Tokyo 2020: Rolling with the punches

Published on March 20th, 2020

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea, after earning Olympic selection to represent the USA in the Women’s Skiff (49erFx) event, provide this update as they remain focused on the Tokyo 2020 Games:

We’ve recently changed our plans for March and April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, we were geared up for a full month of training and racing in Europe, but in the wake of many event cancellations, we decided to focus on domestic training.

In the immediate future, we have been asked to discontinue training on the water until the end of March. We respect this decision and we want to help show our team’s support for the global effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Although we are disappointed, we fully respect the severity of the pandemic and understand that it’s each of our responsibility to take safety precautions for ourselves and others. In the next few weeks, we will be working hard to continue adapting our training as often as necessary to ensure we are operating as safely, respectfully, and as efficiently as possible.

“The best antidote to adversity is resilience.”

Miami Training Camp Benchmark 1
The first few weeks in our Miami training camp featured mostly windy days – just what the doctor ordered. We split our time between Biscayne Bay and out in the Gulf Stream/ocean to take full advantage of the conditions and push our boat handling skills to the max.

For some of our favorite drills, click here.

We were accompanied by our coach Giulia Conti, and partnered up with Lucy Wilmot and Nate Housberg as well. They helped us create a great team environment to work in, which was extremely open for learning, and they definitely pushed us out on the water.

We also had a benchmark checkup with our trainer, Mike Kuschner, Head Fitness Coach and Co-Founder of Sailing Performance Training (SPT), who spent four days with us last week. We work with him through remote coaching for most of the year, so it was nice to have him in the gym with us. He checked in on our strength program, and we worked on refining our warm-ups as well as our on-the-water fueling protocol.

The New Game Plan
We are currently working on adapting our training by getting creative with our coaches at Sailing Performance Training to design home gym workouts, reviewing video and GPS tracker data, and learning new sailing skills like weather with Chelsea Carlson.

To stay focused, grounded, and prepared, we’re mental training with our sports psychologist as well. We are also in the process of designing new drills to simulate racing scenarios we’d like to improve on that we will use when we get back on the water again.

As a team, we’ve set some goals for our training for the rest of March and our new daily routines are already in full swing. For details, click here.

Let’s Talk Nutrition!
Nutrition is a big component of our training, not only because of the importance of refueling our bodies but also because we have been working to reach the optimal 49erFX crew weight. When we set out on our campaign, we knew this would end up becoming one of our top long term goals.

In addition to working with Mike Kuschner, we work with SPT’s Nutrition Coach Hannah Feinberg as well. She writes our nutrition programs based on our benchmark assessments, training schedule, and fitness goals.

Something we’ve been developing together is our “on-the-water refueling plan” that guides what we eat, how much or little we eat, and when we eat throughout our practice session. For our current on-the-water refueling plan, click here.

TOKYO 2020 Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Olympic schedule: July 24 – Aug 9
Sailing schedule: July 26 – Aug 6

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