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Hunter Field |The Cancer Research UK Boat Races: Lance Tredell - Cambridge University Boat Club

Hunter has proudly returned as the official partner to The Cancer Research UK Boat Races for 2016. As part of the Hunter Field collection, the brand has provided limited edition boots for both the Oxford and Cambridge University crews; exclusively designed with the emblem and colour of each competing crew to celebrate the event. As part of their Everyday Pioneers campaign, Hunter Field has honoured a member of each crew that perfectly reflect the spirit of the brand and share the same dedication to performance. This week, we've sat down with Lance Tredell from the Cambridge University Boat Club to gain an insight into the team's gruelling training regime and what it takes to be a blue.

14849_SS16_Hunter_Field_Boat_Race_Campaign_-_Cambridge_PR_Image_ORIGINALWhat does an average training day look like?

An average training day for us is a 05:30 alarm, we get to the gym at about 06:15 for the warm up and the first session starts at 06:30. That usually takes us through until about 08:30 and gives us time to shower and change before our lectures at 09:00. We’re then back at the Goldie Boathouse for about 13:30 for the buses to Ely, where we train on the water. We get kitted up and out on the boat and we’re usually off the water by about 17:30. That’s it, five or six days a week.

How many hours take place in the gym as opposed to on the course?

I’d say it’s about 65% on the water to 35% in the gym. The gym work is very important but in the boat, on the water is where we make all our technical changes.

How much of the training is mental rather than physical?

The mental side of training can never be underestimated, especially on a cold morning when you’re tired, sometimes it’s almost the last thing you want to do.

How do you balance your training commitments with a full academic schedule?

It’s a challenge, we’re given no preferential treatment from the Cambridge University and are treated as students above everything else. The academic requirements are high, there’s a lot expected on a daily basis, and at the same time we have to commit 6 or 7 hours each day to the training. Focusing everything on your training when you can and on your work the rest of the time. It’s not just what’s expected from the coach and the academics either, but also from myself, I expect high standards on both fronts.

What keeps you motivated through the long months of training?

Motivation is never usually a problem for me; I’m quite a highly motivated guy. I’m motivated on an individual basis, in terms of wanting to make myself better every day, and also by the team. I’m not here on my own at 6:30 in the morning, I know that all the other guys are going to be here and we’re all going to attack it together.

14863_SS16_Hunter_Field_Boat_Race_Campaign_-_Cambridge_PR_Image_ORIGINALWhat does it take to be a blue?

It takes a lot of hard work, you have to be very organised and make a lot of sacrifices. But at the end of the day, we’re here and doing what we’re doing because we want to be doing it. I haven’t been awarded my blue yet, I hope that by the end of March I will have earned that, but I think mostly commitment, discipline and a lot of organisation.

What do you love about the sport?


You can speak to Olympic champions, gold medalists and athletes who have been in the sport for twenty years or more and they still haven’t reached what they would say is perfection. For me, the fact that there is always another level to the sport is something that I love.

What inspires you?

I’m mostly inspired by my family, I’m very close to them. They support me and encourage me and I want to make them proud more than anything.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning is everything, it’s all I think about and work towards, being the best I can be to ensure I’m in the best position to win that race on March 27th.

How important are diet and hydration?

Diet and hydration are extremely important aspects of my training. This is an area which I approach with a no compromise attitude. The basic principle is to think of your body as a machine which will respond in accordance with the fuel (food and drink) you put into it, whether this be physical when training in the gym or on the river, or from a mental perspective when sat at a desk working.

Staying hydrated is very important to performance for an athlete such as myself and I love the idea that a round 60% of the human body is water, so I drink lots of water, it’s probably my favourite drink. The food I eat consists mostly of carbohydrates and protein. Rowing is a strength endurance sport and requires a lot of energy which can be obtained from carbohydrates, I look mostly for complex carbohydrates from wholegrain and whole wheat products and stay away from refined carbohydrates where possible. Protein is useful for the repair and growth of muscle, but I also eat lots of fruit, vegetables and natural fats, and I avoid any foods that are high in sugar, I’m very anti sugar.

How essential is sleep to your training?

Sleep is a crucial aspect of training from a recovery perspective. An area I once prided myself on knowing I was maximising when training as a full time athlete, it is now an area highly challenged by the demands placed on me as a scholar athlete. The time commitment to the rowing programme is around 7 hours per day, in addition to this I have around 4 hours per day of contact time in my department and around 3 hours per day of independent study time which I must schedule in to keep on top of the work load demanded by my professors.

14850_SS16_Hunter_Field_Boat_Race_Campaign_-_Cambridge_PR_Image_ORIGINALFor athletes pushing their bodies to the limits as we do, it’s important to maintain awareness of the importance of this aspect of training. The body uses sleep to recover from training and from the mental demands of your day, if this area begins to lack quantity or quality it is quickly reflected in your productivity and performance levels. During term time I aim for 8 hours sleep per night, given the training and scholastic commitments this is my gold standard, outside of term time providing no exam commitments I can expect to sleep for between 10 and 12 hours per night, which I find optimum for my body to gain maximum recovery from training.

How important is the warm up?

To warm up correctly before a session is important firstly from an injury prevention perspective but also to get the blood flowing around the body to prepare it for the physical demands you are about to place on it. At CUBC we warm up as one group, the whole squad together, and follow a series of exercises and stretches to prepare us for the session ahead.

What is your focus in the gym?

My main focus in the gym is to improve my strength and my fitness. Whilst the gym work must contain a technical element, whether that’s lifting weights or training on the rowing machines, sometimes it’s nice to just throw the kitchen sink at it and really test yourself to see what your body can do. The gym provides a stable, controlled and safe environment for me do to this.

What is your focus on the river?

My main focus on the river is to improve my technical ability and efficiency. A rather pertinent phrase which sums this up is one made by a successful Olympic oarsman who said that ‘while power is important, efficiency is critical; many have worked hard and gone slow’. This is very true in rowing. By splitting the training between the gym and the river it gives a balance which enables me to improve my strength, fitness and technical ability simultaneously. Ultimately, achieving the highest level in all three aspects of training is what I am constantly striving to achieve.