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Could you handle a day training with the Cambridge Boat Crew?

By Liz, also posted in News on

Cambridge Boat Race Training DayDespite spending three years studying in Cambridge I am ashamed to say I have never so much been on a tourist punt, let alone had a go at rowing.  So I was delighted that as part of Adnams' sponsorship of The Cancer Research UK Boat Races, I was invited to spend a day in the life of a Cambridge athlete and make up for lost time! The Adnams crew arrived at Cambridge at 7am. We were a bit shocked by the early start but the water of the Cam river shimmering in the sunrise more than made up for it. We were grateful to hear that the Crew had kindly changed the time for us as their training usually starts way before 6am!Liz at Cambridge training day After meeting at the Goldie Boat House in the center of Cambridge, we hopped aboard the light blue mini bus – and headed to the new Cambridge University Sports Centre where teams from across the University can train together ready to start a 2-hour gym-based circuit training session. Of course, The Boat Races are highly competitive and we can’t give away too many secrets of the training - but let's just say the 45 minute “warm up” was far more than my normal gym session and I am pretty sure hanging from monkey bars was not in my job description... The session was very high intensity and including boxing, pushing a weighted sled across the floor and slamming medicine balls - all before breakfast! It gave a great insight into just how fit you need to be to face the demands of the course. The Captain showing us how it's done.The fitness of the teams was unbelievable – despite many of the students just arriving to start their courses. Some team members had never rowed before but many had already rowed competitively for schools and clubs. The coaches (both Olympians, no less) kept the crew motivated and the coxes were always there to lend a helping hand. For the majority of the year, the training has to be squeezed in before lectures start (hence the incredibly early mornings) so the students need to balance attending lectures and hitting the books with demanding training sessions on and off the water. After a very much needed coffee and pastries break, we were set our next challenge – a team Ergo (rowing machine) race. The distance was just 1000 meters but it felt like so much more – and unsurprisingly, the Adnams team were not the winning team (we like to think our excuse is too much sitting in the office and visiting pubs). So off we hobbled in search of a much-needed pint of Ghost Ship while the crew prepared for their afternoon of further training.     Ctm8E9PWAAE5qOY