Maintaining fitness goals with US oarsman and ironman Jack Nunn
Ex-US rower Jack Nunn runs Roworx, an indoor rowing and fitness centre housed in the Long Beach Rowing Association boathouse, Long Beach, California. The boathouse is part of Marine Stadium which was the rowing venue for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. A veteran of 20 full distance IRONMAN triathlons, Nunn loves to encourage people to be the best athlete they can and runs group and one to one sessions at Roworx.
After getting a full scholarship to Cal Berkeley Nunn won 3 National Championships and 4 PAC-10 Championships. Nunn, 37, competed with the US national team in the M8+ winning Silver at the World Championships in 2001. Nunn’s father, John Nunn, won a bronze medal at the Mexico City Olympic Games 1968 and was US Olympic Men’s team rowing coach for the Montreal Olympic Games 1976.
We asked Jack to tell us what advice he gives to his clients to keep their fitness goals on track:-
What is Fitness? It is a single question that I have been asked many times and yet, given many different answers. There is, of course, the “scientific” definition of fitness, but I believe an equal, or arguably even greater aspect of fitness lies outside of the science. In the world of fitness we are taught that there are 3 basic elements of fitness:
To be the fittest we can be, we must look outside of just the physical portion and into the mental and social aspects as well. We may often hear that “fitness is a lifestyle” and a lifestyle involves so much more than just being able to accomplish physical demands. It applies to our relationships, our habits both good and bad, or mental stimulation our nutrition, and spiritual development/beliefs. I believe fitness, in general, gives us more freedom and happiness to do what we want and feel great about ourselves while making a decision to live a longer more fulfilled life.
There are many aspects to a successful fitness program but here are 5 tips on how to really get the most out of your training:-
Plan an event on land: Everyone hits a wall with their fitness and nutrition goals and one awesome way to keep yourself on track is to plan on doing a fitness adventure such as a running, triathlon or obstacle run. These types of events will help you keep focused on small steps towards your fitness and nutrition goals. Be creative with your training routes – get on Strava and plan some new ones and measure your progress on segments. But remember your goals need to be realistic and sustainable.
I have come to the point in my training where I find myself doing events almost every week in order to stay motivated and excited about fitness. I love a challenge and it makes you feel accomplished and fulfilled when you finish a race. If you can’t really anyone to join you, searching for a local race and just turn up – people love to connect – ask anyone who has done a triathlon – you get to chat with a lot of other athletes whilst waiting for the swim start!
I have always said that people are our most abundant and available source of knowledge, so take advantage of the people around you and try to learn new things, share ideas, and have good conversations.
Ask questions: If you want to know something, ask your club mates and coaches. I really enjoy it when people ask questions as it will challenge me to think about different ways to explain a method or training technique in a more efficient way. Sometimes if I need confirmation on a rowing technical question as I consult my father, John Nunn, who won an Olympic M2x Bronze in Mexico 1968 and was Olympic Rowing Coach for team USA. Coaches and trainers are there to assist and give you the professional guidance you need to help you get through the workout and motivate you to be your best.
Be present and have a positive attitude: All too often we get caught up in the whirlwind of things going on in all aspects of our lives. You have a choice when you come to your training sessions. You can either let the stress consume you or you can use it to blow out the stress during the workout. Let those things troubling you or consuming your thoughts go, relax, enjoy the time you have with those around you in the moment and try to be the best you can be! Make sure you come to every training session with a plan – don’t just switch off but aim to work consciously on some aspect of the activity – whether it’s your erg pull, swim stroke or stride. Mindless effort has its place but mindful activity is the way of the winner.
Let go of the ego: This refers to everyone including the instructor as no one likes a big ego even if you have the awards and honours to back it up. It’s ok to list your accomplishments but do it in a way that explains the technical cues and advice on how to become more efficient in the exercise. Last but not least try to listen to your coaches as they are only trying to help you and if they see something and offer you coaching, do your best to accept it and apply it.