Race to the North Pole 2010

Preparation

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Night camping in Arctic snow
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Cross country skiing near Hjerkin, Norway
Onskiis.Norway.jpg
A welcome 3 minute break on snow
Linda.Snow.jpg

Team Global Village is unique in the sense that it is spread across the planet but united through the spirit of challenge to achieve the extraordinary. The members have been training individually and together in London, Adelaide, Switzerland and Norway. They have employed technological aids to overcome the distance in order to provide support and aid training discussions. 

Ali, Linda and Dwayne come from varied sporting backgrounds and therefore each training approach is slightly different reflecting their original sport's training methodologies.  In essence, however, there is a common theme across their training as each one revolves around four pillars:

·         Cardiovascular conditioning

·         Strength conditioning

·         Event specific training

·         Expedition logistics, navigation and nutrition

We have employed various tactics for cardiovascular conditioning. We have aimed to devote an average of 40 hours per week to training. However, due to the vagaries of day to day life, not least jobs and families, it varies occasionally.

Team Global Village cardiovascular training:

Ali -  skipping rope (up to 3 hours), road biking, prolonged light weight resistance training, swimming and running.

Linda - running (half, full and ultra marathon distances), bodypump and swimming.

Dwayne - boxing, running and football.

Team Global Village strength conditioning:

The team is employing old, well-proven ideas with modern philosophies to achieve desired results, although tailored to individuals. Ali has experience with strength conditioning over the last 20 years through track and field conditioning. His Athletics coach Brian Walsh is acting as the strength conditioning advisor and his input has paid dividends and is much appreciated.

Ali is using free weights for resistance training. He uses 3 sessions per week of heavy weight training at 75-90% of 1 Max keeping the reps around 6-9 and shorter recovery intervals (<30 sec). He uses one further weights session at 50-60 % of 1 Max with very high reps (22-25) and relatively short recovery. Both types of sessions employ a modified pyramidal system. This includes starting with the lower end of the weights in the desired training zone with increasing reps, then increasing the weights to the top end of the range and decreasing the reps. Once muscles are fatigued this enables you to stimulate them further with lesser weights (staying within the training zone) and at the lesser end of repetitions. The above strategy works great for strength conditioning but it is too intense for any substantial body building, which makes it ideal for employing it for endurance race preparations.

Linda is using a combination of free and fixed weights. She is using the pulley system for conditioning specific muscle groups. She is also using free weights in bodypump and isolated conditioning programme. She is currently following 4 sessions per week. Her training pattern represents more conventional 70-85 % 1 Max of 8-10 reps with shorter recovery intervals (30-60 sec), limited to 3-4 sets each. However, in the bodypump sessions the intensity is different and the weights are considerably lighter resulting in both a cardio and strength conditioning overlap.

Dwayne works hard in the gym. He lives on juice and milk and keeps particular care of his hydration. He works with free weights conventionally, focuses on core stability and employs working with the punch bag as an upper body work out.

 Event specific training

·         The race to the North Pole is unbelievably long .........and involves a lot of cross country skiing whilst pulling 45 kg (100 lbs) of weight. Team Global Village employs the time-honoured training method of all polar explorers of dragging tyres. The concept is simple: a harness is worn and is attached to one or two large tyres (car, truck or tractor!) with the aid of rope and a carabina. The dragging of the tyre on the road creates sufficient friction to mimic the weight of the pulk that is pulled during the polar expedition. It simultaneously  provides condition work for the neck, shoulders, back, abdominals and leg muscles while providing endurance and cardiovascular training.

·         In addition the team also uses roller skis to improve on the cross country ski technique (sadly this was not evident in Norway!)

·         In the gym the emphasis on weighted lunges, leg pulls and cross trainer to mimic the activities during cross country skiing.

·         In the end nothing matches actual time on snow and ice. Team Global Village has spent time training and racing in Norway and Switzerland. They are also looking into the possibility of undertaking further training in the US.