selfies; it was very enjoyable. Then, a light jog back to the shelter.

There, fruit shakes awaited us; a sensory pleasure that nursed us back to health with its seasonal fruits. After that, we showered and ate.

The meals were, without a doubt, the greatest pleasure and the essence of the campus. The Domini d'Isards team went out of their way to offer a menu which catered to all requirements and intolerances. Hurrah! There was homemade gluten-free bread, beetroot humus, homemade vegan Nutella as well as all the quality local and homemade products they offered: local homemade cheeses, yoghurt mousse made with raw milk... and a lot of other delicious delicacies that delighted our palate. Always very attentive and determined to offer us the best. We felt at home. Such a pleasure.

After the food were the raffles. Trade Inn, as an official collaborator of the Training Camp, offered the participants 2 prizes: snowshoes and a set of products for training at home, to put into practice what they learned (Macarena was the winner). The girls were very happy and Laia had already begun to inspect the rackets in order to advise Marta (the winner) how best to run in them and get the most out of each stride.

After the raffle, Anna Grífols joined us to give nutritional advice for female athletes. Then, Núria Codina delighted us with a hypopressives Master Class that left us breathless and with flat abdomens, as hard as stone. It's important to be aware of the need to introduce this type of training into our routines, both as runners and as women; to improve the health of our pelvic floor and to run safely without fear.

After the hypopressives, we did yoga with Silvia Leal. Some sun salutations, deep breaths, relaxation and we felt as good as new. Yoga is a discipline that extends our limits, respects our body and allows us to both stretch and relax in equal parts. Ideal after an intense day on the mountain.

After the activities, we had dinner and went to sleep. There was no night out because at 6.30am on Sunday we would already be getting started on the hyper-mega-nutritious super-breakfast.

After breakfast, we started the day with 4 sun salutations and some stretching to activate the body. We had to be ready for the morning sets that Laia had prepared for us. This time the workout was 4 sets of 1000 metres, with the last 500 metres on an incline. The idea was to do 1000 metres at a happy pace and then 1000 metres at a slightly slower pace to recover in a cheerful, active way. They confessed to us that they did this training in sets of 10. We did the set of 4 and then some extra sets for those who wanted to push a bit more. This type of training helped us to gain resistance. For speed it was better to do shorter sets. After training, we jogged to the car and headed back to the shelter. But not before taking some photos with bosses Laia and Silvia, who had accompanied us and encouraged us at all times. The day was accompanied by spectacular sunshine and enviable views, which made every drop of sweat easier to bear. Happiness sprang from every pore of our skin. This was more than just women sharing sport, we shared life.

Laia insisted that our training should include: short sets (speed), long sets (resistance), circuit training (strength), stretching, hypopressives and breathing exercises to control our diaphragm. Silvia added that strength can be worked on in sets with stairs, and that yoga helps us learn to respect our bodies, reminding us that we should worship our bodies above all else.

Once again, when we arrived at the shelter, we had some great recovery shakes, took showers and did some stretches to tone up our musculature. After this, Dr Quim taught us a sports physiology class. Very interesting, it helped us answer some questions about how our body works and how we should take care of it, as well as the consequences of not listening to advice or pushing our bodies past our limits. The last meal together was to die for, and it was wonderful. We said our goodbyes and headed home. Some of the girls still had several kilometres to travel home, but they were excited and happy. We left with smiles on our faces, having lived a lot of experiences, and with hopes and promises to reconcile and share more kilometres together in the future. A fascinating, unique experience that I would strongly recommend to mountain runners. It's not just about learning to train, feed and take care of yourself, it's being aware that we can achieve what we want, what we aim for and that with care, love and good company there are no limits to prevent us from running for our dreams.


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