Yesterday I met with Aine McNamara, Sports Psychologist, to discuss some techniques to keep me sane and motivated during the row. Pretty much all top level athletes use sports psychology these days to help them reach optimum performance levels. During the row we will be subject to all kinds of mental and physical hardship as we row for 12 hours a day for over 40 days and although it is obvious to everybody that we need to be physically fitter and stronger it is often easy to overlook the mental training aspect of our preparation.
Aine has given me a number of techniques to practice during my training to help me deal with the tough times and also to help keep me motivated. When we are only moving at an average of 5km per hour and have to cover over 5,000km it will be difficult to stay motivated unless we set smaller more achievable short term goals. These goals will include, doing 10km in a 2 hour session or doing 120km per day, these small target will allow us to break the journey into small achievable chunks to chew on. But of course the thoughts of a cold beer, medium rare steak on a beach in Barbados accompanied by my beautiful wife will be a constant image to drive me on during the dark dreary nights at the oars.
I am looking forward to try some of the techniques this weekend as I get a chance to sit aboard Sara G and pull on the oars for the first time. I am however going into this weekend with a strange mix of nerves and excitement. Nervous that I have maybe bitten off more than I can chew and excited about meeting 5 other like minded people who share my drive and passion to want to row across an ocean.
Of course I am bringing my camera so I promise to have some pics and hopefully some video of me with the crew to post next week.