Welcome! My name is Tommy Tippetts and this is my website covering my attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean, setting out in January 2012.
Below is my blog where you will be able to keep up to date with all areas of my preparation, from sponsors to securing a boat and all my training to prepare for such a challenge.
Please also take some time to look at why I am doing this row, raising money and awareness for mental health in this country and any small donation you can make will go a long way to improving lives of many people around the UK. Please click below to sponsor me on my row in aid of Mind. I am hoping to raise £25,000 for the charity and any contribution you can make, small or big, would be gratefully received.
Solo Atlantic Row 2011
Read Tommy's blog as he prepares to take on 'the World's toughest rowing race'
So the Paris marathon took place on this Sunday just gone and it is a great feeling to have finished and now have a week or so to relax and not have to train!
My preparation the few days before the race consisted of significantly decreasing my training along with my protein intake whilst massively increasing my carbohydrate and water intake. I mentioned before that since my last training run I had tailed off to only a couple sessions a week and so in my last week I did minimal training. On the Tuesday before I went for a slow job in the hypoxic chamber for 45 minutes and went for a 30 minute swim on the Wednesday. By Thursday I was into full preparation for the race. As mentioned I went through a stage of 'carbo-loading' where for every kg you weigh you aim to eat about 10g of carbohydrate a day! As the average intake for a UK male is between 250-300g per day and weighing in at a lean 88kg, I was going to need a lot of carbs!
It meant that for the 3 days before the race I seemed to be eating the whole time. I did cheat a bit and buy a carbohydrate drink (PhD Waxy-Vol) that I took 3 times a day which added about 100g a drink but without that I don't know how you are meant to eat that much!
I stopped my protein intake as well as protein uses up a lot of energy to digest and that was energy that I wanted to store for the race. Obviously hydration is another key factor and i aimed to drink 4 litres a day for the build up. this wold prove to be vital considering the temperatures it ended up getting to!
Friday morning I went for a final 4 mile jaunt around the Thames, just to loosen off and make sure that there were no new niggles to be aware of for the race. What I have found is that whenever running there is usually something that is a little bit stiff/sore but isn't going to get any worse when you run. As you want to be in the best frame of mind for the marathon it is good to know what to expect from your body, just so there are no surprises that end up distracting you.
Saturday was spent relaxing in Paris in the sunshine, making sure I stayed hydrated and trying not too get too burnt!
The race started Sunday morning at 8.45 from the Champs-Elysees in the centre of Paris. You could tell it was going to be a steaming hot day and ended up reaching around 25 degrees by the time I finished (apparently about 10 degrees warmer than perfect running temperatures)
I would love to say that I enjoyed all the sights around Paris that I got to see but in truth I didn't really notice too much what was going on once i got into the race! Anyway I stuck to my plan of taking the first 6 miles very easy, knowing it would take that time to get into the rhythm. The thing about marathon running also is that with so many people around you, there are bottle-necks and times when you do have to change pace, especially over the first part of the course.
Anyway everything was feeling good and going to plan until the last 10km when it really did hit me hard! I slowed right down and was suffering from the heat, my legs were cramping badly and generally was struggling. But I got through it to the end and came in on 3 hours 40.
So I missed my target (3:30) by 10 minutes but I am still fairly happy with how i did considering the heat of the day. I think also that I may have been slightly too ambitious- I was hoping to come in under 3.30 so between 10-20 miles pushed hard and got on course for about 3.20 so that may have just taken it away from me. To also experience working in that heat will be really useful as out in the mid Atlantic temperatures are going to be similar if not higher. All in all though it was a great experience and I am certain that that won't be my one and only marathon!