Living far away from each other and with quite different schedules it isn’t easy to find time to train together. By chance we were all in Bergen at the same time. Weather is said to be beautiful. The question comes up.. How do we use our time wisely? What do we want to do? Skills, distance? How much time do we have?
Around Ireland our tactics will be slightly different. Instead of counting distance every day we will be counting hours paddling. And then have a weekly distance goal in the back of our minds. This way if we don't make the distances we hope for we are not going to be disappointed if we have used the time in the boat. We aim to paddle six hours a day for the first two weeks and eight hours a day for the last four weeks. Having an easy start will be important to get our bodies used to paddling everyday. We of course hope for things to go well and being ahead of schedule will gain us rest days.
Starting off for Askøy rundt, using the first crossing from the boat house over to Kleppestø as a warm up. It will be important that we have a steady pace and not too fast. So we used the exercise of counting our paddle strokes in five minutes to have an idea of the frequency we were paddling. Here we are looking to have between 135-145 strokes.
Rounding the first corner on the south west coat is the decision maker. No turning back now. And we continue. The winds being very kind so us and giving us a gentle push in the back to ease us on our way. One of the challenges around Ireland will be to paddle with the same conditions all day. Most of our training trip have been going around something, or a to b and back to a; where the wind direction is changing. Where six to eight hours of the same weather; will be a challenge and hard to train for.
The length of Askøy was an ease. We had planned to stop every three hours but as we were rounding the top of Askøy breaks became more frequent. Tiredness and fatigue were definitely kicking in. But we were over halfway and just the journey back to go.
This is where the real training started. After 5 hours of paddling the hands started to become sore and the body a little tired. But one hour more and that’s an average day around Ireland in the first two week. As we get to the six hour mark it was great to feel ok.. A bit tired but yes we could do this.
The last hours were definitely slower than the first so we will need to train more in the tired zone to improve our endurance for the trip. Training for such expeditions there is no better than multi day trips with fully loaded kayaks. We can train as much as we want with empty kayaks or in the gym but what will prepare us the most is those practice expeditions.
We returned back to the boat house after ten hours and thirty seven minutes. The wind had amazingly followed us all the way around. We were happy.