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No Light Blues for Cambridge as They Win Boat Race 2018

Cambridge's position as favourites in this year's Boat Race proved to be well-deserved when both the women's and men's teams rowed to victory over Oxford on Saturday. The women added to last year's win in style, cruising through the calm Thames water around 20 seconds ahead of their rivals. Later in the afternoon, the men made it a double having dominated Oxford from the start.

This year, traditional support for the home team was heightened by our involvement with the Cambridge University boat club where Lumie has been helping the Light Blues integrate light therapy into their training regime.

Since November, each member of the team used Bodyclock Starter 30 sleep/wake light to help them get up in the dark for early morning training. In addition, our new bright light Vitamin L was introduced to the boat house in January. Rowers have one of the lights positioned next to their rowing machine and have been training with a splash of bright light (around 2,500 lux at this distance) for extra stimulation to drive improved performance.

Rowers at the Cambridge University Boat Club train with Lumie lights.

Research in sports science* has shown that light therapy boosts mood, energy and productivity leading to marginal gains for athletes. Back in 2016, the GB Olympic swim team reported improvements in both mood and energy after using Lumie Zest in their training protocol. It then helped them recover from jet lag after their arrival in Rio.

Before the race, chief coach Steve Trapmore explained,

I know how tough it can be for the crew to cope with early morning training on dark winter mornings, particularly for international students used to warmer climes. I’d read about the benefits of light therapy and got in touch with Lumie as they’re also based in Cambridge. Steve Trapmore, Chief Coach

Trapmore says that the Lumie lights have not only helped the crew to wake up brighter but they've also noticed improvements in mood, alertness and concentration in their training.

"Lumie light therapy has certainly been a welcome addition to the tool kit we use to get the crew race-ready.”

Lumie light therapy has certainly been a welcome addition to the tool kit we use to get the crew race-ready. Steve Trapmore,  Chief Coach
Lumie Bodyclock has helped me wake more naturally on the dark winter mornings. I feel a bit more alive ahead of our early morning training sessions."  Cambridge University Boat Club Team Member 

After the exertions and celebrations of race day, it's not known how many of the Cambridge crew woke bright and early on Sunday but at least they got an extra hour in bed to recover.

*References

Int J Sports Med. 2015 Feb;36(2):101-6

Front Physiol. 2014 May;12(5):184