Our guest blogger today is Fionnuala Ross who recently competed for Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia. She is writing about training at high altitude in Font Romeu (100km from Pyrenees House).
Font Romeu is a small town in southern France close to the Spanish border. It is the oldest ski resort in the Pyrennes, but sitting at 1,800m means it also plays host to a range of athletes looking to gain the benefits of training at altitude. In October, I spent two weeks in Font Romeu with my partner Scott. This was to act as a training holiday in the run up to the Frankfurt marathon later that month. Enjoying the warm sunshine and stunning scenery we had a fantastic time running around the many trails on offfer before relaxing on the balcony with a strong coffee and some warm bread from one of the little boulangeries. The town is small, easy to get around and has everything we could possibly need – cafes, restaurants and bars! The locals were very welcoming, and most spoke a little English (enough to go along with our little bit of French). It’s a beautiful part of the world, which made the many miles we covered almost seem easy. My favourite running route sat just above the town at 2,100m and offered a gradual climb to the top of one of the ski slopes. I insist it was the views that took my breath away but it may have been a mixture of the climb and thin air! If we needed a bit of an easier day there was always the possbility of a short drive to Lake Matemale. The altitude here was 1,540m and there was a relatively flat 5 mile loop around the lake. The area has quickly become one of my favourite places to visit and no description will do it justice, I can’t wait to go back and continue exploring!