By Ed McKeever, ACCA student and potential London 2012 competitor
So where to start in summarising the previous six months?
I can’t be too disappointed with my 2011 racing season: I won two World Cup races, a Bronze at the European Championships, Silver medal at the World Championships, crucially Olympic qualification (for GB not me personally), and then finished it off with a Gold at the Pre-Olympic test event at Dorney Lake, where the canoeing will be at the Olympic Games this year.
After the end of season I sat down with my coach Alexander Nikonorov and assessed where we could make the necessary gains. Without giving too many details away, we have come up with a plan for the next to give me every opportunity to be stood on top of the podium next August.
Firstly, I did a cross country ski training camp in December; although not directly linked with canoeing it is a great way to build a solid fitness base ready for the huge volume of work that will be done next year. Unfortunately this means I will be unable to sit any ACCA exams this year, but it wasn’t that difficult a decision to make given the potential prize on offer at the end of it.
Next, I will be going away for three intensive warm weather training camps in Port Edward, South Africa and Sevilla, Spain from January until the beginning of April (it all sounds great and exotic, but these are far from holidays as we train four times a day).
Then in April there is the domestic regatta in Nottingham where I can confirm my selection for the Olympic Games, two World Cup races in May, a European Championships in June and then, if everything else goes well, the Olympic Games. The K1 (kayak single) 200m race heats and semi-finals will be on 9 August and the final will be on the Saturday 10 August.