So Much to Do , So Little Time
We will be pulling our sledges for an average of 25 miles a day sometimes for up to 20 hours a day. It is important to maintain good speeds across the ice without breaking into a sweat . Ultimately sweat can freeze with severe consequences. Obviously my fitness levels have to be astoundingly high. I have taken advice from the professionals at the Polar Challenge office who have given me a training program to follow. This includes
a) the aerobic element
b) strengthening exercises
c) core stability
Current training for starters includes early morning starts down the gym 4 times a week attending circuit, pump , yoga and spinning classes, sessions on the cross trainer and weights and fitball work. Running to work once a week (7 miles) and a 25km walk every weekend.
I will of course have to increase the endurance walks including consecutive long-distance walks and of course the traditional pulling of tyres cross country .
I have only just realised the enormity of the task ahead of me; not so much in the fact it's a long way and it's gonna be bloody freezing but all the other factors that come with a challenge of this sort.
Some say this challenge is 80% a mental one. Long days on the ice , with no talking for hours on end, hard to hear with those hoods and the wind. Immense physical discomfort , neverending whiteness, blizzards. This is one factor I'm certainly not underestimating . I have taken to walking alone in the hills when I can - something I've never done before but coped much better than I thought I would ! I've gotten over expecting every solitary guy walking to be a mad axe murderer ! I have been rising earlier than usual , running to work when pouring with rain but do have to work on this . I'm thinking of seeking advice from a Sports Psychologist to help. In addition, I am trying to improve my organisational skills ( a key factor in the confined space of a tent and arranging equipment so it's accessible for the day ahead)
Setting up web-site, organising charity liaisions, writing to potential sponsors , finding a team . These are all tasks I need to do . With all this training and my job , where am I going to find the time ?!!
Gabrielle Finn - Polar Challenge 2007