Preparing for the biggest race of your life is no easy feat, especially when that race is one that puts you in line for an Olympic gold medal. FFF Ambassador, Moe Sbihi is currently coasting the country in search for the open waters, preparing himself for Rio 2016. Despite missing his meals, Moe is being kept busy with hours in the boat as he begins the Olympics countdown.
#RowtoRio- Moe Sbihi on Training Camps and Open Waters | Fresh Fitness Food Blog

‘So this is it. We are almost there. I am in the midst of a month long training camp, meaning no FFF for me! Saying this, I shouldn’t complain, I’m being taken on quite the adventure…
First stop, Austria, a small place called Silvretta, the home of huge dam and a 2000m lake. I have been at altitude for 2.5 weeks, 2000m high in the Austrian alps. This place is the perfect spot for rowing, making it also the perfect spot for me! The only thing I’m missing is the green and black bag! Have you ever seen Rocky IV? The back to basics training montages of Rocky running through the snow, lifting these old school weights….well this has been my life for the last 2.5 weeks. It has a really old school, back to basics and no privileges feel to it with no real ‘gym’ space. We train in 2 dusty garages – one for the rowing machines and one for the weights room, each sporting uneven flooring, with the added inconvenience of a huge piston bully snow plough slap bang in the middle of the room. We work around this! As the breath gets heavy due the tough training, our lungs and nostrils are filled with a strong smell of diesel and oil. This simply adds to the enjoyment of the sessions on open water! We have the lakes to ourselves, boasting serenity, with the only noise being the huge waterfall crashing against the calm waters, followed closely by the swash of each stroke.
At altitude, the endurance training is a lot harder, as we are all affected by a shortness of breath. It’s this that makes the rowing machines a little harder, the weights a little bit more aerobic and the rowing a lot more difficult, also challenging your coordination. It takes a little more time to find your feet, but this camp is good for me and I am lucky to not suffer too much as a result of the high heights. Lucky me! Everything that I have just described is an account of what the other guys feel. I am not a machine and do not claim to be, however, I am lucky and as mentioned before, altitude does affect people in different ways.
The training is simply miles and miles of water. Steady state work with a few days of jazzing things up to keep it fresh. This freshness is the closest I’m getting to my green and black bag out here, so I’m taking whatever I can get!
My team of four feel strong, as we edge ever close to the big day. Training camps allow us to focus more intensely on training, with the opportunity for recovery once we return to our rooms and can ‘chill out’. Great training and time for recovery is a recipe for success. The only recipe I’m missing now is the one for my bespoke flapjacks, prepared for me by the FFF chefs. I am pushing for a FFF delivery to Austria!
After we’d spent some time at the Austria camp, we began our descent down the mountain towards Italy, met by the beautiful Lake Varese. Situated between Milan, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, it’s a hidden wonder of the rowing world. The water is lush, the weather is hot and the training is good. My last day in Austria was spent in a half foot amount of snow. My first day in Italy was 25 degrees plus! I know which I prefer…
Where the Austria camp focuses on long mileage and steady state, Italy is due to be slightly different. A lot of higher intensity work, to build up the race speed, transitioning to work on combining strength and endurance. This training is equally as difficult and places a big stress on our energy systems. Out here we’re working on the finishing touches, sharpening the tools and swords ready for battle. This is the easiest way to describe it! We have it all in the locker, now we just need to harness the good work we have put in over the last few weeks and attack!
The thought of landing to an FFF bag to accessorize the medal is one I’m continually driven by! #RowtoRio is officially underway, and I’m excited to see what the big race brings!’
We have everything crossed for Moe, and will ready and waiting with an abundance of bags and flapjacks to greet him on his return!
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