Susan McCann rowed in a coxed four for Sons of the Thames, at Hammersmith, in the 1980s. Her interest in triathlon began when she worked in Bermuda for a year.
Benefits: Rowing demands incredible fitness if you’re going to be successful. My crew’s training schedule was full of running, circuit training, and hard sessions on the rowing machine, so I was well prepared to train for three disciplines. Rowing also prepared me for the open water - you can’t have any fear when you’re sitting in a rather flimsy boat in the middle of a deep, dark river.
Baggage: In triathlon you have to get used to motivating and pushing yourself as there's no cox telling you what to do. It’s so much easier to obey someone else’s instructions, even if it hurts, than to make yourself dig deep when it would be far easier to stop!
Biggest difference: When I took up the solo sport of triathlon, it was a relief not to have the group politics you get when part of a small team – arguments over who’s catching crabs, who’s not putting in the training.
Verdict: Very helpful. On face of it rowing and triathlon have little in common, but I can’t think of a sport which would have prepared me better for the rigours of training for multi-sport. The Olympic rower James Cracknell may agree – he’s been very successful at triathlon.
Picture credit: Gandee Vasan/ Getty Images