Yesterday someone asked a very good question – won’t I lose all my hard-earned fitness if I spend April swanning around on the yacht Steamy Windows?
I’d been worried about this, so I’d done some research. Apparently endurance fitness is much more resilient than, say, strength. If my training programme was based around building up lots of muscle bulk by lifting weights in the gym, that muscle would very rapidly disappear at sea when it’s not needed. But my training programme is geared towards building up endurance, and that shouldn’t suffer too much if I take 3 weeks off.
In fact, the break from routine could do me a lot of good – physical adaptations take place during rest, not during exercise, so a good training programme should include adequate recovery. And psychologically, it will be good to have a break from these long slogs on the WaterRower.
It’s not like I’ll be totally inactive, either – during the 2 weeks at sea I guess I’ll be running around bracing the mainsail, or whatever the hell it is that sailors do. And I’m told that just being on a boat will be good for my core strength, as you’re constantly using your back and stomach muscles to hold yourself upright against the motion of the boat.
And while we’re ashore I can go running. So I think I’ll be OK.
The ocean experience will be absolutely invaluable. I’ll hopefully find my sea legs, which could make the difference between success and failure in the race. I’ve heard it rumoured that alleged ‘food poisoning’ has defeated a significant number of ocean rowers.
I’ll also be able to practice my navigation, make sure my technology works at sea, learn about marine instrumentation, use Russ’s Atlantic planner to plan my race course, and most importantly, test out my Green People sun cream…. Definitely worth skipping a few gym sessions for!
Roz Savage travel writer and photographer
Website: www.rozsavage.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org