Last year when i sailed the Flying Moth i designed and sail-tested it, a Phuket coach Callum helped me get fit. With the exception of a few sessions with him for this new challenge, I decided to take charge of my physical and mental health for the daunting task ahead.
My experience in long distance sailing with single-handed dinghies allows me to anticipate what to expect. The physical preparation aims to strengthen the body against prolonged effort, an effort that will span over several days in a confined space. The physical exercises are based on repetitions which aim at muscle exhaustion, to push my limits. All that is accompanied by changes in speed and shorter than average rest times, usually not more than a minute at a time.
This approach also helps to reduce recovery time, essential for the kind of crossing I’m prepping for. This kind of training increases mental strength when facing intense efforts or adversity in general. There is no “I can’t” in the equation. An exercise is carried out to the end even with extended execution times. What needs to be done will be done regardless of whether it is pleasant or not. I’m currently doing hour and a half sessions a day and two extended sessions once or twice a week. The burns feel oh so good!
Having a good diet is as important as training. There is a lot of information available everywhere that can make it difficult to choose the right diet. I’m keeping it simple and avoid fried & processed foods and refined sugars. I eat lots of vegetables of all colors (with special focus on greens) all day long and drink plenty of good quality water. Nuts also serve as vital to consume fats, where as fish and eggs are the main sources of animal protein.
I’ll have you know that if I learn something new that I feel is better for me, I switch as soon as possible.