03 December 2016

 
Couples resorts are designed for romantic relaxation
I'm not going near a bike on my Jamaican break!
When cycling golden girl Laura Trott headed for the Caribbean, there was one activity she wanted no part of...
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en days in the sun, some peace and quiet and a chance to swim with dolphins - what more could anyone want from a holiday? After a really busy year, I just wanted to get away with my fiance, fellow Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Jason Kenny. We headed to Ocho Rios in Jamaica - our first Caribbean holiday - and we loved it. We stayed in an adults-only Couples resort, with tropical gardens and a private beach.

We visited in what is traditionally the hurricane season in the Caribbean - we were warned we might have very bad weather but it was absolutely fine. We had just one thunderstorm, which lasted for an hour one morning. For the rest of the time we had unbelievable weather. It just goes to show that it can pay to be bold.
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Busy doing nothing: with a coconut cocktail
Actually, we did go to the gym once, just to keep things ticking over. It was excellent, with all the machines we needed. We didn't get on a bicycle though, I'm pleased to say, for the entire time we were at the resort. However, from what we saw of the island, Jamaica looks like a good place for cycling. One of the excursions on offer was being driven up a mountain and then cycling back down, freewheeling all the way. Ordinarily our lives are pretty much taken up with being on a bike. In a normal week, Sunday is our rest day - and as far as holidays are concerned, the sort of break like we had in Jamaica we get just once every two years.
Because we wanted to chill out, we didn't do too much in the way of activities at the resort. Our best excursions were swimming with dolphins and a canoeing expedition. We also made a shopping trip into town. Because we had recently been competing, we didn't even have to think about keeping fit or training while we were on holiday, which suited us fine.
"Some people think we might find it difficult to switch off and relax, but no, I love it!"
Some people think we might find it difficult to switch off and relax, but no, I love it! I could just sit there all day long stretched out on a sunbed. I absolutely love doing nothing. Jason's pretty much the same, so it works out quite well. We also took a break from our strict diet. We ate what we liked - and the food at the hotel was amazing. There was a good choice of restaurants at our hotel - at one we had wonderful curries and watched incredible sunsets.

That was definitely one of the highlights. The restaurants also served lots of fish - I tried crab for the first time, which I liked. If I could eat what I wanted every day, I'd have Chinese. Fortunately I don't really have to be too careful about what I eat because I don't tend to put on weight that easily.
"There was a good choice of restaurants at our hotel - at one we had wonderful curries and watched incredible sunsets."
Setting the scene: A romantic dinner on the beach
Swimming with dolphins in Ocho Rios
I even have the occasional piece of cake. But obviously, when it comes to being fit, I can't eat meals like curries every day. I am expected to have lots of carbohydrates for energy. Still, I don't tend to spend that much time with a nutritionist because I've been doing my job for so long now that I know what I can and cannot have. As for alcohol, if I'm on holiday, the odd tipple is fine, but I'm not really a drinker. Cocktails are OK because they're fruity, but I don't like anything fizzy. That rules out beer and champagne, so when I go to a bar, don't expect me to hit the hard stuff. It's not that I'm being good - it's more that I just don't like it. At the end of the holiday I weighed myself and discovered I hadn't put on a single pound.

In competitive cycling, travel is part of the job - being away from home becomes the norm. I've also got used to long flights, so the nine-hour journey to Jamaica was no problem for Jason and me. We're now looking ahead to the Olympics in Rio - we won't have another holiday before then. I've never been to Brazil, so it's a trip we're all really looking forward to. It'll be hard work but I can't wait to get there - but I'd like to make a return trip to Jamaica too.


Original article published in Nov 2015. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
Chilling out at the beach bar
 
 
 
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