Thursday, 15 April 2021

Rowers back to training in kitchen for lockdown

Rowers back to training in kitchen for lockdown

ROWERS who have been kept off the water by the latest coronavirus lockdown are training at home.

Athletes from Leander Club have been set a programme of work, which includes time spent on the rowing machine and lifting weights.

Coaches keep in touch on a daily basis to see how they are getting on and they hold group chats so the rowers do not feel lonely or isolated.

Seb Devereux, 25, lives in a cottage in New Street, Henley, and has just enough space in the kitchen to set up an ergo machine.

He said: “My day starts when I come downstairs between 7.30am and 8am and then I’m on the rowing machine. I have two training sessions in the morning and one in the afternoon.

“Training is six days a week. On typical days I do what we call steady state training, which is like going for a jog or a long run but on the ergo. It’s not particularly hard or fast but you get a good sweat on.

“This ranges from 12km, which takes about 45 minutes, to 16km, which takes roughly an hour, and 25km, which takes about an hour- and-a-half.

“I also have a good weights session for about an hour or an hour-and-a-half, which can be a bit tricky without gym equipment. There are a lot of push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups that keep you going.

“Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are the fairly typical days and then on Wednesday and Saturday you do something harder, which tests your anaerobic threshold.

“For this you don’t spend as much time on the rowing machine but it’s harder. You do three 2km runs with 10 minutes’ rest, which works to simulate a race environment. We then submit our scores to our coaches so they can track how we are doing.”

Devereux, who joined Leander in 2012, says he misses being out on the water but he is focusing on the
positives.

He said: “The positive side of all the time spent on a rowing machine is that it’s fitness-based — the skill element you work on when you are out on the water — so I am confident I will be in good physical shape after lockdown.”

Georgie Brayshaw, 27, who lives in King James Way, Henley, has tried to turn the lockdown into a positive.

She said: “It has all been about getting back into that routine again. In the last lockdown I got quite fit and strong and that really helped me when I got back out on to the water so the focus this time around is to try and get even fitter.

“I have been trying to be a bit inventive too by putting weights on bins and trying to lift them.”

Brayshaw lives with flatmate and fellow Leander athlete Seun Olubodun so it means they can train together. She said: “Training with Seun has been really nice for me because during the last lockdown I moved back in with my parents in Whitby, which was really difficult as they live in the middle of nowhere.”

Heidi Long, 23, and Ryan Todhunter, 25, live together in Deanfield Avenue, Henley.

Long said: “There is a different feeling to this lockdown because there is more focus on getting good ergo times and it still seems that the lockdown will last until the beginning of December.

“My training programme is pretty much at least one ergo run every day and weights three or four times a week. I’ve also done quite a lot of yoga which has helped my breathing, allowed me to stretch out and helps to make my body more robust.

“It has been really good having both of us working together because we feel down on different days so the other can pick you up again.”

The couple have put up a gazebo in the garden where they both train.

Todhunter said: “I do think that I will be coming out of this lockdown in really good shape. I am treating it like a mini ergo camp.

“The men’s squad have signed up to the ErgWorld website so we can upload our scores and see how well we are doing, which has been really motivational — I have been winning recently.

“Hopefully, with a new vaccine, I am feeling more optimistic and I think we are all hoping that Henley Royal Regatta will be on.”

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