I started training in February. It’s been an uphill learning curve as the incline of my treadmill has crept up and as I’ve learnt what’s useful training and what’s just filler. The first thing I did was to find a training partner local to me, because – as much as I like to pretend I’ve a cast-iron will – it’s easier to train if I’m fuelled by a fear of looking lame.
Anyway, Will’s been a great motivator and all-round goldmine of training tips. A man-haul sledging trip mostly works the legs and back, so I’ve been working to strengthen these parts. Of course, for balance, the other areas aren’t left out, and the core is, well, central. I was fairly sporty growing up (I was lucky to be scouted for free tennis training five times a week) but weight training was still new to me. I find it satisfies my nerdy inclinations to get it right (to isolate the right muscles).
Feb. training weekend
I’m naturally skinny and opinion is divided among adventure types whether it’s best to stay lean (less weight to carry) or to fill up on the pies (more reserves to draw on). One thing that I’ve really enjoyed about the International Scott Centenary Expedition selection process is that, although it’s been made clear that we’re being assessed along the way, the other candidates and I don’t relate to each other in a competitive way: it seems fitting that it’s worked out this way, given Captain Scott’s team’s reliance on teamwork. So I asked the others what they’re up to, and it seems the way to do it is to build a high strength-to-weight ratio, i.e. to build strength that can be worked with rather than mindless bulk (That's why I'm not buff... phew).
To this end, I’ve been trying to balance cardiovascular drills with free and assisted weights. Free weights are honest labour, and there’s no bluff with the rep. names: dead weight lifts, indeed. It’s walking a tightrope to train for both endurance and strength, but it’s not an uncommon combination in sport (rowing comes to mind).
Do you have any ingenious training tips? Can you recommend a protein shake that doesn’t taste like one? All input welcomed with open arms.