Ted Ward is no stranger to endurance sports as he's a keen rugby player, sailor, cross-country runner and he's been a regular finisher of the Dorney Lake Triathlon ever since his dad, who's a multiple IRONMAN finisher himself, took him to Eton Dorney a few years ago.
The 15-year-old recently took on a completely new challenge during lockdown in the UK though as he completed 19 hours of non-stop sport to help raise money for Julia's House.
PH spoke to Ted to hear more about the challenge and to find out how the DOMS were treating him after the event...
Hi Ted, thanks for taking the time out from your GCSE exam studies to talk to us. I understand you're no stranger to taking on epic challenges to raise money for charity, but how did the 19 hours of continuous exercise come about?
Hi guys, well, I swam the Solent River from Yarmouth to Sowley for charity with friends five years' ago and we raised £15,000 for the Piam Brown Children’s Ward at Southampton Hospital in memory of our friend Lizzie Murt, who died of cancer when she was 13.
That was where the idea of fundraising came about for me really and I was keen to do something to help during the lockdown.
I was sat in the garden with my family and I just said to my mum, "wouldn't it be cool to do 19 hours of continuous exercise?!".
It took a bit of planning but my uncle, Will Newbery, who's a triathlon coach, put together a regime for the day for me.
Knowing Will, I don't imagine he made it easy! So, what did 19 hours of non-stop sport look like?
So, I started at 5am and I spent about 8 hours in total on the indoor trainer and doing various routes on Zwift. My favourite was probably climbing Alpe d'Huez and in between those Zwift rides, we had a variety of activities as we did circuits in the garden that my mum had set up for my dad a few weeks' earlier.
It was good to have various people, like my friends, my aunt and Will joining us on Zoom calls to join in with different exercises during the course of the day.
There were about 12 exercises on rotation for the circuits, including stuff like planks, and we probably did those for about three hours. I also did some of the Joe Wicks YouTube videos as well, which helped mix things up, although they were pretty hard on my calves and I definitely felt that the next day.
I bet, how were the DOMS afterwards?
Well, when I got up the next morning, I couldn't straighten my legs and it was a bit of a struggle. I'd done a bit of stretching before I went to bed but I guess after 19 hours of exercise it wasn't quite enough!
Sounds painful! And how did you fuel for an event like this? A few of the athletes who've taken on lockdown challenges at home have commented on how it's been easier than their usual races as the kitchen is accessible!
My mum kindly cooked me porridge and pasta and stuff like that during the day, so I could eat while I kept spinning my legs over. I think I used one gel during the whole day as I was keen to use real food as I'm not always a massive fan of the gels.
When it came to hydration, the Precision Hydration was a massive help, although I should've probably listened to my dad more as I didn't drink enough and was definitely struggling at around 5pm - I had a pillow on my handlebars and had to rest my head while I cycled!
Thankfully, I got some fluids and electrolytes on board and managed to push through.
Fantastic, congratulations! And how did you celebrate?
Well, it was dark by the time I finished and we had a slightly random dinner of garlic bread, chips and chicken kievs, and so that was a nice way to finish with my family all together.
And why was it Julia's House in particular that you raised money for?
I spoke to Will's partner, Claire, who works for Julia's House in Wiltshire. They offer respite support to families who care for children with serious illnesses.
She was telling us how they've struggled during lockdown because of the lack of fundraising events that can take place at the moment, so I was keen to help out in any way I could and 19 hours of exercise seemed like a good way to do that.
Great work. It's obviously been a tough time for many people all over the world and I wondered what's been the one thing you've learned during the past couple of months?
That's a tough one but I guess one of the big things for me is seeing how hard this time has been on businesses. My dad runs his own company and I've seen how difficult it has been for him, while some of his mates have had to fold their companies completely.
My dad is one of the most motivated people I know, so it's quite inspiring to see him graft and, without being too cheesy, he's someone I look up to and hope to grow up to be life when I'm older.
And what's the plan going forward once you've got through your exams this summer?
I've got my GCSE exams at the moment. I had a PE exam earlier today in fact and I'm then planning on doing my A-Levels in Winchester, before taking a year out to do a ski season somewhere - that's always been a big dream of mine. I'm not sure what I want to do with my life after that to be honest!
Sounds great, enjoy! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today and congratulations again on completing such a brilliant lockdown challenge.
If you would like to donate to Ted's fundraising effort, you can visit his JustGiving page.