Baseline Testing Begins

59 year old woman + menopause + World’s Toughest Row = a paper on how…

Baseline Testing Begins

59 year old woman + menopause + World’s Toughest Row = a paper on how my body responds.

I’m very lucky to have some very good friends. Two of them were lecturers at Salford University and they introduced me to the lovely people in the Sports Science Department. They are supporting me on this journey with mental, nutritional and physical recommendations to help me and my body through what’s to come in breaking this age record.

On my first visit, I was mentally assessed first (!) and then came the physical. Hmmm, I knew I wasn’t great at press ups but, crikey, 3?! Yes, the only way is up as far as that’s concerned.

I had an ECG (all good) and then I did the lung-busting bit on the bike. Not that it’s a competition but I was happy to know I did more and got farther than expected. I did a bit of rowing too and the most difficult bit was keeping time – I’ve never rowed to a metronome before! I got there eventually, though.

Not everything was completed on the first day so I popped back for some more rowing to the metronome and some ear-pricking for blood to assess lactate. The results here will be used to design training at a lower level to aid recovery.

A really interesting bit was having my posture assessed by the charming if a tiny bit heavy-handed when it came to prodding my back, Ric Moylan. The top-to-toe assessment highlighted that my hips are tilted and a combo of misalignment of hips and ankles means my right knee collapses to the left when I run and causes pain (hence no more running). This misalignment also causes back pain and headaches. The recommendations include daily exercises, such as squats and split squats, plus stretching, yoga, pilates and swimming. I have a massage gun so that’s been charged up too but the one I find most challenging is scrunching a towel up with my toes – ugh – so hard!

All in all, I really found it useful to know which exercises can help to improve my posture and reduce the risk of injury as I’m training but also help me when I’m out on the ocean. Ric’s details are here if you’d like to find out more.