Sky Academy Sports Scholarships: Siobhan-Marie O'Connor blogs on tough training and World Cup excitement

Last Updated: 26/03/2017, 15:54 GMT

Siobhan O'Connor: Has endured a tough training regime but is set to go for the first World Cup events this month

These past few weeks have been all about getting our core fitness back in training, and it has been very hard!

We are currently in the middle of a seven-week block of aerobic and endurance work, which means lots of mileage. This isn't my favourite but it is a very important part of our programme for the year because without it we won't be able to do all the fast, explosive fun stuff later on.

We have also just introduced new metabolic conditioning sessions which aim to help improve our VO2 max (the capacity of our bodies to transport and use oxygen during exercise) on land, which should improve our speed in the pool. However, I definitely feel like a fish out of water when doing these!

Last weekend I had my first race of the season. It was over in Wales in the Western Division of the National Arena League competition with my home club and the coaches that I first learnt to swim with. Whilst this is not a very important competition on my calendar, it was good fun and nice to put a racing suit back on.

World Cups

My first main races of the season, and the ones I am focusing on before the new year, will be at the Asian leg of the World Cups in November. This will take place over two weeks in Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing. I am very lucky to be able to compete in these and will be using some of my Sky funding to pay towards the costs.

Racing more internationally is something that my coach and I, along with the head coaches at British Swimming, believe will improve our performance when we compete at the major competitions. These World Cups will be a great opportunity to race hard against some of the best swimmers in the world and to see where we are at this time in the season.

Racing internationally is great fun and I'm excited to go now!