Friday, 3 March 2017

Training.. In progress...

Training for an expedition is quite interesting! Especially such a challenging one.
Being three very different personalities, with three very different lives and challenges, even living in different locations, we all have to take responsibility for our own everyday training.
In doing this, we also make sure the time we can find to train together is as efficient as possible.

Wintertime in Norway can be very rough. Snow, rain, freezing temperatures, wind, darkness and cold waters means things doesn’t always go according to plan. The will and possibility to be flexible is pretty important this time of year. To be able to still work as a team, in the midst of everyday struggles of school, work and different cities and to make sure everyone feels included and motivated, we really have managed to create an “open forum”. We talk every day, let everyone know what we have been up to, air our frustrations, thoughts and ideas. We share our experiences and knowledge and help out whenever possible. This way we can always feed off each others energy, and get the things we need done.

I mentioned earlier we all have different personalities. This also means we all prefer different training methods. Training on our own like this, means we all get to do what we find most efficient and rewarding. Frida is a student, I am a flight attendant away from home regularly and Ashley works regular hours. It’s a clear given that finding something that will suit all of us timewise and also enjoyable for all is pretty close to impossible, and would only create frustration. However we have realized that instead of stressing about our diversity and differences and seeing difficulty in this, maybe this is what makes our team so strong? We all have such strong and different things to bring to the table - why try to change this?

Frida is very active through her studies in outdoors pursuits. She also fills up her spare time with all sorts of adventures. Surfing, skiing, ice climbing, rock climbing the list goes on. And of course paddling. All these extreme sports through her spare time and schoolwork means she also does quite a bit of mental training. Through pushing her limits, learning and working in groups. This is one part of training not to be underestimated when going on a group expedition. Conclusion is that Frida has a very practical approach to training. Through doing the things she wants and love, she keeps fit and happy.
Ashley is the one of us spending most time on the water. All sorts of paddling. Loading the boat with weights for training, gunning into strong headwinds, technical training and long distance paddling. In addition there is some running, strength training and swimming going on. Ashley has the mental strength of a true athlete. Maybe it comes from her gymnast and training days, or maybe some people are just born that headstrong. If she decides to do something it surely gets done. This is also a way to prepare and train for a trip. Set challenging but doable goals, and make sure to finish no matter how tired you get. Ashley has a mix of practical and scientific approach to her training.

For me, my main challenge is that work takes me away from home (and boat) a lot. So i try to paddle as much as possible when I am home. Mostly long distance paddling. I also have a passion for surfski. So if in a crunch for time it’s nice and easy to take the light boat out and do some flatwater intervals or technical training. 30 min walk from home, it’s effortless and quick to get on and off the water. Also i’m lucky to have the option of gyms, pools to swim in, new areas to run in different cities and all sorts of inspiration when at work. My mind works best when thinking in a scientific way about training. I find my motivation when I can measure specific results, when I can learn new theories and have a fixed program to work by. I guess this means I am more scientific in my approach. There is a lot of analyzing and calculating going on in my training.

Still, paddling is a little bit special in the sense that you could be the fittest person, but still struggle to paddle long distance. There is a reason for the term “paddlefit”.
This is why time spent on the water always will be the most important training we do before we go over seas. It’s hard to prepare your body for paddling a marathon every day - for 40 days.
This means that the work we put in now before we go, is mostly to make the beginning of our trip more easy on our bodies and minds. It will make injuries less likely to happen, and we might have that little bit of extra energy to actually enjoy the adventure we are on as well.
The paddle fitness needed to complete in the days we have available will improve as we paddle on, and the days will hopefully get easier eventually.

If the approach each of us have chosen will work for us, we will not know until we get started and are well into our trip. That is a scary thought, but at the same time very motivating and interesting in the point of our planning and training we are at currently at.

We will all be giving it our best……


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