HM Insights

A happy camper – planning the journey to Doha

Samantha 'Sammi' Kinghorn is Scotland's leading female wheelchair racer, and the Athlete Ambassador for Harper Macleod. Every month, the Commonwealth Games finalist and triple European champion shares the latest from her world as she prepares for her next big challenge - the 2015 World Championships in Doha.

Here, Sammi explains how she and her coach Ian Mirfin plan her training schedule for the year ahead, to make sure she has the best possible chance of making, and winning a medal at, the 2015 World Championships.

I'm really looking for to the year ahead, which will hopefully be another big one for me. My main aim this year is to be selected to represent Great Britain at the World Championships, which take place in Doha, Qatar from October 22-31.

Having my main competition so late in the season poses some difficulties to my normal training year. Normally, we wheelchair racers like to peak in the summer and that was perfect last year with the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in July and August.

This year I will want to be in top form for the Worlds, so that means working closely with my coach Ian Mirfin to devise a programme which will see me peaking when October comes round. I haven't yet been selected for the World Championships and won't know if I've made the cut until June. This also creates some difficulties because I need to meet certain time standards which will mean performing well in another big competition of mine in May in Switzerland.

This is a very big competition, one of the biggest of the season where all the GB coaches and people who put you forward to the selection board for the Worlds will be there. I will need to manage racing really well in Switzerland, but not yet peaking, which will be tricky.

To do this I will not be racing as early as I did last year. My first competition will not be until April, which means I will be winter training for longer and I won't start competition training until about March.

The training required for competition is a lot shorter and faster than the long endurance slogs of winter training. There is also a possibility of me going back into a winter training schedule in the summer but we won't know if that will be necessary until we see how I am racing.

Just now I am training twelve times a week. Three of those sessions are in the gym which at the moment involves going very heavy but low repetitions so I can lift heavier weights. Two of the sessions are on the track, which is long endurance training with speed work at the end, and the rest of the sessions see me train on rollers and on the road.

Speaking of being on the road, I've got a new set of wheels which should help me when I'm competing around the UK - and it's not a racing chair. I recently bought an awesome camper van, which is absolutely perfect for travelling to events in style (and saving on hotel costs). It sleeps six so I can take some friends and it won't cost them as much to follow me about which will be great as some of my friends still haven't seen me race. It also means I can sleep and recover on long travels. I cannot wait for my first adventure which will be to Switzerland then to Italy in May.

You can find out more about Sammi and Harper Macleod on our dedicated website page.