Countdown to the Olympics with judo star Sophie Johnson (week three)

AS part of the countdown to the Olympics our weekly column comes from local athletes in the build-up to London 2012.

Sunday, 25th September 2011, 9:43 am

I HAVE recently returned from a warm weather training camp in Lanzarote, at a world-class training facility called Club La Santa.

I booked to go for a week as I wanted to work on my conditioning but also to give me the opportunity to keep things fresh by training in some different ways to normal.

While there, I did a lot of running, swimming and cycling, as well as some boxing, spinning, body combat and Pilates.

I finished the week off with a mini triathlon, which was both demanding and thoroughly rewarding! As much as I love judo, I do spend an awful lot of my life doing it, so sometimes I think it does both my mind and body good to have a little break from it and to try some different sports. Of course, the Lanzarote sun was a nice bonus, too!

I was extremely fortunate that my brother, Ryan, was able to join me as a training partner and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his continued support of my judo career.

I am very lucky that Ryan is also a qualified sports therapist, and regularly gives me a sports massage. I cannot recommend him highly enough, so if you have a sports injury you can check out his website:

On September 2, I was delighted to be able to attend the Sussex Sports Awards launch event at the new Amex Stadium in Brighton.

It was fantastic to meet and share experiences with some other Sussex athletes aiming for the Olympics and Paralympics next year, including fellow columnist, Sophia Warner. You can nominate someone for a Sussex Sports Award in one of the 15 categories, or purchase tickets for the awards evening itself by logging onto

On September 26, I am off to Rome for a week for a training camp and a World Cup tournament, followed by the Belarus World Cup the weekend afterwards. These tournaments are massively important with regards to my hopes for Olympic qualification next year, so keep your fingers crossed for me! I will let you know how I get on in my next column.