The Simple Things

Learn something new Rowing



JUST AS RUNNING on the treadmill isn’t the same as doing it outdoors, using a rowing machine differs hugely from being out on the water. If the Boat Race (taking place on the afternoon of Sunday 2 April) inspires you to push the boat out outdoors, start by finding a club and water. British Rowing’s website (britishrow­ lists clubs that offer Learn to Row courses.

You don’t need specific kit to begin with, nor do you need to be especially fit to start, although you will build up strength, endurance and a bit of flexibilit­y as you do more rowing. The biggest challenge for beginners is the technique. Basically, when the rowing oar is in the water, it’s mainly pushing with your legs (although the back and arms play a part). Once you’ve taken the oar out of the water, you’re moving in the opposite direction – bending your legs again, trying not to disturb the boat. And then doing that along with the rhythm of the other people in your boat. However, once you get it and get into the zone, the feeling of everything coming together is fantastic.

The practicali­ties of getting a team together can mean training happens at unsociable hours, before or after work, but all that teamwork often leads to strong friendship­s. Rowing is also an all-weather sport – so expect wind, rain and perhaps even snow. But you’re out on the water, often in the most stunning locations. It gives you a different perspectiv­e on a place and certainly a more interestin­g one than the gym.

Watch The Boat Race for inspiratio­n on Sunday 2 April.

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