In the latest entry, Alan, who is sponsored by JLL, talks about an early start for training after the Queen's Jubilee and a slap-up feast with the best athlete he knows - undefeated Paralympian rower Tom Aggar.
Monday 4 June
The alarm runs through its third snooze before I can bring myself to jump out of bed at 6:28am having taken my resting heart rate of 42. Yesterday was my third to last day off before the Olympics yet I feel like I could stay in bed until the start of the Games. The Jubilee celebration and the Thames river pageant I watched on TV are a distant memory. I grab a bowl of cereal and an extra glass of milk as I've got strength weights. I get collected from outside of the house by one of my two carpooling buddies from the men's sculling team for the journey to Bisham Abbey near Marlow, to the English Institute of Sport national training centre. This is also a good opportunity to try and gee each other up for the onslaught of what we're about to put our bodies through. At weights the strength coach has set me up my own individual programme as my coach Bill (Barry) wants to target building up more leg strength. Warming up starts at 7:30am and by 8:00am I'm hurting as the squat bar has another 10 kilos added taking it up to 145 kilos for another five reps. This continues on through bench press, bench pull and leg press with auxiliary exercises in between. By 9:10am I'm chugging down a pint of milk whilst heading to the Redgrave and Pinsent rowing lake at Caversham, just outside Reading. At 10:30am it's on the water for 16km steady pace, working on distance per stroke.
Lunch and it's beef madras which after 90 minutes of rest still continued to repeat on me all the way through the hour - ergo not the best feeling as it was particularly warm in the gym. Still, I pulled a decent split and at 3:45pm I bail on my two carpoolers as I'm heading to the Paralympian single sculler Tom Aggar's house, in Maidenhead, where Jules (my wife) and his wife, Vicky, are cooking up a storm. Having shared the same wedding day, by complete chance, we then discovered we ended up taking our honeymoons at the same resort in St. Lucia last year. We've been great friends ever since.
Having worked our way through a colossal mountain of meat we talk about the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics comparing notes and previous experiences. Tom is by far the greatest athlete I know, he's never been beaten - ever! 8:30pm and bed is calling, so it's home time and by 9:45pm I was fast asleep.