Arctic Challenge / Challenge Journal / Training

Chemmy Alcott post-training mini interview

By Vicky Anscombe

Sorry, we've got to ask - exactly where does Chemmy Alcott get her energy from?

After completing her fitness test at Kingston University, the nation's favourite (retired) Olympic skier found the time to cheer on her team members, pull a few tough-looking stretches and chat to us for a few minutes.

"Fitness testing!" she starts, smoothing back a few strands of wayward hair. "You'd think that when you retire, you'd be shot of it; it's the thing that causes you nightmares throughout a sporting career. Since I've retired, I've done two fitness tests in the last few months. But it's really important for me - I'm trying to change myself from a two-minute downhill skier into a marathon skier.

"Obviously, I'm very comfortable on snow, and with the cold, but the challenge we're doing is 160k - a pretty hefty distance. That's fairly new to me, and not so new for the guys, but the good news is we'll all be able to support one another throughout different parts of it."

Chemmy Alcott

Earlier on, Chemmy had completed her gruelling fitness test on an exercise bike, and it was clear that the test would have had even the most experienced athlete begging for mercy. The Columbus Direct team present were hugely grateful they weren't asked to take part.

"It's a weird one - you start off feeling very comfortable, you're chatting away, and then it kicks in," she said. "Since I've retired, I've been doing more 'fun' stuff like netball and tennis; I haven't really done any regimented training. However, now's the time - we've only got five and a half months to go until the race.

"I'm not nervous or worried. Not yet. It's because I'm still very naïve and I have no idea what's coming! I think ignorance is bliss!"

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