By Chris Hodgson, superyacht officer and Ocean5 rower
I walk up to the rowing machine, neatly fold my gym towel and place it on the rowing machine. This slight cushioning helps look after my behind (trust me!). I set the drag factor, sit down, strap my feet in and put on my headphones. I learn forwards, grip the handle and off I go. Today’s row is two hours which is exactly what we’ll be doing onboard the boat – six times a day!
Now how do I maintain stamina and focus for two hours on a rowing machine? Well, I have my music, which helps, but it has to be at the right tempo, genre and volume. This is important because once I set off, I don’t want to stop. Changing track would mean I stop rowing and lose my rhythm – not good.
But more importantly, I look at the numbers on the screen which are constantly changing. The numbers give second-by-second data of my performance stats, pace and distance covered. In other words, the machine will tell me if I’m not pulling hard enough. I have an average pace that I aim to hold for the duration of the row. If I start to fall below this, I know I have to pull harder. It’s almost like somebody egging you along. This is what keeps me going. If you just row for two hours at any old pace then it can start to get very boring. For me, the slower I row, the slower time goes. By having a target, it stimulates the mind and body to achieve this and alleviates what might otherwise be tedious.
As the Ocean5 team are all training individually in different locations around the world, we don’t have each other to push ourselves; we have do it ourselves. This is the most effective method for me and also provides a means of monitoring training history by documenting each row completed.
Give it a go!