Head 2 Head Training Week 7

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Balbriggan to Skerries - downwinder Peter, Killian, John, Stephen and Paul Byrne.

So after yesterday's strength and conditioning session we were all feeling some pain but the conditions were calling. Our weather expert Pete had done the research and the was a 25-30 knot WNW wind forecast which would be right behind us from Balbriggan to Skerries. There were some logistics to sort out in getting up there with boards and having cars in Skerries to get back up but we sorted it and off we headed just after 9:30. Conditions were perfect with Pete's forecast showing up and off we headed. The wind was so strong that you didn't even have to paddle with some nice little bumps to push you along as well. This was our first time doing a proper downwinder together and another learning curve. It's like a different sport, trying to read the waves and catch the bumps. As well as that it was amazing how separated we became and in turn how we had no real way to communicate. This was something we needed to think more about. Pete summarised it nicely the next day in a message to the group about safety, back up plans for all eventualities, letting the coastguard know what we were at etc. We all made it back safely though, even though Paul headed for the lifeboat slipway rather than the sailing club one which iterated the point on the communications. Back up to Balbriggan to get the cars and then back to the harbour to get the boards. A bit of effort involved but I think we all thought it was worth it. It rounded off a good weekend of training and it really feels like we are starting to build some momentum. Lots learned and plenty more to learn.

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The Day before:

Fitness training Donabate with Mairead @ 10;00 Killian, Peter, John, Stephen So off we headed to training session number one. Myself and Pete grabbed a lift up with Killian and met John and Mairead there on a crisp January morning. After some quick introductions we got straight down to business with our ball buster trainer Mairead. The ball buster comes as much from her crude and hilarious way to describe how lunges should be done☕ as it does from her pushing us, especially when I think she took it easy on us. It didn't feel like that though with pain kicking in during the warm ups. Then it was down to circuits which we did 3 of. 7 stations, 30 secs each and then on to the next. It was a mix of Sprint's, boxing, press ups, crab waking, squat jumps & two other exercises leaning against a bench with pelvic lifts & leg drops. You will see from my descriptions that I'm a regular gym attender (I've literally never been). After all that there was pain all around, we all felt it with some suffering more than others. Killian seemed to get some sadistic pleasure from it though, the harder it got the more he wanted. Mairead gave us some food tips and we chatted about what next for fitness/strengthening, how often, where etc. and we decided we needed to chat more but agreed we needed to be doing stuff like this regularly. I think it was a wake up call for all of us but we were happy that we were starting at the right time. In fairness to our ball buster, I think she'll have us on shape for the summer whether we like it or not.

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