My approach to the February Indoor Rower Championships

Feb 08, 2011

Tis’ the season of Indoor Rowing Championships. This past weekend saw the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships and the CRASH-Bs in Boston are coming up in two weeks.

To me, the much-anticipated February 2K erg championship is like the 1000 meter mark of my winter training (or, if you are Canadian and a TSN fan, the NHL all-star game!). It’s the point in the winter training season where you can assess where you are and, from there, decide what type of approach you would like to take for the second half of winter training to optimally prepare for the regatta season. It’s in this light that I see these annual erg championships as a reality check. Am I where I would like to be in February of the Olympic qualifying year? What can I improve on until the ice thaws?

As I result, I feel some pressure to perform at the February races. I see two potential outcomes following the 2K score I achieve.

Scenario 1: Maintain status quo, meaning I approach the second 1000 meters of winter training the same way as I have approached the first half. Thus, the balance between my erg training, cross-training and weight lifting is adequate and, with another two months of indoor training, I will be ready to carry the momentum forward once the ice thaws and I hop into my rowing shell. Who knows, maybe even have the season of my career!

Scenario 2: I have an honest look at my result and I face the light. Maybe my winter training has been flat at times and I need to light it up in the second 1000 meters of winter training! During that introspection, I also need to identify what I will change in my race plan: is it my commitment to cross-training? Or, perhaps in order to erg at the desired intensity, I need to put myself in a situation where I have to be more accountable to my teammates? If you find scenario 2 rings true to you, consider finding a teammate with whom you could erg or even email your erg scores or workouts. If this is the case, then approach this 1000 meter mark with renewed interest; pick up the intensity and your commitment level. There is no way to get around hard work. You have to do it and get through it.

The February indoor rowing championships are a milestone in a rower’s winter training cycle. Not only do the indoor championships symbolize the middle of the winter, but they allow one to change his/her approach to the second half of winter training. Will you start fresh and tackle the rest of winter like it’s a new race? Or will you keep your course for the next 1000 meters? Oh, I mean two months… 

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