Talk us through a typical training week:
On the water:
Training weeks can be quite different week on week for me, depending on the focus and the weather conditions. But for the majority, when I’m not leading into any competitions I will probably have 4/5 sessions on the water averaging around 3 hours each, sometimes more, if the focus is less physically demanding or the wind is lighter meaning we don’t have to work as hard.
Normally 1-2 cardio sessions per week with a steady heart rate, either on the bike or the rowing machine at the moment. However, I’m starting to do more running, so maybe one of these sessions will become a run soon. I incorporate, 2-3 interval sessions, again on the bike or the rowing ergo. I do 2 main strength sessions a week, with a lot of core training thrown in around that. I tend to do my mobility work at the end of a strength session, very occasionally I’ll do some stretching at home when I put time aside to do it. It can be one of those things I say to myself 'yeah I’ll do that today, but a bit later', it never gets done, but if I say 'right 8pm, I'm doing some rehab and release work' and get the mats and the peanut out ready then I find it much easier to do.
What does your routine look like before a typical sailing session or dry land session? Warm ups?
Sailing session: If it’s going to be a windy day on the water, this normally translates to higher heart rate and higher load on the muscles along with more of a need for fast twitch reactions. I tend to warm up the joints with some simple mobility exercises just before I’m about to launch - more of a focus on anything that feels tight, normally shoulders and hips for me. If it’s lighter winds I find the sail out warms me up enough for the session ahead. We normally do a few exercises out on the water to warm ourselves up as well.
Dry land: Normally it’s in the gym so a pretty basic set of warm ups, maybe some core activation and something to lift the heart rate, don’t really have much of a set routine for this try to mix it up all the time.
For those who are not familiar, can you give us an idea of how competitions work and how the competitions are structured?
Sailing competitions are normally split between 4-6 days consisting of either 2 or 3 races a day. Each race is targeted to take around an hour long. The Race committee will decide on the course format, but like any other race we try and get round the course as quickly as we can. The scoring works by taking your finishing position as the number of points, and the person at the end of the regatta with the fewest points wins - simple as that. In terms of on land conditioning during a regatta, I tend to tone it down a bit, especially if the water sessions have been quite physical. I aim to stretch and roll everyday after being on the water, as it does have a massive effect on my recovery and how my body feels the next day.
Do you implement and specific injury prevention strategies?
Stretching, mobility and strength work throughout the training week. I think being aware of how run-down you are is probably quite a good place to start with injury prevention, whether that is through a monitor or just self assessment. The hardcore philosophy of “I’m indestructible, I’ll never get injured", only gets you so far, either injured or so sore that you end up moving like a low battery robot.
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