Another week of rowing

I’m loving this rowing thing.

I never used to be an early morning person, but slowly got used to it training/running in the UK and now I have no choice!

Before - was like someone had drawn a red line accross the sky
Before – was like someone had drawn a red line accross the sky
After - we stopped our cool down to look at this
After – we stopped our cool down to look at this

The great thing about NZ is the sunrises, in Wellington where we row, our sunrise happens over Petone and the Tararuas beyond – this was our view before and after training (on the rowing machines) this morning

Last Saturday we spent the day on the Manawatu river (just south of Foxton). This was a scaled down version of the training camp the rowing club normally run. Wanganui, where it’s usually held, had massive floods recently which washed away the boat ramps that are normally used. We had 2 rowing sessions – the first 2 hours out in 4s (boats with 4 people) and it was the first time we had rowed together as a 4. It was a steep learning curve, something odd going on in terms of boat balance and just as we were seeing some improvement one of the bits that holds the oar snapped, we had to row back with only 2 people rowing and we were a boat down for the second session. We left the boat feeling rather downhearted and cold (and very wet – it was pouring with rain by the end of it).

Thankfully our coach has a beach house we could all go back to and warm up in and with a boat down we shared the 2nd session with the boys. They went out first while we stayed back at the house to catch them up later on. Was really good to have a bit of time to bond – up until now we’ve only really seen each other briefly before getting into a boat and then while putting them away.

It was an hour well spent as when we got back on the water it was like we were a totally different crew. Not perfect, but we had some good stints of all rowing together, so much happier ladies left the water by the end.

Amazing Annotated Picture
Amazing Annotated Picture

Monday morning saw us at the rowing club for 6:45am for a session on the water. This time we were in an 8, all the ladies at the front and the men at the back so we could row in our separate crews. Had a different coach watching us and hopefully he’s got to the bottom of why the boat was so unbalanced – both of us on stroke side (see amazing annotated picture (not actually taken on Monday)) are leaning over too far at the front of our stroke – fingers crossed on Saturday we can see if we’ve fixed it.

Tuesday lunch time is erg time ie on the rowing machine. I join in with the Masters rowing session (Masters are the rowers that like rowing but aren’t as crazily committed as the competitive rowers, train something like 5 times pw rather than 12!). This was the hardest session I’ve done so far

24 strokes/min
2 min rowing 2 min rest
3 rowing 2 rest
4 rowing 2 rest
5 rowing 2 rest
4 rowing 2 rest
3 rowing 2 rest
2 rowing 2 rest
Rowed over 5km and kept my 500m split time down below 2min9sec the whole time (was v pleased with this)

Which brings us on to this morning – more ergs (but amazing sunrise)

We did a 1km, go as fast as you can, row. Spent 20 mins warming up which I’ve come to realise I need – it takes me a while to get my 500m splits down – they start around 2:30 and slowly head to 2:20 then to 2:10 and with the final bit of warm up (generally where we go from an 18/20 strokes per min to 22 then 24 the 26 and this morning 28 for 10 strokes).

The final bit of advice we had from our coach was to stick between 26-30 strokes per min to get a good time……. I’m really pleased with my time of 4:01 – 2:01 for the 1st 500m and 2min for the second. A massive improvement from when we first started in May of around 2:36/500m. All us ladies finished within a few seconds of each other which is great.

We finished with a nice gentle cooldown which was abruptly halted when the sunrise was spotted with amazing rays of the sun – our coach made us get off the ergs for a look and who were we to complain!

Next session on the water 8:30am Saturday ……

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