Join Me On My Row For Cancer Research UK

by Olivia Cox January 30

One of the things I find hardest about sticking to a training regime is motivation. Yes, I want to be fitter. And yes, toning / weight loss can be a handy side-effect. But frankly when the alarm goes off at 6am on a wintery morning, it can be difficult to remember just why I should get up and go. So I regularly set myself fitness challenges to sporadically achieve. My latest one was the Cancer Research UK Great Row.

The Great Row was pitched to me last year. The idea was to row a set distance (from 2000m to a marathon) as a team or on my own, at some point before 1st April. At first, I wasn’t sold – rowing really isn’t my thing. In fact, I didn’t know if I could confidently commit to rowing any more than about 30 seconds in a one-er.

But since my aim was to challenge myself and inspire a more regular training regime, it seemed hypocritical to turn the opportunity down. So I signed up.

When the day came, I’ll admit I hadn’t done nearly enough training. I was just back from a week at No1 Bootcamp in Morocco, so was feeling fit, but I hadn’t been near an ergo machine since a fleeting warm-up with my training at Duo Chelsea just before Christmas. Clearly, I’d overlooked the whole ‘event-specific’ part on my training. Oh, hell.

We arrived at HAC barracks in central London on the allocated Thursday night and were introduced to our rowing machines. I was taking part in the launch event, which consisted of 14 teams of six taking on a rowing marathon. AKA 26.2 miles. AKA 54,000 metres. Which is really rather a long way.

I’d been kitted out for the event by Ellesse, Gibson Girl and Nike, who’ve just launched a new collection of trainers at VeryExclusive.

My team (@ldn_fit_, @fitcetera, Devon, @girlontheriver, and MIC’s Akin Solanke-Caulker) and I decided on a strategy of loosely a minute on, five minutes off, on rotation. On our ‘off’ minutes, we took it in turns to hold the rower’s feet in place, since we’d decided not to make use of the straps, so as to speed-up the change-over process. In heinsight, I’m not sure this was such a fabulous idea, since it was almost as tiring as the rowing stints. Well. Not quite, actually.

The whole thing took us nearly three hours. I think we came in 12th. But really, who cares – and we raised a load for Cancer Research UK.

You can sign up too! Visit the Cancer Research UK website and choose your distance, team size, and when you want to do it. Challenge week is 25th March – 1st April 2017, and you can train for free at David Lloyd gyms every Friday in March.

Good luck! x

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