PARLEE’s Kung Fu does it tough in the Basque Country


The VIS squad has moved to Vitoria which is their base for the balance of the season. The photo below was in France on his Z5’s maiden Col climb on the Col du Chat and he sent the following update (very Blade Runner in the Oakleys) :

“So I know all of you back home in Melbourne are up your eyeballs in weather conditions suited only to South Pole expedition preparation and outdoor activities with the sole objective of ‘building character’ so I will not complain about the slight diversion of unpleasant weather we are experiencing here in Vitoria today as I have great confidence in better mood (and tan) enhancing times of training before the week is out. So that leaves me with a total grumble inventory of zero….

I’m pleased to report that happy days are upon me at the moment now that I’ve settled into my European training base in the Basque country of northern Spain. Simplicity and progression are key in my current state of bliss, with both in abundance due to the wonderful setup that VIS head coach Jono Hall has established here. In a town that is quite sports mad but also has the relaxed Spanish attitude that makes training more of a leisure interest than a chore, life as a professional athlete takes a two tone existence.

Being able to kick off the day with a swim at 9am rather than 7:00 means there is time to wake up at leisure, have a coffee and then begin to prepare mentally and physically for the work and not feel like you’re stepping from the bedroom, eyes still blurry, and diving straight into the pool. But a 9am swim means only one morning session before lunch!?.. Not in Spain. The midday break in these parts is around 2-4pm meaning decent “PARLEE time” in the beautifully forested hills is easily managed before a feed. A sumptuous meal is then followed unbegrudgingly by siesta (can’t be helped, the place is a ghost town for two hours as everyone vanishes to their well shuttered abodes). As life begins to reignite around 5pm its time for a short coffee and getting head space back into a forward motion. By 6pm I’m running around the endless trails of the Green Belt with Jono in tow on the bike keeping things in check. Soon after, a light dinner of salad and tortilla and attempting to understand the Spanish dubbing (far over embellished in my opinion) over a third rate Hollywood action movie is the end to a productive day.

At present I am convinced this style of living and training is by far the most beneficial, sustainable and rewarding environment in order to achieve the outcome of sporting success.

Time will tell… (until I decide to venture to an arctic pole)

From the Basque country,

Kung Fu”

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