Christmas Day marked the start of the 6 month count down for me racing across the North Atlantic Ocean, on leg 8 of the Clipper Race.
Clipper Race Leg 8 Quick Stats: 3,350 Miles. 22 Days at Sea. 2 Races (NY to Derry/Derry to UK).
So I decided that the 6 month mark, should be the start of really ramping up my fitness and focusing on my health and strength. I made my mind up a few weeks ago, that Christmas day would be a day of traditional indulgence, but that from the 26th December there would be no more!
“If you’re not fit enough, the boat will find you out”
Many people that have been on the race before, have said to me “if you’re not fit enough, the boat will find you out”. I have really let my fitness slide over the last 12 months, with so much going on in my life, and various stresses, I’ve not put my health first, and have been eating terribly, to say the least! So now it is time to focus and change that.
So what am I doing to get race fit?
First up, diet. I have decided to clean up my diet. For the first couple of months I am embarking on a fairly strict Paleo way of eating. This broadly means no processed foods, no wheat, no dairy, and no alcohol. I have previously done this for 3 months, a few years go, and found it to be excellent in terms of re-setting the body and losing weight. Beyond those first 2 months, I may loosen up on the rules slightly, but still intend to eat fairly clean until the race. This basically means meat and greens at every sitting. This morning for example, I had lamb chops and spinach for breakfast!
Secondly, I am focusing on both strength and cardio, I’ve kicked off the exercise regime by doing some of The Body Coach HIIT routines from youtube. And have also dragged my spinning bike out from hibernation! To give me a goal I’ve also signed up to a Race at My Pace challenge for January.
I intend to focus on cardio strictly for the first couple of weeks (20 – 30 mins a day), and then I will introduce weight training. On-board both cardio and strength are critical, as is balance. So later on I will also work on balance.
Sailing and time on the water is also key in the run up to the race…
In 2017, in terms of sailing time, I managed to complete 2 of my Clipper Race training weeks (week 3 and week 4). I also took part in the RORC channel race. Additionally to that I focussed a lot on my theory – doing my Radar course, VHF license, First Aid, and also my Yachtmaster Theory.
Looking ahead to 2018, and the first 6 months in particular – I am taking part in 2 weekends of refresher sail training with Clipper. And am also scheduled to help with a couple of deliveries. I would also love to get a further weekend of sailing in, if I can. I also hope to complete my YM Offshore practical exam, which I have been mile-building for.
Will keep you posted, and please share any tips or goals you’ve got below…