Hollie Avil trains on the Gold Coast

This winter had been a bit different for me as I joined a new coach and squad at the end of 2011. Between January and April, my squad bases themselves on the Gold Coast, Australia.  The main reason for this is to escape the British winter. The past few winters have been terrible in the UK and often we’re left unable to train due to the heavy snow!  I spent a lot of time on the turbo trainer last winter. There’s only so much turbo training I can handle! I love the great outdoors. 

I’ve been in Australia for 9 weeks now and am really enjoying it. It does make a big difference training in the sunshine!  I also love how it’s so light in the mornings here. Some days we start riding at 6am. We wouldn’t be able to do that back home in England. 

What I’ve loved the most out here is the cycling. The Gold Coast is known for being quite busy, but once you get of the busy roads, the riding is amazing. I didn’t think the Gold Coast was that hilly, I was wrong. Once you ride a bit in land, there’s some brilliant climbs.  The climbs are pretty long (and steep!) too. 

The activity I shared on Garmin Connect is one of my favourite rides. This is one that isn’t inland. It’s the coast ride. Long and flat! The views are stunning. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/155664954 
I’m lucky to be training with a large group out here and that’s perfect for riding!  We race in big packs, so it’s important to be used to riding around others. You need the skills in order to be a confident rider.  With a large group, it also means that the chat is good on rides too. We have quite a few guys in our group which really helps push me on. 

Racing isn’t not far away now, so training is starting to change. We’ve churned out a lot of winter miles and now the speed work is creeping in.  I like it when we start sharpening up! I’m looking forward to the short and fast sessions in the pool, on the bike and on the run! My 910XT has been a great help with training this winter and will help even more when I start doing specific speed  work! I can race against the virtual partner! I’ve been using my 910XT so much out here – it suits all three disciplines and is so easy to use.