Welcome to the Off Season: Loes Gunnewijk Report #3

Sun 9 Dec 2012

Welcome to the off season. We’ve rounded up an assortment of ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS riders to tell you about how they spend the ever-diminishing months without races. Loes Gunnewijk checks in from team training camp in Canberra to tell you, in her own words, about how she spent her last week of the year in Holland and what the team has been doing at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). 

This past week was full of changes! First of all, it was my last week of this year in Holland! I celebrated my birthday with my family, and we also together did the Dutch tradition ‘Sinterklaas’ (kind of Santa’s brother). Everyone in the family writes their name on a slip of paper and the papers are placed in a bowl. Each person takes one name and makes a nice/funny poem for that person and buys some presents. Sinterklaas normally comes on the 5th of December, but because I had to go to Australia before that, my family was a little bit worried that he couldn’t find me and we decided to celebrate it earlier.

Also, winter came to Holland this last week and it became more cold (0-5degrees)! I did some good MTB-rides on the Holterberg, gym and also skating again! It was good to get some nice winter days before flying to the summer in Australia.

I enjoyed my time at home! It was a good week to also catch up with some friends and organize all my stuff for the trip to Oz!

I spent the weekend on the plane, and Monday morning I arrived in Canberra. We are now together at an altitude training camp in the AIS. That’s a new experience for me! Training on your bike or in the gym is the same like in Holland only here it’s warmer.  I had a funny discussion about this with a teammate (Shara Gillow): Is 21°C warm or cold?! She is from Queensland (AUS) and thought it was cold and I thought it was warm! It depends where you’re coming from!

The difference is also that we train earlier in the morning here than we do in Holland. The training starts here normally around 8 o’clock. Also we don’t have kangaroos in the wild life! Today on our way to the café for our breakfast recovery ride, I saw a few Skippy’s and it’s still special.

The first few days of camp we had a pretty full schedule with not only training, but also with working to become Masterchef Australia. With the group, we made our own dinner a few times (tasted really good) and we learned more about nutrition in the process!

This weekend I’m doing a crit that’s part of the NSW Grand Prix. I’ll stay one more week here in the AIS after my race and then see a little bit more of Australia!