How's the training going?

The question everyone wants to know

By Susan Ronaldson on June 3, 2018

When we first started telling people that we’d had this great idea to row an ocean, soon after exclaiming we were mad, they would ask us a series of questions to try and make sense of it. The most common things people wanted to know were:

Now that most people in our lives know about our challenge and have the answers to the basics, we’ve noticed that there is one question that now dominates. Indeed, I would say that I answer it around 3-5 times every day! How is the training going??

It’s weird but it is a question that actually generates some guilt in me. Having watched numerous documentaries or read books and articles on athletes, especially amateurs who have had to fit it in around their jobs, I feel I should be telling you that I am getting up at 5am, rowing for 2 hours, doing a gym session in my lunch break and then returning to the gym for more after work. I’m afraid that it is not like that at all!

We got a great piece of advice recently from Guin Batten, Olympic silver medallist and part of the world record holding crew for the West to East Atlantic row (the ‘wrong way’). She said that we have to recognise that our time for training is actually limited and so to be realistic. Alongside our full-time jobs, we have the fundraising, event organising, planning and non-physical training and learning that you’ve heard us go on about! It’s about doing what we can alongside all that to be as prepared as possible. We are definitely not slacking though and it does take a lot of dedication to train even when you’re already exhausted. For me I try to do at least 3 gym sessions and 2-3 indoor rows a week- but some weeks even that is hard to fit in.

But how is it going? I would say having transformed my strength and fitness over the past 8 months, the last few weeks I’ve reached a plateau which is a bit tough to take. But when I look back at the person who couldn’t run a few hundred metres, touch her toes or do even one push up, I am quite proud of how far I have come. I can touch my toes (although I need to sort my slouchy back), do 15 push ups in a row, and row on an indoor rower for 2 hours! I know that if I set out to do a marathon I would be no Paula Radcliffe – and rowing an ocean, I won’t exactly be a fun runner, but I will never be amongst the elite. But that’s ok because to go from an unfit, non-rower to someone who can row an ocean, would be incredible enough however long it takes us.

The next stage of training is to get out rowing in our boat on the water. There really is no substitute for actually rowing an ocean rowing boat and I cannot wait! The three of us are so excited to be starting to turn our dream into a reality. We hope that many of you will come and see us whilst we are training in Essex -we’ll hopefully bring our boat into London as well.

As usual we have to include the message that even now we have our boat, the start line is still not guaranteed. We are still a long way short of what we need for the race fee and other costs by September. We have just 12 weeks left to make the start line – so if you have been thinking of supporting us, please do it now. It is so appreciated and will help our nerves!!

Thanks again to everyone for your support. Now back to the push, pull, squat and hinge exercises!!

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