Surfers Against Sewage Paddle Across the English Channel

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The cat is out of the bag, myself (Matt Argyle), Jock Patterson, Elliot Dudley, Simon Bassett and Claire Blacklock are stand up paddling across the English Channel on a day between 18th – 25th June 2010, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world (so busy that they have a motorway system in place where ships on one side travel one way and the other side travel the other). The distance as the crow flies is 21 miles, however the actual distance will be much more are we weave our way across to France.

We are doing this to help raise money for Surfers Against Sewage, who celebrate 20 years of fighting for cleaner seas around the UK. We aim to raise £10,000, please see our Surfers Against Sewage Just Giving Page here and donate accordingly !

So to start off this blog I thought I would look at the training that I am currently putting in to complete this paddle. I started training in earnest on 11th January, a week late due to the snow ! Here has been my training schedule for the last two weeks :

  • Mon: Gym – Circuits and 5km rowing machine
  • Tues: Swimming pool – 2km
  • Wed : Gym – Circuits and 5km rowing machine
  • Thurs: Running 10km
  • Fri: Gym – Circuits and 5km rowing machine
  • Sat : SUP
  • Sun: SUP (or rest Sunday is the day off option)

And yes, I am very tired at the moment! With the help of John Kelly at the University of Chichester we will be having a series of fitness tests on 4th February to see where our fitness stands currently and where we need to aim for over the coming months. My personal experience is that if you have a target you can be much more focused on training. My targets are :


  1. Chichester Corporate Challenge (3 x 5km running races over six weeks) – this will help me focus on getting my general fitness up
  2. Round Hayling Island Paddle (17 miles SUP race) a great half way point for my training
  3. BSUPA 2010 Series round one – West Wittering (SUP race and SUP surf) – another great event to aim for in terms of fitness.

So what does the circuit training look like?

  • 10 x Pull ups
  • 15 x Press ups
  • 10 x Stomach Crunches
  • 10 x Tricep Dips
  • 10 x Leg press with dumbells

Repeat the sequence 3-4 times and then follow it up with some SUP specific weight training using pull downs and back exercises, and finish off with a 5km row. Well that is it for now, I will post again once the fitness test has been completed with the results !