Edition No. 20. Autumn, 1999. Today is
Preparations for the 1999 World Championships

By: Nik Fairbrother
Nik Fairbrother makes a splash during British Judo Team warm weather training camp in the Algarve!Every morning, at 7:03 am or thereabouts, the call would come from downstairs: "Chloe! Nik! Time to get up"
Unfailingly throughout the two weeks, Kate or Karen (they took it alternately) took on the job of waking Chloe and me up for the morning run. Not my favourite moment. After all it meant that in 30 minutes time we would be charging over cliff tops, getting sandy and charging into the ice-cold Atlantic. The prospect of which - at 7 in the morning - is not an appealing one.
Still, motivated by the fact that all this training would pay off, that the World Championships were just three months away and we would be getting fitter and stronger we obeyed the call and by 7.15 (well OK 7:29am) we were downstairs at the hotel reception ready to meet up with the rest of the British team.
And once the sleep cleared, the general mood was one of enthusiasm. Here we were in the Algarve in Portugal. The skies were blue and even at 7.30am it was hot enough to run in just your sunglasses.
The Alfa Mar Sports Complex - had been chosen by the coaches for the ideal place to start the 16 week programme for the World Championships. You could see why. The complex - with it's spectacular running routes, cycle routes, weights gym, tennis courts, athletics tracks and volley ball court - was perfect for what they intended.
"You're in your endurance phase," we were told a number of times. And so all training was geared to that : long, steady resistance work. For these two weeks there would be no judo sessions at all.
Every other day we would have a "training day" which started with the early morning run then a weight circuit and in the evening we would play tennis, volley-ball or football. In between the "training days" came the "fun days". Now, fun these days were - but if the word fun implies "easy" - then think again. As Udo said one morning, when we set off into the searing heat at a brisk pace trying to locate a castle with just a map and compass in hand. "I've had too much fun. I want more training days."
The fun days included a 50km bike ride, a 30km kayak, which took about seven hours to complete, as we paddled our way up the Odiel river close to the Spanish border, the temperature in the low 40's. There was also a long, long triathalon that sticks out in my memory, rock climbing and raft building.
On a training day we were training for around 4 to 5 hours at a steady pace. On the fun days we were having fun ( or some might say training ) from 5 to 8 hours. I can't say I didn't notice it / the time just flew by / that it was easy. It wasn't. Each of these days were gruelling - but it's all about motivation, isn't it.
It's much easier to motivate yourself to get up at 7am to run along the beach in Portugal compared to trudging out along cold pavements in Walsall. Paddle down the Odiel or get on the rowing machine in the gym?
Great location - motivation. Just the same as it motivates doing different stuff from the norm. You undoubtably train harder, carried along in this wash of energy and get more out of each hour's work.
Nik Fairbrother

World Championships 1999



Ryoko Tamura (JPN)

Noriko Narasaki (JPN)

Driuli Gonzalez (CUB)

Keiko Maeda (JPN)

Sibelis Verenes (CUB)


Noriko Anno (JPN)

Beata Maksymow (POL)

Daima Beltran (CUB)


Manolo Poulot (CUB)

Lardi Benboudaoud (FRA)

Jimmy Pedro (USA)

Graeme Randall (GBR)

Hidehiko Yoshida (JPN)

Kosei Inoue (JPN)

Shinichi Shinohara (JPN)

Shinichi Shinohara (JPN)

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