Sarah Storey's adaptation week blog


Easier weeks from training are important for the growth and adaptation of the muscles to the previous phase of training and with fewer hours on the bike planned there is always a bit more time for the day to day stuff in life. Normally this is catching up with the washing, doing the gardening or getting to the bank, but in a rare treat, my adaptation week last week saw me spend most of the week down in Central London.


I was based in the One Aldwych hotel which has an excellent gym where two of the static bikes can be set up with my own pedals and saddle, so it was ideal for doing some “ticking over” training and getting in some very different activities to normal!



My main reason for being down there was to do some photo-shoots with Links of London, the official jewellery providers for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. If you haven’t seen their 2012 Collection, it’s worth a look. There are some very lovely charms inspired by the Olympics and some lovely necklace and ear-rings sets as well. My first shoot was for the 2012 Collection and the second shoot was with Vogue magazine for the Entwine Collection which is due out in May. It was a very exciting couple of days and quite an eye opener into the world of fashion and the job that models do. And of course, it was great fun! Make-up and hair took longer than the actual photography, and during the Vogue shoot I was in hair and make-up for three hours whilst they got the look of the shoot right for the photographer and the studio of lights. I was amazed with the lighting and the difference it made to the background of the shot, the look of the jewellery and the overall balance of the final picture. Also being photographed for Vogue was Kerianne Payne, Silver medallist from the Open Water events in Beijing, and training at my former swimming club Stockport Metro. The details of the shoot were a closely guarded secret and even now I’m not allowed to say too much about the final result. Needless to say, Kerianne and I were very excited with the final pictures that were chosen. I also have a new found respect for how technical the work is in the studio and was asked to hold poses, adjust my body, and look at different points in order for the light changes to be fully analysed. The studio itself was a blank canvas when we arrived and it was amazing to see it transformed within an hour to the set we would be photographed in.


Sarah Storey interview on finish line in olympic velodrome


After the first day of photographs I was also asked to attend the All Party Cycling Group reception at the Houses of Parliament on behalf of British Cycling and the sponsors Sky. The group of Peers and MP’s who make up this group are from all the political parties, and it was brilliant to hear how many of them had been to watch us in Manchester at the World Cup in February. The group members are all cyclists or cycling fans and members of clubs around the country. It was great to hear about the work they were doing and how they are supporting the aims and objectives of British Cycling. British Cycling and Sky received well deserved praise from the group for their work in cycling right from the grass roots through to the elite level and the impact of Sky Ride was also highly acclaimed. It was interesting for me to see the impact of our sport and how well received it is in London and from politicians. Living in our athlete bubble in Manchester it’s often easy to forget we are at the tip of a pyramid supported by so many levels of ages and abilities.


By the end of the week the sporting theme was at its strongest as Barney and I led a group from Manchester Metropolitan University to do a tour of the Olympic Park and Velodrome. Manchester Metropolitan University have accredited training venues for holding camps prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year, and will be hosting some of the teams from overseas prior to their transfer into the Athletes Village. MMU are also big supporters of Barney and myself, and as a thank you for their support, we arranged the tour. It was fantastic to see the venues around the Velodrome in completion or near completion, as well as having a short drive through the Athletes Village to try and guess where might be our home for the Games if we get selected next year!


Stopping at the Velodrome really got the heart pumping though, and entering the track centre to take a look at the boards left me with my mouth wide open in astonishment for several minutes. I was also interviewed by London 2012 and with 500 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games in around 2 weeks time, the questions for the filming were very much centred around the build up and how the preparations for selection are going.


Sarah Storey visualising in the Olympic velodrome!


One thing that really struck me about the building was how the seats were fitted in right to the roof in the home and back straights. I’d wondered how the extra capacity would be included and whilst there will be people sat on the fence of the bankings, the two tiers of seating behind the straights doubles the amount of people compared to Manchester. Just thinking about the venue being full brought exciting shivers down my spine. The roof of the velodrome and the amount of glass around the concourse level was also fantastic to see and actually quite unusual for a velodrome. There were lots little extras including a sliding gate to get on to the apron on the track and a ready allocated raised area for the commissaires during the events.


Back outside and areas of the Park have had their landscaping done, so you get a real feel for what it would be like when it’s completed. What will become the Velo Park after the Games is a real centre for cycling with the BMX track, mountain bike trails and the road circuit, it was just as exciting to hear how well used the place will be after the Games as well. The Park itself is huge; possibly one of the biggest I have seen, and having so many sports inside the one area will create such an inspiring atmosphere, and with the Athletes Village just on the edge of the Park for those with a view over to the venues, they will be able to watch the world milling round, and the athletes heading to watch their events. It will be fantastic!


Sarah with husband Barney Storey


So that was that! A few days of excitement, and with a Kylie concert to attend before heading out to the Horizon Fitness Prendas camp in Italy, I am ready and raring to go with the training again. My first road race is in two weeks, and I’ve just come back from checking out the course; can’t wait for the action now!


I’ll report from the camp soon.


Sarah x



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