Team Trident Train for Transatlantic Journey on the Viking Pro Indoor Rower
Jon Armstrong and Jordan Beecher from Row2Recovery’s Team Trident are training hard on the Viking Pro Indoor Rower, to prepare for their 4,800km journey across the Atlantic Ocean. First Degree Fitness have donated two Viking Pro water rowing machines to support an arduous indoor rowing training program as they seek to build their stamina for the on-water challenge.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Race is considered to be one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. Team Trident are expected to row in continuous shifts for between 40-90 days. Jon said he and Jordan have been wondering how to train for a journey of this magnitude.
“It has been the source of much discussion and some sleepless nights as we have considered the scale of the task at hand. The sheer distance and time involved makes any highly-tuned fitness program seem almost pathetic, and yet we are going to have to find a way to condition our bodies and minds so that we are ready to take on one of the hardest challenges that man can commit to,” Jon said.
This is not the first endurance challenge Jon and Jordan have prepared for. Jon has cycled 4,800km across America and completed a 1,600km expedition in the Canadian High Arctic. He is also a Captain in the British Army, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Jordan also served the British Army in Afghanistan, where he lost one of his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED). He is now going to be the first disabled veteran to complete the Transatlantic journey. After he recovered from his injury, he won four gold medals at the Invictus Games and became a UK indoor rowing champion.
“After listening to people who have rowed oceans before, many have said that it is pointless doing any form of physical preparation as the body adapts as the weeks pass. Having experienced it myself during an Arctic expedition in 2015, I agree that the body will adapt to the stress and pressure that it is under, however, the implications of being physically unprepared are that we leave ourselves at risk of injury and failure to complete the race. As the old army saying goes: fail to prepare – prepare to fail,” said Jordan.
To prepare for the challenge, Jon and Jordan have received advice and guidance from top rowing coaches and athletes. Their gym program is designed to minimise the risk of injury by strengthening key and supporting muscle groups with weights training. They are also complementing strength training with targeted endurance, flexibility and stamina exercise forms including long distance running, cycling and indoor rowing using the water rowing machines donated by First Degree Fitness.
During the race, the pair will be living in a seven-meter boat, which will contain everything they need to survive. This means it’s not only their physical fitness that’s important — their mental fitness will be tested too.
“We often forget about mental fitness, as it cannot be measured on the rowing computer, nor seen in a gym mirror. However, Jordan and I are very clear that the Atlantic Challenge is more than a physical test and over the next six months Jordan and I will be dedicating a lot of time to conditioning our minds through physical and non-physical exercise. One way we are going to achieve this is through using the FDF water resistance rowing machines that have been sponsored. Jordan and I were both genuinely amazed by the realistic feel and sound of the rowing action and just hearing the rush of the water made training almost fun! We are going to be spending a lot of time on the FDF Viking Pro indoor rowers, including one or two 24hr rows to really push ourselves mentally. We hope that this training will allow us to combat the feeling of isolation, stress and fatigue when we are on the ocean,” said Jon.
Jon and Jordan will take their pair of Viking Pro Indoor Rowers to the Henley Rowing Regatta this weekend on Saturday June 17 and then at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s Heritage Day on Sunday June 18 where they will be doing a 24-hour row in front of Army and visitors in aid of BLESMA (British Limbless Servicemen Association), The Gurkha Welfare Trust, and Dream Flight. If you’re planning on attending either of these events, say hello to the pair and try one of First Degree Fitness’ Viking Pro rowers out for yourself.
Jordan and I were both genuinely amazed by the realistic feel and sound of the rowing action and just hearing the rush of the water made training almost fun!