This is from Mark Kalch, if you can imagine him saying it in his Aussie accent it works better! I’m not sure I could get away with saying things like ‘nada’ and ‘oughta’.
Yesterday Was Easy
High-end expeditions can be tough, damn tough. So how fit do you really need to be? How tough do you really need to be? One of the most common questions I am asked when I speak about my work is what sort of training I put in to prepare myself for such hardship. The disappointment (or perhaps bewilderment) on so many faces when I explain what I get up to as prep for an expedition is interesting.
Why don’t I clock my running times (besides the fact that I am rubbish)? Why don’t I spend my days in the gym throwing weights around? What’s my best time run or heaviest weight lifted? No idea! What I do know is that I train hard and it works (for me at least). A common week (when I am injury free, which these days is getting a little rare for my liking) might look like this:
Monday: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (2 hours of conditioning, technique, sparring and stretching) Tuesday: Sandbag training and yoga Wednesday: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Thursday: Sandbag training and yoga Friday: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Saturday: Rest day (kayaking, trekking) Sunday: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sparring only
*Add into here a surf on any day if the forecast on magicseaweed.com looks good!
** Week to week this can change dramatically. More kayaking, less BJJ or more time spent in the hills if I am headed to Kili for example.
Besides having arthritis in my left shoulder, a recently reconstructed right shoulder and a fractured clavicle (!), I have never been fitter, stronger or indeed tougher. I am pretty sure that having a 120kg monster looking to choke me out or rip my arm off may induce my body to try a little harder than if I were max-repping on single-arm biceps curls at Fitness First. Throw in some hard work on a mountain occasionally and voila! Good to go! The rest is kept in my head inside that thing we humans don’t really use as much as we probably oughta.
I could be wrong and you are free to disagree, but physical conditioning for proper adventure is not rocket science. It’s just not! Train hard, have fun and your done. Sure, if you need to find a 1/100th of a second to beat an opponent on the track then of course it starts to become a little more finite. But, on the side of a mountain or in the desert it counts for nada. There are no definites. How far today? How hard today? On expedition you just never know.
I reckon Navy Seal, Dave Goggins, in the video above may know a thing or two about toughness and being an ultra-marathon runner he might just clock his times. However, as a Navy Seal it just don’t matter how many seconds he took off his PB. He trains hard and he stays alive. Easy (sorta).
This weeks Follow Friday is Mark Kalch. I met Mark this year at the Adventurists Film Festival and hit it off straight away. We agree on lots of things from Everest becoming a tourist trail to the way to do proper expeditions. Mark is a few steps ahead of me on the adventure scale having rafted from the source of the Amazon to the sea, rafted down the river Omo in Ethiopia and having walked across Iran.
North America: Mississippi-Missouri (starting next year!)
South America: Amazon-DONE!
Antarctica: Onyx (yeah, I know-who knew there was a river on Antarctica?)
I realise that I’ve not been the best at updating this blog so now I’ve had to postpone the trip I’m going to commit myself to trying to keep this blog as interesting and varied as possible. To this end I’m now part of an adventurers blogging chain with Sarah Outen, Dave Cornthwaite, Mark Kalch and Tim Moss and they’ll be guest blogging on here from time to time. I’m also going to try and keep the site ticking over with three weekly specialist blogs:
Follow Friday-highlighting a different adventure/adventurer out there doing their stuff at the moment.
Thursday Thrillers-this will include videos and photos from all over the world that are keeping me entertained.
Training Tuesday-focusing on the various technical sides of this next trip from nutrition and logisitics to training and technique.
Please feel free to berate me if I fall behind on any of these!