Gillian’s journey, week three: training hard for March 1

Melrose rower Gilian Paterson , front left, looks to lead her Robert Gordons University squad to victory at the Aberdeen Asset Management Universities Boat Race against Aberdeen Uni, right.
Melrose rower Gilian Paterson , front left, looks to lead her Robert Gordons University squad to victory at the Aberdeen Asset Management Universities Boat Race against Aberdeen Uni, right.

Gillian Paterson, aged 21, originally from Melrose and now studying at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, is president of the university’s boat club. She is preparing her crew to face rivals Aberdeen University Boat Club as they attempt to take home the title of rowing champions in the 19th Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race. Gillian is giving us a weekly rundown of her diary as the crew takes to the waters and undergoes rigorous training in the quest for victory.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race is just around the corner and right now it’s all about competitions.

Over the last two weeks we had the Inverness 8s and the Aberdeen Heads, when various members of our crew competed, standing them in good stead for our own challenge on March 1.

We are currently on an intensive training programme. We have been trying to get out on the water about four times a week, with the crew also training at the gym up to five times a week.

This exercise regime might sound like a mean feat, but the crew is used to training vigorously, and many of them might visit the gym around four or five times in the average week anyway.

Our programmes revolve around high-intensity interval training, which means repeating challenging routines in short bursts at a fast speed.

We also do regular weight training and sometimes we even go along to the university fitness classes to ensure we have a well-balanced routine.

While rowing has been a priority this week, I rewarded the crew with some free time to relax. My favourite way to spend ‘me time’ is to bake, so this week I tried a new recipe of brownies made with sweet potato and beetroot, bearing in mind my teammates are on a health kick. Perhaps not the most conventional brownie, but the proof is certainly in the pudding, and they went down a treat with my crew.

Keeping my fingers crossed

– Gillian.